For those interested in the ratings game, this past week was nota good one for natural gas companies as Moody’s Investors Servicedowngraded one natural gas company and Standard & Poor’s puttwo others on CreditWatch with negative implications. All threeremain in the rarefied upper ranks by virtue of the guaranteedreturns that come with their utility operations. But it’s theirincreasing unregulated business that’s making the ratings agenciesnervous.
Articles from Past
Non-regulated utility marketing affiliates may become a thing ofthe past, not as a result of forced divestiture but of voluntaryseparation, according to Hagler Bailly Consulting’s Ken Malloy.
No one stepped up to take either of the two 593,000 MMBtu/dpackages of El Paso Natural Gas transportation capacity NGC postedfor release over the past 10 days. One package was offered thoughthe end of April and the other through December 1999. Theycomprised 40% of the 1.3 Bcf/d NGC holds on El Paso and 80% of itsaccess to the San Juan Basin under the purchased contracts. NGC’sMike Flinn said market players missed a huge opportunity. One thatNGC isn’t likely to offer again.
The Texas Railroad Commission (TRC) issued a complaint and offerof settlement to Mitchell Energy & Development alleging pasttechnical violations of drilling and completion rules. Thecomplaint involves 112 wells, all of which were drilled more than35 years ago. The TRC said the actual depth of the surface casingset in each well was shorter than the depth required by andreported to the commission. Mitchell said there is no evidence ofpollution from the wells.