Speaking in New York at the launch of the its latest Long Term Energy Scenarios, Royal Dutch/Shell Chairman Philip Watts said future energy needs could be met in radically different ways. The executive outlined what he described as two “challenging and thought provoking ideas” as to how the energy market could develop.
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Speaking in New York at the launch of the Group’s latest Long Term Energy Scenarios, Royal Dutch/Shell Chairman Philip Watts said future energy needs could be met in radically different ways. The executive outlined what he described as two “challenging and thought provoking ideas” as to how the energy market could develop.
Anadarko CEO Robert J. Allison, speaking at last week’s Rocky Mountain Natural Gas Strategy Conference, said he believes that in the long term, natural gas prices will stabilize in the $4-$6 Mcf range, although he noted that “$3 is still a pretty darn good gas price” in the overall scheme of things.
Acting on the mentality that Tropical Storm Barry was innocent until proven guilty (see Daily GPI, Aug. 3), natural gas futures tumbled lower Friday morning as traders re-initiated shorts that they had covered just 24 hours prior. As of noon (EDT), the September contract was 19.7 cents lower at $2.995. The market then proceeded sideways for most of the afternoon as sellers took a breather to monitor the storm. They were not finished however, and after gaining confidence the storm was not going to re-intensify Friday, sellers conspired for one last push lower. At the closing bell, the September contract was 22.1 cents lower at $2.971.
In a stunning show of bearishness that had even the most seasoned traders shaking their heads, natural gas futures continued lower Friday as sellers demoted prices to new 13-month lows. A gap lower opening set the tone of the session, and bulls were never able to recover. The August contract spent most of the day trading near its $3.055 low, closing 18.4 cents weaker at $3.096.
While speaking about the ongoing energy crisis in California on Friday at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was hit in the face with a pie from a protester who was then quickly removed from the building. Skilling reportedly unphased, wiped the pie from his face and commented “People in California are angry, and they should be.” He then continued on with his speech, blaming California’s regulators for the energy crisis in the state. Enron, along with numerous other energy companies have come under the spotlight after recent accusations made by Gov. Gray Davis and state officials implied that the companies forced electricity prices higher by holding back supply.
After a briefly checking below support at $4.00 and then back up into the low $4.10s, natural gas futures limped lazily sideways for much of the session Thursday as trade buying met almost equally with fund and local selling. At the closing bell the July contract was 7.4 cents lower for the session at $4.038. Estimated volume was relatively light, with only 67,994 contracts changing hands.
Following a lackluster rally attempt last Thursday, bears in the natural gas pit reasserted themselves Friday, pressuring the spot month lower for the tenth time in the last eleven trading session. Buoyed by overnight short-covering, the June contract was fast out of the chute at the opening bell, as it broke above Thursday’s $4.55 high. However, the buying pressure dried up at about 10:00 A.M. (EST) leaving the market susceptible to a sell-off. At the closing bell, June was 3.7 cents lower at $4.490.
Technicals, like a roadmap to a traveler, give natural gasfutures traders important clues as to where the market is takingthem. Although fundamental factors must never be ignored, they arehaving a vastly diminished impact during this low demand “shoulder”period. The April contract rocketed higher Tuesday after gappingabove a key technical level on the charts. April finished thesession at $5.621, up 29.9 cents on the session.
With little fresh fundamental news for which to go on, tradersin the natural gas pit at Nymex were cautious Thursday and as aresult neither bull nor bear was able to influence prices much ineither direction. Held to an extremely tight, 11-cent range, Marchprices drifted sideways yesterday, closing just four ticks lower at$5.142.