The Rockies Express Pipeline (REX) is “about two-thirds finished” and the REX-East portion that runs to Lebanon, OH, will be ready for service by the end of this month, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) CEO Rich Kinder said Tuesday.
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Traders looking for the expiring May natural gas futures contract to test psychological support at $3 were sorely disappointed Tuesday as it instead finished its run by gaining 6.8 cents over Monday’s close to terminate at $3.321. The June contract, which takes over Wednesday as the prompt month, added 7.8 cents to close at $3.440.
Just a few months after it completed separate pipeline expansion projects in Texas and New Mexico, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) has finished its 56-mile Katy expansion pipeline project, which increases the capacity of the partnership’s existing ETC Katy natural gas pipeline in southeast Texas by more than 400 MMcf/d.
Prices rose by double-digit amounts at all points but one Monday. Colder weather was returning in most of the East and the previous Friday’s 34.9-cent jump by February futures provided additional support for Monday’s cash market. The return of industrial load from its typical weekend hiatus also played a role in the price strength.
Natural gas futures finished the week on a weak note Friday despite another record run higher in neighboring crude futures. August natural gas closed Friday’s regular session at $11.904, down 39.6 cents from Thursday and $1.673 lower than the previous week’s finish.
Completing an effort to simplify its organizational structure, Royal Dutch Shell plc on Sunday finished the previously announced merger between its wholly owned subsidiary, Shell Energy North America (US), LP and four of that company’s U.S.-based Coral operating companies. Shell Energy North America (US), LP is the remaining entity.
A day after dropping 28.2 cents, natural gas futures staged a rally on Friday, with traders pushing the June contract to a high of $10.785 before it finished the session at $10.777, up 21.6 cents from Thursday, but 32.4 cents lower than the contract’s close a week earlier. The May contract expired April 28 at $11.280.
Attempting to capture Tuesday’s downward momentum, natural gas futures traders on Wednesday pushed the June contract to a low of $10.665 before an afternoon bounce finished the regular session at virtually unchanged from Tuesday’s close. The prompt-month contract closed at $10.843, up one-tenth of a penny from the previous day.
Keeping the theme intact of moving mostly as a whole on a daily basis, a vast majority of cash points finished out the week with gains on Friday, recording hikes that ranged mostly from a few pennies to a quarter. A few El Paso points out West were some of the only losers on the day, shedding a couple of pennies apiece. It was an up and down week. Friday’s gains built on increases Thursday. Monday and Wednesday showed overall declines offset by widespread increases Tuesday.
After starting last week’s holiday-shortened trading period with gains at all points, the cash market finished with across the board losses Friday. The bearish factors were easy to tick off: a period of weather moderation that began Friday would continue through the weekend; February futures dropped 17.6 cents the day before; and the usual decline of industrial load over a weekend was a factor.