Though the May Henry Hub futures contract eventually settled fora small gain of less than a penny, it was the screen’s morningflirtation with the $2.15-17 area that got most of the credit for astrong performance Tuesday by the cash market. Cash rises tended tofade out going westward to virtually nothing in California trading,but virtually all eastern points were up at least a nickel and inmany cases saw increases approaching a dime.
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Columbia Gas Transmission said it opened a data room to provideinformation on 545 miles of small-diameter gas gathering pipelines,called the CHEWP system, and the Holbrook Storage Field, which has1.5 Bcf of total capacity in northern West Virginia andsouthwestern Pennsylvania. Anyone interested in the assets shouldmake an appointment to visit the data room in Charleston, WVA, bycalling (304) 357-2282.
The usual suspects are at it again, as Pennsylvania Rep. FrankTulli (R-106) and Sen. Frank Piccola (R-15) are re-introducing agas deregulation bill for small commercial and residentialcustomers. Tulli said the bill will be proposed to the legislatureearly this week. The representative hopes to have the legislationpassed through both houses by June 30.
Small gas producers might not see much if any benefit from aseverance tax relief bill passed by the Texas legislature lastweek. Oil producers, however, will get a break. Relief specified inthe bill is triggered by low commodity prices, and the trigger foroil producers already has been pulled. However, the statecomptroller’s office does not expect gas prices to dive low enough,long enough to enact relief.
Fresh after receiving a boost from a hefty storage withdrawalWednesday afternoon, natural gas futures continued higher yesterdayin yet another tumultuous trading session. And for the second dayin a row locals were seen as the catalyst, using buy stops toorchestrate a gap higher opening. But overhead resistance at $1.77held and the market was left to ebb and flow within the 4-centtrading range, which was set in the first hour of trading. TheApril contract finished up 3.9 cents to $1.762.
After apparently teasing volatility-loving traders Monday,natural gas futures have returned to the somewhat unspectaculartrading which marred the month of February by chopping lazilysideways for the past two days. Only subtle differences-Tuesday’slate decline vs. Wednesday’s late uptick-were seen asdistinguishing features in an otherwise featureless market. TheApril contract saw the largest gains, notching a 2.7-cent gain tofinish at $1.723 in light to moderate trading Wednesday.
Northwest Pipeline said it was able to keep all but a smallpercentage of markets whole after its 26-inch mainline explodedabout 8:20 p.m. PST Friday in the Columbia River Gorge area nearStevenson, WA, about 32 miles east of Portland (see Daily GPI,March 1). The rupture caused a fireball, but no injuries werereported and pipeline workers had the situation controlled withinan hour, a spokeswoman said.
Sources were searching for new ways of expressing “flat” as1999’s relative lack of volatility in day trading continued Monday.A lot of zeroes were showing up in the average-change column of theprice table even as lack of fundamentals again failed to depresscash numbers. A Southwest trader reporting “not much demand andplenty of supply available” was surprised that prices weren’t goingdown.
Companion bills have been introduced in the Texas legislature togive small producers a break on gas and oil severance taxes inlight of foundering commodity prices. If enacted, legislation wouldtrigger a temporary suspension of severance taxes on productionfrom certain wells.
Companion bills have been introduced in the Texas legislature togive small producers a break on gas and oil severance taxes inlight of foundering commodity prices. If enacted, legislation wouldtrigger a temporary suspension of severance taxes on productionfrom certain wells. Relief would be triggered if the three-monthaverage price for gas hits $1.89/Mcf (NYMEX) or $15/barrel (NYMEX)for oil.. When the price trigger is reached, the severance taxwould be suspended until the three-month average rises above thetrigger price. Severance tax relief would apply to oil productionfrom leases with wells averaging 15 barrels/d or less and to gasproduction from leases with wells averaging 90 Mcf/d or less. Ifpassed by the legislature, the measure would take effectimmediately and last until Aug. 31 or until $45 million in taxrelief has been granted, whichever comes first.