Moderate to cool conditions were still dominating the overall forecasts, and as a couple of sources had pointed out, Thursday’s 24.8-cent screen plunge “practically guaranteed” lower prices Friday. They were correct as quotes fell across the board from about C5 cents to 30 cents or so; all drops were in double digits except for those at Empress and NOVA Inventory Transfer in Western Canada.
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After refusing to bow to weak weather fundamentals in the previous two days, prices practically did a curtsy for weather Friday with declines ranging from about a dime to a quarter. The softness was fairly homogenous across geographic areas, although Northeast citygates and several western points tended to garner most of the drops of 20 cents or more.
A subsidized natural gas pipeline from Alaska would be practically a cost/benefit wash for U.S. consumer/taxpayers, but would cost lower 48 producers $60 billion, according to analysis of pending energy legislation by the Energy Department. Meanwhile, industrial consumers last week charged that the bill completely misses the point of how to serve the nation’s need for natural gas.
Merger and acquisition activity in the electric utility industry is practically non-existent in the wake of the turmoil that has exposed the frail financial underpinnings of some companies, says the head of Dominion Resources Inc., one of the few power and natural gas companies to survive the industry upheaval intact and whose stock still remains in the double digits.
In a market practically mandated by the weather forecasts, non-Rockies prices dropped by double-digit amounts in nearly all cases Friday. A winter storm approaching the upper Rocky Mountains from Northern California and the Pacific Northwest boosted area load enough to keep most Rockies points flat to mildly lower and even raise numbers at the highly temperature-sensitive Cheyenne Hub.
The screen was back to putting on a spectacular show forwatchers again Monday. It took practically all day to get there,but the July futures contract kept pushing until it eventuallywound up at $4.398, up 35.5 cents on the day and just shy of thefinal June settlement at $4.406.
As El Paso Energy sets about to become the biggest and best inpractically every sector of the natural gas and electric industry,its key gas pipeline subsidiary – El Paso Natural Gas – hasdistinguished itself on another front: it holds the record at FERCfor the most complaints filed against a single company.
One of the most significant regulatory events at FERC in 1998went by practically unnoticed: the word “proposed” was put backinto the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), said CommissionerCurt Hebert Jr. in reflecting on his first full year at the agency.Commissioner Linda K. Breathitt, who also just ended her initialyear, agreed “proposed” took on a “stronger meaning” in a specificNOPR last year, but she hardly found it to be precedent-setting.