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March Higher as Bulls and Bears Mark Territory

A tight range and relatively quiet trading returned to thenatural gas futures pit on Monday following last Friday’s failedrally that briefly touched overhead resistance. And althoughyesterday’s highs did not approach the $1.875 notched last week,some traders felt the move was constructive for prices. Theprompt-March contract was limited to a 1.8-cent gain to finish at$1.818 for the day.

February 9, 1999

Shell to Sell Transok, Chemicals Assets, Take $4.5B Charge

Royal/Dutch Shell Group Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart said lastweek the company plans to sell 40% of it chemicals business andtake a related fourth quarter $4.5 billion after-tax charge. Hedescribed the move as the first step in “clearing out thecupboard,” which also will include selling multiple other assets inareas of high cost oil production, refining, and gas transportationand processing.

December 21, 1998

Shell Plans Chemicals Divestitures, $4.5B Charge

Shell Chairman Mark Moody-Stuart said yesterday the companyplans to sell 40% of it chemicals business and take a relatedfourth quarter $4.5 billion after-tax charge. He described it as”clearing out the cupboard.” It is the first part of a radicalrestructuring of the company that is designed to achieve $2.5billion in annual cost savings by 2001 and to create greaterefficiency during an extended period of low crude prices andincreasing competition because of consolidation among its peers.

December 15, 1998

Unicom Pondering Sale of Gas-Fired Generation

Unicom Corp.’s 2,698 MW Collins gas-fired power station could goup for sale as well as 1,396 MW of peaking units. A sale of theplants would mark the company’s exit from non-nuclear generation.As of Nov. 29, the gas plants burned nearly 45 million Btu of gassince the first of the year, a spokeswoman said.

December 4, 1998

TVA Buys Chunk of Capacity on Columbia

A transportation agreement signed by Columbia Gulf and theTennessee Valley Authority (TVA) may mark the beginning of alasting relationship. The agreement covers firm transportation onColumbia for 240,000 MMBtu/d of gas that will fuel 1,500 MW ofpower generation at TVA’s Gallatin Power Plant in Sumner County,TN. But the plant represents a small piece of a larger conversionprocess which will turn another 20 generation units to gas usageover the next year.

June 30, 1998

$2.70s Too Much For May Futures

If bullish natural gas futures traders became excited when theMay contract moved above the $2.70 mark yesterday morning, theirenthusiasm was tempered following the spot month’s daily close of$2.689. Although this represents a daily gain of 2.1 cents, onetrader is concerned that futures prices will be falling in the daysto come. “I was hoping a break above $2.70 would lead to a move to$2.80, but traders seemed pretty quick to slam the door. It lookslike profit taking has started ahead of the long holiday weekend,”he said. The New York Mercantile Exchange will be closed for GoodFriday.

April 9, 1998

Sources Think New Upticks Mark Peak of Rally

The overall price trend was up again Tuesday, but the market washardly a model of consistency. Some points, such as the Northernand Southern California borders and PG&E citygates, barelymanaged to maintain flatness or eke out small gains, while otherssuch as Waha and Northeast citygates continued to surge upward byas much as a dime or more. A marketer reporting Transco Zone 6(NYC) topping $2.60 said she hadn’t expected to see those kind ofnumbers again until next fall at the earliest.

March 11, 1998
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