In less than two months, BP Amoco Canada has succeeded inunloading all of its crude oil producing properties in Canada in aneffort to lower costs and focus on natural gas, gas liquids andpetrochemicals. The company sold the high-cost heavy oil operationsto Canadian Natural Resources and Penn West Petroleum for C$1.6billion. The assets include five major fields, which currentlyproduce a total of 54,300 b/d of oil and liquids and 75 MMcf/d ofgas. About 250 employees will be affected by the sale, but many areexpected to sign on with the two buyers, said Dan Kane, spokesmanfor BP Amoco Canada.
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Though the May Henry Hub futures contract eventually settled fora small gain of less than a penny, it was the screen’s morningflirtation with the $2.15-17 area that got most of the credit for astrong performance Tuesday by the cash market. Cash rises tended tofade out going westward to virtually nothing in California trading,but virtually all eastern points were up at least a nickel and inmany cases saw increases approaching a dime.
Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening signed an electric restructuringbill and related tax measures into law last Thursday less than aweek after the Maryland General Assembly passed the legislation.The new law will phase in residential customer choice over athree-year period beginning with one-third of residential customersJuly 1, 2000. Residential customers choosing to keep their utilityas supplier would get rate cuts of 3% to 7.5% to be determined bythe Public Service Commission. The rate cuts would last four yearsand then rates would be deregulated.
Less than a week after buying the gas marketing operations ofSemco Energy, MCN Energy subsidiary CoEnergy Trading announced thepurchase of Michigan-based Howard Energy Marketing’s retail gasmarketing assets for an undisclosed amount. The purchases aredesigned to bolster MCN’s unregulated marketing operations and itsinterest in the proposed Vector and Millennium Pipeline projects,which will add 1 Bcf/d of new gas transportation capacity throughthe region starting in November 2000, the company said.
Less than a week after buying the gas marketing operations ofSemco Energy, MCN Energy subsidiary CoEnergy Trading announced itis buying Michigan-based Howard Energy Marketing’s retail gasmarketing assets for an undisclosed amount. The purchases aredesigned to bolster MCN’s unregulated marketing operations and itsinterest in the proposed Vector and Millennium Pipeline projects,which will add 1 Bcf/d of new gas transportation capacity throughthe region starting in November 2000, the company said.
Dominion Resources Inc. (DRI) made its third move of 1999 andits second in less than a week to position itself as a major gasand power player in the Northeast and Midwest. Following on theheels of Monday’s announcement that DRI will acquire ConsolidatedNatural Gas (CNG), subsidiary Dominion Energy said Wednesday itwill make a $34 million (C$50 million) cash offer for RemingtonEnergy Ltd., a publicly traded gas E&P company headquartered inCalgary, AB.
The week’s trading wound to a close Friday with generally lesssoftness than had been expected. In relatively quiet activity, mostpoints were down a few cents with only occasional lapses of morethan a dime. A Midcontinent source who said Thursday he wouldn’t besurprised to see mid $1.30s pricing for the weekend, found insteadmost regional numbers averaging in the $1.50s Friday.
Traders had to think about the unthinkable Friday: Gulf Coastgas trading for less than a dollar. A large number of points inLouisiana and Texas averaged in the $0.90s, and in a few caseslow-end quotes slipped into the high $0.80s. Few markets fared muchabove a dollar other than California, Sumas, Stanfield andColumbia-Appalachia.
FERC last week proposed changes that would lead in certaininstances to a less restrictive policy for off-the-recordcommunications between the agency and those outside of it,particularly with respect to staff communications while conductingenvironmental investigations.