Cracks

Political Shift in CPUC Emerges in Two Recent Cases

California’s five-member state regulatory commission is showing some cracks in its usual solid consensus after 10 years of being headed by a former utility senior executive. This became apparent Thursday when a proposal by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) to invest utility ratepayer funds in a solar demonstration facility was rejected on a 3-2 vote.

May 14, 2012

Industry Briefs

El Paso Natural Gas Co. said there was no evidence of corrosion, weld defects, prior gas leakage or slow-developing cracks in the “branch” or “tap” connection of a pipeline that ruptured and exploded Nov. 5 in Bushland, TX. “Instead, we learned the rupture was the result of an upward force on the branch connection that put pressure on a small area on the carrier pipe that contained a ‘lamination.’ The force on the lamination caused a fracture to develop in the lamination near the weld of the branch connection to the carrier pipe, resulting in the rupture,” El Paso said. A lamination is a tiny area of separation within a pipe wall where the metal has not properly bonded to itself, and the lamination feature was not a defect under the regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the company said. Stress Engineering Services Inc. conducted the metallurgical analysis; “We don’t know yet what caused the upward force on the branch connection,” El Paso said. Information about the investigation is at www.elpaso.com/bushlandinfo.

December 21, 2009

Some Softness Surfaces, But Deep Freeze Keeps Most Prices Warm to Hot; OFOs Grow in West

Some cracks formed Thursday in the wall of firmness that the cash market had established the day before, but for the most part severe cold blanketing Canada and nearly all of the Lower 48 states kept a large majority of points rising. A 20-cents-plus screen gain on Wednesday added a bit of extra support to Thursday’s heating load price strength.

December 9, 2005

Large Cracks Form in the Ranks of Top Gas Marketers

Enron’s devastation has spread through the industry like the plague with many of the top gas marketers teetering on the edge of extinction in the third quarter. Some chose not to provide volume information to NGI out of what one analyst called “justifiable paranoia” over releasing any data in this time of extreme scrutiny by regulators and credit rating agencies. Meanwhile, others began to show steep declines in volumes that will surely grow exponentially next year.

December 23, 2002

Large Cracks Form in the Ranks of Top Gas Marketers

Enron’s devastation has spread through the industry like the plague with many of the top gas marketers teetering on the edge of extinction in the third quarter. Some chose not to provide volume information to NGI out of what one analyst called “justifiable paranoia” over releasing any data in this time of extreme scrutiny by regulators and credit rating agencies. Meanwhile, others began to show steep declines in volumes that will surely grow exponentially next year.

December 20, 2002

Second Quarter Marketer Ranking Signals Market in Decline

Second quarter physical gas sales volumes showed large cracks beginning to form in the foundation of the energy merchant business. The credit and liquidity crisis was growing rapidly during the quarter and the effects of the regulatory investigation into round-trip trading had taken hold. While there still were large volume increases compared to the previous year’s second quarter (a 38 Bcf/d increase for the top 20), an estimated 10.7 Bcf/d decline in volumes appeared compared to the first quarter of this year. All signs currently point to much greater declines as the year progresses.

September 9, 2002

Second Quarter Ranking Signals Market in Decline

Second quarter physical gas sales volumes showed large cracks beginning to form in the foundation of the energy merchant business. The credit and liquidity crisis was growing rapidly during the quarter and the effects of the regulatory investigation into round-trip trading had taken hold. While there still were large volume increases compared to the previous year’s second quarter (a 38 Bcf/d increase for the top 20), an estimated 10.7 Bcf/d decline in volumes appeared compared to the first quarter of this year. All signs currently point to much greater declines as the year progresses.

September 6, 2002

ECONnergy Cracks Western New York Gas Market

Marketer ECONnergy Energy lays claim to the title of fastest-growing retail natural gas marketer in National Fuel Gas (NFG) territory, moving into the number three slot among marketers in the western New York area after just three weeks of phone and door-to-door solicitations.

August 8, 2001