Futures Slip as Technicals and Fundamentals Clash

Despite a positive open and stronger cash prices, natural gasfutures slumped into the weekend as traders surveyed the prospectof more bearish news this next week in a market that many feel isalready overvalued. After opening at $2.81 the prompt contract wasunable to muster much in the way of upward momentum, and that setthe tone for a choppy, range-bound trading session. April finisheddown 1.2 cents at $2.774. Estimated volume confirmed the lacklustertrading, as only 43,848 contracts changed hands.

March 13, 2000

Traders Give April a Vote of Confidence

Fueled by positive expiration-day price action last Friday andprodded by continued anticipation of higher prices this summer,natural gas futures shuffled higher yesterday as bulls gave a warmbuying welcome to the new spot contract April. With that boost theApril contract closed up 6.9 cents at $2.686 while the summer stripwas up 5.3 cents at $2.721.

February 29, 2000

Transportation Notes

Pacific Gas & Electric issued a high-inventory OFO for todaywith $1/dth penalties for positive daily imbalances exceeding a 5%tolerance.

December 3, 1999

Transportation Notes

Over the weekend Pacific Gas & Electric issued ahigh-inventory OFO with 10% tolerance on positive daily imbalancesfor Sunday but did not continue the OFO Monday.

October 12, 1999

Bulls Finish ‘Tumultuous Week’ on Positive Note

Fresh from a gargantuan six-day, 72-cent price retreat, thenatural gas futures market regained its composure Friday, asscale-down buyers took advantage of lower prices, and new shortscovered positions into the holiday weekend. The October contractclosed up 9 cents at $2.561 in an abbreviated pre-holiday session.

September 7, 1999

Transportation Notes

Pacific Gas & Electric issued a high-inventory OFO,effective Saturday, with 5% tolerance for positive dailyimbalances. The utility projected above-target linepack throughtoday. However, fellow California distributor SoCal Gas did nothave an OFO-like Overnominations Day in place for Saturday.

August 16, 1999

Transportation Notes

Pacific Gas & Electric issued a systemwide high-inventoryOFO effective today. The order carries penalties of $1/Dth forpositive imbalances exceeding a tolerance of 11%. The utilityprojected that high linepack (200 MMcf greater than target) wouldlast through Sunday.

July 23, 1999

Producers Suffer a Monumentally Forgettable Quarter

While most large producers reported net income in the positivecolumn in the first quarter of 1998, it was not a quarter most willwant to remember, as returns compared to the first quarter of 1999dropped anywhere from Exxon’s relatively conservative 44% to 81%down for Enron Oil and Gas or a drop from $177 million in earningsin 1Q’98 for Occidental Petroleum to a $70 million loss in 1Q’99.

May 10, 1999

Market Claws Higher on Weather, Futures

Cash prices finished the week on a positive note as continuedincremental heating demand and a strong futures market bolsteredprices Friday. Trading was very active from the outset, a Gulftrader told Daily GPI. “There were some undeniable factors pointingto higher cash prices. Overnight gains in Access trading set thetone, then the over the counter market verified the strength,” heexplained. So it came as no surprise when the first cash offerswere a nickel or more above Thursday’s averages. But the marketcould not sustain the price rally and after buyers had filled theirrequirements at around 9:45 CST, seller realized their lowestprices of the day in late morning dealings.

April 19, 1999

Futures Finish Week on Positive Note

It was business as usual last week at the New York MercantileExchange as the market continued its tug of war, pitting storagebears against bottom-seeking bulls. And just as the case has beensince the middle of 1998 when the downtrend began, it was the bearswho were dominant, pulling optimistic buyers dangerously close tothe mud in the middle. But just when even the most time-weatheredbulls were ready let go of the rope, the market managed to fumblehigher in lethargic Friday afternoon trading. The April contractfinished up 1.2 cents for the day at $1.699.

March 22, 1999