As the U.S. Congress went into the night with what could be its final, and very lengthy, session for the year, there was still a chance the pipeline safety legislation, the only remaining piece of the once comprehensive energy bill, might squeak through attached to another measure. As of press time late Wednesday it was still a possibility.
Articles from Night
Kenneth L. Lay, 59, the chairman and CEO of Enron Corp., resigned on Wednesday night. Although expected by many, Lay’s departure as captain of the company he created in 1985 seemed to signal a new beginning for the now bankrupt energy trader. Enron has begun the search for a restructuring specialist who can move the company from insolvency into the black once again.
Citing forecasts indicating that freezing temperatures would be moving into Florida Wednesday night and this morning, and noting that its overall linepack was lower, Florida Gas Transmission declared an Overage Alert Day notice Wednesday for its market area. The notice carried a 15% tolerance for negative daily imbalances.
House lawmakers worked into the night Wednesday, vigorously debating the Republican-focused omnibus energy bill, with GOP legislators touting the environmental, conservation and supply features of the packed energy initiative, while Democrats assailed the $33 billion in tax credits being offered to producers. Because debate was expected to last 12 hours, Capitol Hill observers did not expect a final vote until late Wednesday at the earliest.
Pressured by selling in Thursday night’s Access trading session,natural gas futures broke to the bottom of its recent trading rangeFriday as sellers liquidated positions ahead of the weekend. Aftergapping lower at the open, the price action was almost entirely inbears’ favor. A brief and ultimately insignificant rally attemptshortly after noon (EST) was all bulls could muster and as a resultprices were left to finish the day on their lows. The Aprilcontract was the hardest hit, dropping 21.3 cents to close at$5.072.
After failing to fill in a looming chart gap on the daily chartsduring Sunday night’s Access trading session, natural gas futuressank lower for much of the session Monday, as day traders rotatedto the short side of the market. That selling pressure enabled theFebruary contract to trim all of Sunday’s advances, finishing 0.2cents down on the day at $7.457.
Adding to gains achieved in Tuesday night’s Access tradingsession, natural gas futures spiraled higher Wednesday as tradersprobed into uncharted price territory in reaction to anotherbullish storage report. Fueled by that buying pressure, theDecember contract finished 24.9 cents higher at $6.265, almost$2.00 above lows notched two weeks ago.
Transwestern declared force majeure at its Gallup (NM)Compressor Station Tuesday after a unit went down during the nightdue to an electrical problem. San Juan Lateral capacity was reducedto 760,000 MMBtu/d. The pipeline replaced the electrical part andwill have the unit back in service for today’s gas day.