The May Nymex contract surged 13.3 cents to $2.668 Wednesday,despite cash market prices which remained relatively unchanged. Thereason why? “Who really knows, but what I do know enough funds wereconvinced this market was a play to trigger buy stops above $2.61.Estimated volume of more than 80,000 contracts tells you that,” asource told GPI.
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Despite reaching another record of 2,899 Bcf, Canadian gasimports grew by only 0.5%, or 15.4 Bcf, last year, which was thelowest growth level in the past 11 years, according to a report bythe Department of Energy. DOE attributed the slow-down to tightimport pipeline capacity. It also mentioned prices at gas importpoints (under long-term and short-term contracts) in 1997 averaged$2.11, 10% higher than average prices in 1996. The average price ofCanadian gas at major import points rose 46% over the past twoyears, DOE said.
Despite the growing interest by foreign markets and potentialinvestors in the proposed LNG portion of the Trans-Alaska GasSystem (TAGS), the May 22 deadline set by FERC for start-up of theconstruction of the export project will not be met, says thesponsor of the proposed facility. Yukon Pacific Co. L.P. has askedthe Commission to extend the deadline, which was set back in 1995,until May 2001, saying that a refusal by FERC would be a “serioussetback” and might cause it to abandon the LNG project altogether.
Despite a three-month delay because of technical interfaceproblems, the California Independent System Operator and theCalifornia Power Exchange Corp. (PX) announced they have completeda week’s worth of testing and have notified FERC they’re ready toopen the statewide electricity market on March 31. They intend tocommence operations by accepting bids in the Day Ahead market onMarch 31 with the first full day of operations being the day after.
Despite already having held a series of hearings on the project,FERC yesterday set for hearing the issue of whether the market needfor a controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility plannedfor a Maine community could be better met by alternative pipelineprojects.
Despite predictions of waning gas supplies and worries over Gulfof Mexico production potential from some, several companies aretouting boom years for reserve replacement with some settingrecords. The strong reserve replacement came in a year when gasproduction is said to have seen only a modest increase of abouthalf a Bcf. Much of the good news for reserve replacement comesfrom oil and international operations, but domestic gas fared well,too, according to some company reports.