San Diego-based Sempra Energy, the creation of a merger betweenPacific Enterprises and Enova in mid-1998, has announced avoluntary job cut plan seeking a net reduction of about 275positions, or about 2.5% of its overall work force. The majority ofthe job eliminations will be rolled out in January focusing onmanagement and administrative support jobs at Sempra’s corporateheadquarters and in its two California utilities, SouthernCalifornia Gas and San Diego Gas and Electric.
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The controversial two-year period in which Dynegy Marketing andTrade held a huge chunk of El Paso’s firm capacity to the SouthernCalifornia border is coming to an end, and western gas traders arelooking for a new market regime in the new millennium. Unless thepipeline manages to negotiate a deal for most if not all of thecapacity expiring at the end of 1999, traders are expecting theabundance of transportation space from Southwest basins to theborder to lower regional prices next year.
For a lower-demand weekend period preceded by a falling screenand expected to continue the unseasonably warm weather pattern thatdominated nearly all of November, there was surprising firmness inmost of the cash market Friday. Except for further Northeastcitygate declines, essentially flat quotes prevailed elsewhere. Onetrader suggested the moderate gain in futures Thursday may haveprovided a modicum of psychological support for cash traders Fridaymorning.
The usual softness that accompanies a lower-demand weekendperiod arrived on schedule Friday. Price movement ranged from flatat some Rockies points to down as much as a dime in the Gulf Coast.Once more, mild weather along the East Coast caused Northeastcitygates to register the biggest declines of 15 cents or more,with Transco’s Zone 6-NYC pool again topping the list with a fallof about 30 cents. The Zone 6 slide into the mid $2.30s left ittrading little more than 20 cents above the production area’sTransco Station 65.
Following the lead of an essentially flat screen during most ofthe cash trading period, the spot market leveled off Wednesday,with small upticks outweighing the few small declines. An Arcticcold front was moving eastward toward the Midwest and eventually tothe Northeast, making citygates tend to rise a bit more thanproduction-area points.
During the Oct. 29-31 period, PG&E GT-Northwest will takethe Stanfield (OR) Meter Station out of service to completemodifications requested by Northwest Pipeline to meet expandingdemand of 130,000 Dth. Physical deliveries to Northwest will belimited to 200 MMcf/d through an emergency intertie. There will beno net physical receipts into PG&E GT-NW. Capacity allocationswill be based on service priority.
Northern States Power Co. issued a request for proposals (RFP)for up to 1,200 MW of power generation capacity and associatedenergy for a period of 10 years, beginning sometime between May 1,2003, and May 1, 2005. NSP will use the additional resources tomeet increased retail customer demand. NSP is seeking peaking,intermediate and base-load resources. The RFP is open to allsources of power, including renewable resources. NSP will selectwinning proposals based on cost, environmental impact and deliveryguarantees. Before awarding the contract(s), NSP will submit theevaluation of the proposals to the Minnesota Public UtilitiesCommission (MPUC) for review. For a copy of the RFP or moreinformation, contact David L. Zuck at (612) 330-6452. He also maybe reached via fax, (612) 330-5868, or e-mail,email@example.com.
Traders who had been pleading for more market volatility duringa long period of relatively little price movement got it in spadesMonday-at least the ones who deal in eastern markets did. Numbersin the East rose by anywhere from 10 to 20 cents, with many pointsup by 15 cents or more. Western increases were considerably moresubdued; many were only a nickel or so, with San Juan Basin’suptick of about a dime leading the region.