U.S. Remains LNG Market’s Stepchild

Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the United States this year will fall “well short” of the 770 Bcf seen last year, likely hitting only 420 Bcf, an amount “staggeringly below” previous projections, according to Houston-based consultancy Waterborne Energy Inc.”We knew U.S. LNG imports would fall short of 2007 volumes when we saw delays in new production and demand rising in Europe and Asia,” said Waterborne President Steve Johnson.

June 20, 2008

Latest Arctic Blast Lifts Prices at All Points

The most recent of an extended series of quick-hitting blasts of arctic air that has made a shambles of forecasts for a warmer-than-normal February created abundant heating load for Wednesday in northern market areas. The result was cash price gains across the board Tuesday. The return of industrial load from a holiday weekend absence also was a bullish factor.

February 20, 2008

Futures One Big Game of ‘Pong’ as Prices Decline on Schedule

After running up and hitting the key $8 resistance level late last week, July natural gas futures spiraled lower on Monday, following a well-worn trading pattern of the last few months. The prompt month settled at its low of the day at $7.690, down 22.8 cents from Friday’s close.

June 19, 2007

NV Consumer Advocate, Utilities Spar Over Outages, Rates

In what could be part of the prelims to bigger, harder-hitting fights, Nevada Consumer Advocate Eric Witkoski in March has publicly lashed out at Sierra Pacific Resources’ two utilities, alleging possible shoddy maintenance practices in the north and an excessive general rate increase request in the south. Meanwhile, the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that regulates the utilities has been mostly quiet.

March 20, 2007

Sempra Utilities, PG&E Crank Up Gas in Midst of Cold

With temperatures hitting record lows statewide, Sempra Energy’s two utilities covering the southern half of California reported Tuesday sending out substantially larger amounts of natural gas to residential and small business customers over the three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend. Both Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. expect demand for January to be more than 20% higher than the same month a year ago.

January 18, 2007

Futures Test Recent Range’s Upside, Settle 44.2 Cents Higher

Natural gas futures continued their range-bound dance Monday as May natural gas tested the upper limits of the recent $6.65 to $7.65 trading range. After hitting a high of $7.630 late in the afternoon, the prompt month went on to settle at $7.577, up 44.2 cents on the day.

April 18, 2006

Recent Range Explored Last Week; May Futures Finish Significantly Lower

After hitting its head on a high of $7.630 to begin the week on Monday, May natural gas explored the lower boundaries of its recent range to finish the week Friday. After recording a low of $6.670, the prompt month settled at $6.743, down 22.9 cents on the day and 46.7 cents lower for the week.

April 10, 2006

Reserves Hit 21-Year High, But with More Reliance on Unconventional Gas, Says AGA

According to the American Gas Association (AGA), the country’s gas reserves grew by about 4 Tcf last year to 197 Tcf, hitting levels not seen since 1984. The AGA estimate is based on results reported by 30 large reserves holders, which represent about half of U.S. reserves.

April 3, 2006

El Paso Reports ’05 Proved Reserves Climbed 22%

Hitting the comeback trail, El Paso Corp. reported Tuesday its year-end 2005 proved natural gas and oil reserves totaled 2.7 Tcfe, up 22% from 2004. The total included El Paso’s share of proved reserves in Four Star Oil & Gas Co. During 2005, El Paso’s exploration and production (E&P) capital expenditures totaled $1.867 billion, and reserve replacement costs were estimated to be $2.36/Mcfe.

January 18, 2006

Futures Gain a Few Pennies as Year-End, Warmer Temperatures Loom

After hitting their head on resistance at the $14.490 level in the overnight Access trading session, January natural gas futures opened Tuesday’s regular session at $13.950. Following tests in both directions during the regular session, the prompt month ended up settling near flat at $14.080, up just 3.7 cents from Monday’s close.

December 21, 2005