Physical gas prices continued to advance Wednesday, posting an average gain of 12 cents overall. Multi-dollar gains permeated eastern delivery points, and Midwest locations also were firm. At the close of trading February futures had slipped 2.0 cents to $3.435 and March was down 1.6 cents to $3.437. February crude oil added 96 cents to $94.24/bbl.
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Nearly all points gained Tuesday with the overall market posting a gain on average of 7 cents. West Coast, Northeast and East points were strong, except for a few Marcellus Shale-centric points, which recorded declines of 70-80 cents as pipeline constraints in the play continue to wreak havoc on pricing.
The cash market finished the last day of August bidweek Tuesday by posting an overall gain on average of nearly 9 cents. A forecast of warmer temperatures for New England locations helped lift eastern prices, and expected increases in demand for power in California gave physical gas prices there a boost. At the close of futures trading September had eased five-tenths of a cent to $3.209 and October had slipped 1 cent to $3.212. September crude oil plunged $1.72 to $88.06/bbl.
California lawmakers on Thursday rejected an industry-opposed bill (SB 1054) on hydraulic fracturing (fracking), but a second fracking measure (AB 591) is still alive.
Several municipalities in the Southern Tier of New York have adopted nonbinding resolutions that take a stand that would allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a position that dovetails with an assertion by state officials that the drilling stimulation practice, if eventually approved by regulators, only would be permitted in communities that allowed it.
The Texas Senate Wednesday evening unanimously passed legislation to require disclosure of the contents of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fluid, “breaking ground that no other state has done,” according to state Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay). However, a floor amendment could thwart the bill’s progress.
Kern River, which had noted low linepack in a bulletin board posting Monday morning, said its system lost an additional 50,000 Dth during that gas day. That prompted the pipeline to bar any shipper drafting in a critical notice Tuesday. Kern River said it will curtail physical flows if necessary and asked customers with due-pipe imbalances to schedule payback. In response to Kern River’s situation, Las Vegas-based Southwest Gas issued a Hold Burn to Scheduled Quantities notice effective Monday until further notice.
Plains Exploration & Production Co. (PXP) said Thursday it had growth in 2010 in average daily sales volume and in proved reserves, while also posting net income of $103.3 million for the year.
The expiringd March natural gas futures contract continued lower Thursday, but not before posting a new low. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a withdrawal from inventories near what traders were expecting, but prices continued lower following the release of the data.
While still posting in excess of $1 billion in profits for all of last year, San Francisco-based PG&E Corp. reported Thursday that it took $283 million, or 43 cents/share, in charges for its utility’s fatal San Bruno transmission pipeline rupture last September.