A Texas-based proppant manufacturer for the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sector said tests of a technology in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota resulted in a 39% production increase over a 90-day test period.
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Natural gas futures support from Friday and chilly temperatures arriving in much of the East were enough to propel the cash market to gains at all points on Monday with some points in the Midcontinent and West gaining more than a dollar, while most eastern points recorded additions of 30 to 60 cents.
All-time record crude futures prices combined with near-term cold forecasts and short position-covering by the funds to propel prompt-month natural gas futures north of $9 on Tuesday for the first time in nearly 15 months. Continuing what began during the Globex-only trading session on Monday, the March contract reached a high of $9.005 during Tuesday’s regular session before closing at $8.977, up 31.7 cents from Friday’s close and the highest prompt-month close in almost 25 months.
Andrew Fastow, the 42-year-old financial whiz kid who helped propel Enron Corp. to the top of the energy merchant industry only to see all of his intricate financial schemes sink the company into bankruptcy, worked out one of the most intricate deals of his career last week, after pleading guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He faces a 10-year prison sentence, forfeiture of $23.8 million in cash and assets, and he is permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
Andrew Fastow, the 42-year-old financial whiz kid who helped propel Enron Corp. to the top of the energy merchant industry only to see all of his intricate financial schemes sink the company into bankruptcy, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He faces a 10-year prison sentence, forfeiture of $23.8 million in cash and assets, and he is permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.
The continuance of heavy heating load and a major prior-day screen spike were sufficient to propel prices further upward at most points Friday. However, prospects for a bit of moderation in cold weather in several areas, the typical slump of industrial demand over a weekend and the easing or lifting of OFOs and similar pipeline constraints (see Transportation Notes) allowed a few instances of flat or softer numbers to remain in the market.
Buoyed by growing, albeit still rather moderate, heating load and a screen jump of more than 20 cents the day before, cash prices advanced strongly across the board Thursday. Increases ranged from 30 cents to nearly 60 cents, with the West tending to garner the lion’s share of the larger upticks.
Proving that Hurricane Ivan’s lasting effects on Gulf of Mexico production didn’t go unnoticed by traders, the October natural gas futures contract on Tuesday spent the day exploring resistance levels following its gap higher at the open.
North American natural gas, which helped propel EnCana Corp. to huge profits last year, will continue to be the “primary focus” for the Calgary-based company, CEO Gwyn Morgan said last week. The company on Thursday reported 2003 earnings of US$2.36 billion ($4.92/share), up 183% from pro forma 2002.
Higher oil and gas prices fueled strong quarterly earnings reports last week, with the bulk of the major and top independent oil and gas companies, including BP plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips reporting. Also reporting last week were some of the top North American independents, including EnCana, Talisman Energy Inc., Kerr-McGee Corp. and Pioneer Natural Resources.