Bowing to unrelenting upward pressure on wholesale natural gas prices, the Oregon Public Utility Commission Thursday approved sizable retail rate increases for the state’s three major private-sector natural gas utilities, ranging from 13.5% to 26.8%.
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Days after the company announced it would officially exit the wholesale energy marketing and trading business by the end of the third quarter, Kansas City-based Aquila Inc. reported a loss of $5.69 per share for the second quarter, compared to earnings per share of $1.21 in the second quarter of 2001.
Nine consecutive weeks of sizable, if not record, builds to natural gas storage inventories appear to be lessening some of the concerns about supply levels for next winter, but major industrial gas customers aren’t feeling any easier.
All points joined Monday in rebounding from weekend softness, but except for sizable transportation constraint-linked gains of 30 cents or so at the Southern California border, San Juan Basin and the Rockies, other advances were more moderate at about 15 cents or less.
Most points registered double-digit losses ranging from a little more than a dime to about a quarter Monday. The exceptions of declines less than a dime tended to cluster in the Rockies and California, while significantly larger plunges of more than 30 cents and 80 cents were recorded at the Florida citygate and San Juan Basin respectively.
Coming as no surprise Thursday, Aquila Inc., which shut down its marketing and trading business earlier this week (see Daily GPI, Aug. 7), reported a loss of $5.69 per share for the second quarter, compared to earnings per share of $1.21 in the second quarter of 2001. The troubled Kansas City-based company took its lumps on its Quanta Services investment, company restructuring and lower commodity trading volumes and prices.
Led by the sizable decline in natural gas and oil prices, Kerr-McGee Corp. reported drastically lower third quarter earnings when compared to the same period a year ago. Including charges for special items, the company posted net income of $26 million ($0.27 per share) for the quarter, compared with $265 million ($2.57 per share) during the same quarter in 2000.
PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. made a potentially sizable gasdiscovery offshore Nova Scotia about 25 miles from Sable Island. Inthe past year, the company has drilled two exploration wells intogeological zones under the Panuke oil field, about 155 milessoutheast of Halifax. During testing, each well flowed at more than50 MMcf/d, the maximum capacity of the testing equipment. Thewells, PP-3C and PI-1B, intersected net pay of more than 230 feetand 100 feet, respectively.
For the second day in a row Friday, the futures market was ableto shrug off sizable losses in the physical market to trade oneither side of unchanged. No fresh news was seen to inspire theNovember contract outside its unusually narrow 3 cent trading rangeand the market was left to settle at $2.164, a 1.2 cent loss forthe day.