Syntroleum Corp., the developer and owner of a proprietaryprocess for converting natural gas into synthetic crude oil, andSLH Corp., which owns about 31% of Syntroleum, agreed to merge in astock-for-stock deal, which has been approved by the boards of bothcompanies.
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The Western Natural Gas Futures contract on the Kansas CityBoard of Trade has continued its rapid expansion, with openinterest surpassing 9,000 contracts for the first time everTuesday. KCBT said long-time participants have been “putting onincreasingly large positions” and “a number of new participantsalso have entered the market.” A floor trader mentioned PG&Eand Southern Energy Marketing as being two big players. KN Energy,Oneok and Duke alsowere reported as recent big entrants.
Portland Natural Gas Transmission System (PNGTS) told the FERCCentral Maine Power Co. (CMP) is off base in its argument againstsiting of construction activity for PNGTS’ Rumford-Jay lateral pipealong a CMP power line corridor. CMP is seeking a stay order fromthe Commission.
The recent surge in natural gas futures prices became so greaton Monday that the spot April contract came within 4 cents ofreaching its all-time high trade of $2.460. However, speculatorswere quick to “pounce on a selling opportunity” at that price, theresult of which left April up just 0.8 cents for the day at $2.351.Total volume was estimated at 88,053 contracts.
Columbia Natural Resources (CNR) has expanded operations toeastern Canada with the purchase of an interest in gas and oilwells and undeveloped property in Ontario. The US$3.6 millionacquisition from Paragon Petroleum of Calgary includes a 50%interest in 24 wells and 100% of 5,000 acres of undevelopedproperty. The owner of the other 50% of the wells is CanEnercoLtd., which will market gas production. “Our move into Canada isthe second expansion of CNR’s base of operation in less than ayear,” said W. Henry Harmon, CEO. CNR’s $101 million purchase ofAlamco Inc. last August increased reserves by 25% and expandedcompany operations into southern Kentucky and northern Tennessee.
March 17 is the deadline for bidders to present proposals tosupply and manage the natural gas, electric and water and sewerutility services for the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak)at facilities across the country. The current bill for the services- which Amtrak would like to see reduced – is $30 million a year.
State regulators shouldn’t force utilities to relinquish theirmerchant role in a competitive natural gas market, industry expertsagreed last week. Why bother? Given enough time, the market will dothat job for regulators, an energy supplier remarked.
After a pause for consideration by one potential taker,TransCanada PipeLines, Canada’s second-biggest pool of natural gassupplies is again looking for new owners. Pan-Alberta Gas’president, Ross Weaver, confirmed, “we are still for sale.”