Merger turmoil and tight margins are putting the screws to quitea few energy marketers, but Frost & Sullivan still sees plentyof room for the industry to grow. Several of the top-20 marketersof 1998 have exited the market, while other companies have beenspurred to acquire assets and start online trading, according to arecent study by the group.
Articles from Margins
KN Energy warned investors yesterday warm temperatures, highstorage levels, poor processing margins and reduced gastransportation throughput during the first quarter took a bite outof earnings and could continue to plague the company for the restof the year.
There’s no doubt about it, times are tough in the midstream gasbusiness. Depressed NGL prices and unfavorable margins have kept atleast one player from selling its assets while the same factorscaused another to seriously rethink the wisdom of a recentpurchase. Executives and analysts predict a lot more horse tradingof properties as companies look to rationalize assets and buildpositions for better times (hopefully) ahead.
Given the “slim to non-existent gross margins” for marketers,retail gas unbundling at the state level has been a “minimalsuccess” at best so far, according to the results of a study ofmore than 100 LDCs released earlier this week.
Coastal Corp. was able to buck the trend of poor second quarterearnings by improving refining margins, increasing its gasproduction 22% to 526 MMcf/d and raising its crude oil andcondensate production by 50% to18,063 b/d. The company reportedsecond quarter earnings of $94.6 million, or 43 cents per share, up23% (on a per share basis) from 2Q97 earnings of $79.3 million, 35cents/share.