A delayed and abridged trading windup in the March futures contract(see details in futures and news stories) Wednesday put a large crimpin the progress of bidweek activity, sources told Daily GPI. While tosome it was just an annoying wait, others complained of having totrade in the dark. A producer said the cash market had been renderedvery quiet by the phone outages that caused Nymex to shut down theexchange temporarily. “For a while we didn’t even know whether ourorders were filled,” he said. “It’s hard to take a cash position ifyou are unsure where your hedge lies.”
Articles from Republished
Williams’ field services unit has agreed to process 300 MMcf/dof gas for Exxon Company USA at its gas liquids extraction plant tobe built near Coden, AL. The deal is the largest processingcontract to date for the field services unit. The NGL extractionplant is expected to be in service by the first quarter of nextyear and will have 600 MMcf/d of inlet capacity. The Exxon gasrepresents dedicated production from multiple leases in the MobileBay area. Remaining plant capacity will be filled through theexpansion of the Transco Mobile Bay Lateral as well as other gasproduction currently flowing on the existing Transco pipeline. Aspokeswoman said the company expects to sign five or six morecontracts to handle gas at the new plant, which is expandable up toat least 900 MMcf/d.
California State University (CSU) and the University ofCalifornia (UC) signed up with Enron Energy Services (EES) forpower to serve all 22 CSI campuses and all nine UC campuses andother facilities. The deal is the largest direct-access electricenergy contract in the country, Enron said. The two institutionsare projected to save more than $15 million over the next fouryears.
More than 250 commercial gas customers in the District ofColumbia will soon have the opportunity to choose a gas supplierother than Washington Gas. The District of Columbia Public ServiceCommission (PSC) approved the company’s request to offer choice inthe District to large commercial customers who use at least 60,000therms/year and who do not maintain an alternate to gas service.(60,000 therms is about 60 times what the average residentialheating customer uses annually.) Large interruptible customers whouse more than 250,000 therms annually have had supplier choicesince 1988.
Customer choice for all Pennsylvania natural gas customers couldbecome an option within the next few months, and the law thatemerges from the months of statehouse wrangling could add directionto unbundling activities in other states.
In a deal that could be the first of its kind in the nation,Pacific Gas and Electric is locked in serious negotiations withnorthern California natural gas producers to sell them itsextensive utility gas gathering system linked to in-state wells,most of which are in the dry gas fields of the greater SacramentoValley. The deal being sought, which is expected to take the betterpart of 1998 to gain final regulatory approvals, is an offshoot ofthe omnibus Gas Accord unbundled intrastate transmission andstorage services that start March 1. The parties will not put adollar value on the facilities involved in the negotiations, but itis conservatively estimated at tens-if not hundreds-of millions ofdollars, involving hundreds of miles of low- and medium-pressurepipelines and related gathering facilities linked to more than 100producers.
The way FERC figures pass-through of costs in oil pipeline ratecases could hamper future use of converted lines, according toCommissioner Linda T. Key Breathitt, who issued dissenting opinionsin two oil pipeline cases involving Rio Grande and LonghornPartners Pipelines [OR97-1-001 and OR95-7]. In both cases theCommission ruled that the companies would not be allowed to passthrough the full purchase price of the pipelines, only thedepreciated original cost of the line. “In an area where Congresshas asked us to exercise regulatory restraint we turn around andapply textbook principles in a manner that may discourage futureconversions of oil pipelines to new uses,” Breathitt said. Theorders examine the corporate relationships between the companies toarrive at the conclusion that the companies are selling assets tothemselves. But Breathitt believes arguments about corporate tiesin these cases don’t apply. She was joined by Commissioner CurtHebert.
El Paso Energy International announced final agreements havebeen signed by the partners of an international consortium to buildthe 325-mile Gasoducto del Pacifico pipeline from Argentina acrossthe Andes mountains into Chile, roughly 300 miles south ofSantiago. Construction on the $380 million project has alreadybegun and the pipeline is scheduled to be in service by late 1999.The initial delivery capacity of the system is estimated to be 140MMcf/d.
Tennessee Gas Pipeline has filed plans to increase capacity onsix separate pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico that together wouldrepresent an increase of over 720 MMcf/d in offshore lines owned byTennessee and other parties and a net increase in deliverabilityout of the Gulf of 200 MMcf/d.