Follow-through on the heels of last Friday’s positive tradingsession prompted some mild short covering which bolstered futuresfor the second Monday in a row. The September contract was thebiggest mover, posting a 6.2 cent gain to settle at 1.895 on theday.
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Weak gas processing margins prompted Mitchell Energy &Development to cut its natural gas liquids (NGL) production by morethan 20% – roughly 10,000 barrels/d. “With the collapse in thecrude oil market, gas processing margins are pretty ugly rightnow,” said George P. Mitchell, CEO. “NGLs have tracked the slide incrude prices due to weak demand and higher imports. Strong gasprices are adding to the squeeze in processing margins since makingup the volume shrinkage that occurs when we extract the liquids isa cost. With NGL inventories in the U.S. running at 10-year highs,we decided to cut back where it makes economic sense.
The changing face of the energy industry prompted NGC Corp. tochange its name to something that encompasses electric power aswell as natural gas and other commodities. NGC is now Dynegy, aname fashioned from the words dynamic and energy.
Disappointment with the development of retail gas and powermarket competition nationwide prompted another major player toannounce it is rethinking its plans and redirecting marketingefforts. EnergyOne LLC, the 50-50 marketing alliance of UtiliCorpUnited and Peco Energy, is being restructured in order to implementnew joint strategies tailored to deal with “a competitivemarketplace that refuses to show up,” the partners said yesterday.Their announcement follows by only a week Enron’s statement that itis ceasing residential marketing efforts in several states becausecompetition has been so slow to develop.