Due to the increased natural gas demand in the country sparked by new gas-fired generation coming online, the United States is experiencing the largest wave of pipeline infrastructure expansion since the early 1960’s , according to a recent advisory from Industrial Information Resources Inc. (IIR). The consultant group said it expects 25,000 miles of gas transmission pipeline will be constructed by 2010 and an additional 13,000 miles by 2015, with estimates ranging up to 275,000 miles or more of distribution pipelines.
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Another 555 MW of new generation were officially brought online in California Monday by a now familiar pair–Gov. Gray Davis and Calpine Corp.CEO/founder Peter Cartwright–bringing to 1,400 MW the total for three new plants the governor has helped launch over the past two weeks. This one is Los Medanos Energy Center in the East San Francisco Bay industrial town of Pittsburg.
California is shooting to have all of its qualifying facility (QF) power generation plants back online within the next eight to 10 days, a move that will help ease California’s energy crunch, but won’t solve it completely, state officials told a U.S. House hearing Thursday.
In only six months since going live with its full spectrum of over-the-counter (OTC) products, Online trading platform IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), has made a significant impact on the energy and metals markets. The company said over 42,000 trades have been made on ICE since it commenced trading with a combined notional value of $70 billion. Trading volumes on ICE have been growing exponentially with average daily volume in March up 33% from February.
Volumes on IntercontinentalExchange, an online marketplace forover-the-counter energy and metals, reported late last week that ithas notched another single day record on its power exchange,trading 4 mmMWh on March 22 on its power. The company said thetrading volume on that day was centered on the popular Cinergy Hub.The new record dethrones the one previously set on Feb. 27, whenthe exchange saw 3 mmMWh in trading.
All points were falling Monday in the general absence of severewinter weather except in parts of the Upper Midwest. For a change,the softness was relatively consistent; although California onceagain registered declines larger than most at the border and Malin,it was not nearly as out of step with the overall market as itoften had been since March began. Most of Monday’s drops werebetween 10 and 20 cents.
A special session yesterday of California’s regulators gavePG&E’s utility authority to amend its gas supply deals to keepsupplies flowing to the state past Feb. 7 when the current federalDOE emergency order expires, but it postponed action on anotherPG&E request that Southern California Gas Co. — which hasstrongly objected — be compelled to provide emergency supplies tothe PG&E utility’s residential and small business customers.
Although the shakeout in the online energy trading marketplaceis expected to take its toll on large and small companies, in thelong run, the Internet will become the first choice for buying andselling energy products, according to an expert who follows theindustry on a daily basis.
Dynegydirect, the B2B portal and trading site launched by Houston-based Dynegy Inc. that began trading Nov. 1, announced it had exceeded $1.5 billion in online notional transactions by early last week, with more than $1 billion of the energy and communications commodity transactions generated by new customers. The site now has more than 400 registered users (see NGI, Oct. 23).