Energy traders would do well to fasten their seatbelts for thecontinuing convergence of natural gas and power if the predictionof Coastal Corp. CEO David A. Arledge is correct. Increasingly, theprice of gas – the second most volatile energy commodity – will belinked with the price of power – the most volatile energycommodity, Arledge said.
Articles from Continuing
The overall tone of the cash market remained flat Thursday, buta growing number of points were recording tiny decreases. Thetouches of softness came even as an eastbound cold front reachedthe nation’s midsection, reminding regions that had beenexperiencing record seasonal warmth recently that winter isn’tquite over yet. One source speculated that prices may be finallystarting to crack under the strain of having maintained theirpositions during a long period of no fundamentals support. Even thearrival of some for-real weather fundamentals may not be enough toprovide support, he said.
Continuing to work through the monstrous merger completed amonth ago, BP Amoco centralized its power last week by choosing theWestlake complex in Houston as its exploration and productionheadquarters, then revealing a 1,400 person job cut at the complex.Company officials said the jobs were lost due to duplication andcommodity price reasons. Overall, BP Amoco plans to lay off 1,600workers in Texas by the end of the first quarter.
Texaco said its fourth quarter 1998 results will include netspecial charges of about $350 million. “Continuing weak demand andsurplus supplies have driven crude oil, natural gas and refinedproduct prices sharply downward. In this low price environment, wewill be required to revalue inventories. We will also write-downoil and gas properties where remaining investments will not befully recovered,” said Texaco CFO Patrick J. Lynch.
Bears had their choice of reasons for continuing to push thefutures market lower Thursday: forecasts calling for warmingweather, an unremarkable storage report, and follow-through sellingpressure. And so when the February contract opened more than anickel below Wednesday’s low, the price rout was on yesterday. Thesell-off sent the prompt month 9.5-cents lower to settle at $1.836.
Continuing the attack on the northwest U.S. electric generationmarket, Avista Energy Canada, a Washington Water Power (WWP)affiliate, announced Wednesday the acquisition of Coast PacificManagement Inc., a gas manager for industrials throughout BritishColumbia. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but the WWPaffiliate did say that Coast Pacific would be incorporated into itsVancouver operations. The deal became effective at the time of theannouncement.
Continuing super-low oil prices have driven two of the largestoil companies in the world into a friendly merger, with Exxonacquiring Mobil for $77.2 billion in stock, making the deal therichest corporate takeover ever. Exxon Mobil Corp. will be thelargest corporation in the world based on the two companies’combined revenue of $203 billion last year.
Citing continuing reduction of capacity by unseasonably hightemperatures, PG&E Gas Transmission-Northwest said it wouldagain be necessary to limit volumes today to 2,450 MMcf/d atKingsgate and to 1,870 MMcf/d at Station 14 (the last one upstreamof Malin) in order to return the system to optimum performance.
The futures market wasted little time in continuing higherMonday, gapping higher on the open en route to a technicalcorrection that left the September contract up 16.4 cents to settleat $2.041. Sources said Monday’s rally was follow-through buying onthe heels of Friday’s strong close coupled with “nervousspeculators” covering sizeable short positions. Estimated volumeconfirmed the active trading with an estimated 83,239 contractschanging hands.