Even as temperatures were shattering records throughout much ofthe Northeast,sending electricity prices spiking near $1000/MWhTuesday, natural gas futures were hit with a wave of selling tokick off the week. Speculative fund traders, who have been longpositions for almost three months now, were prominent sellersearly. But trade and local selling was not far behind, sending theAugust contract to its lowest level since the middle of April. Theprompt month finished down 9.6 cents at $2.191, after carving out a$2.16 bottom. Estimated volume was a robust 124,967.
Articles from Northeast
The battle over who will get to build new pipeline capacity tothe prized Northeast gas market has reached a feverish pitch, withsponsors dreaming up ways to knock out their competitors’ projects.ANR Pipeline and National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., sponsors of theproposed Independence Pipeline, recently proposed a plan that couldwipe out a large part of Columbia Gas Transmission’s MillenniumPipeline project. And Texas Eastern Transmission (Tetco) has joinedthe ranks, devising a proposal that could obviate the need forIndependence altogether and part of an associated project.
Complementing its integrated operations in Northeast Utah andwestern Colorado, Coastal Field Services, Coastal’s midstreamdivision, bought the Bluebell and Altonah gathering systems andprocessing plants located in the Duchesne and Uintah counties ofUtah. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Coastal Corporation has announced that its Coastal Powersubsidiary will build a 265 MW gas-fired power plant northeast ofDenver. Fulton Cogeneration Associates, L.P., an affiliate ofCoastal Power, will own and operate the plant and has entered intoa power purchase agreement with Public Service Company of Coloradobeginning in May of 2000. Construction of the facility will beginthis summer near Brush, CO. Colorado Interstate Gas Company, also asubsidiary of The Coastal Corporation, will build a pipeline fromits Young and Fort Morgan natural gas storage fields to transportnatural gas to the plant.
FERC sent one major Midwest-to-Northeast pipeline project backto the drawing board last week but gave another competing project afinal green light. The $447 million Vector Pipeline emergedvictorious, receiving FERC’s final approval and a presidentialpermit in a draft order, while the $400 million TriState Pipelinewas told it must redesign the pipeline-lease portion of itsproposal to get FERC’s rubber stamp.
FERC shot down one major Midwest-to-Northeast pipeline projectyesterday but gave another competing project a final green light.The $447 million Vector Pipeline emerged victorious, receivingFERC’s final approval and a presidential permit in a draft order,while the $400 million TriState Pipeline was sent back to thedrawing board to redesign the pipeline-lease portion of itsproposal.
Maritimes &Northeast Pipeline sponsors defended their proposed pipeline certificate (Phase II) amendment last week against attack by some the project’s own shippers and others who say it is too large and too costly for the market it will serve. Project sponsors said the calls for a stay on the project and a hearing on its size are based on a misreading of its amendment filing and a misunderstanding of its agreements with its shippers (see NGI, Feb. 22 issue).
The only non-affiliated shipper that has signed up for firmtransportation service on the Maritimes & Northeast Pipelineproject clearly is regretting it now. Boston Gas told FERC lastweek a request by Maritimes in January to amend its pipelinecertificate, eliminate about 140 miles of laterals in Maine andraise its mainline rates 61% because of the loss of numerous U.S.markets shows a lapse in rationality.
Significantly increasing its presence in the Northeast, SempraEnergy’s marketing arm, Sempra Energy Trading, agreed Thursday tomanage the supply and delivery of gas to serve Southern ConnecticutGas Co.’s 158,000 customers. Terms of the one-year agreement werenot disclosed. Sempra will begin April 1.
Unable to complete final agreements with many of its U.S.markets, Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline is expected to file anamended certificate application for Phase II of its pipelineproject with FERC this month that will defer construction of nearlyall of its previously planned pipeline laterals in the U.S. It alsois expected to show an increase in rates because of newcalculations of construction costs.