With the proceeds counted from the sale of its Permian Basin acreage earlier this year, Frisco, TX-based Comstock Resources Inc. is squarely focused on the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas, where it is drilling longer-lateral wells for less money in fewer days and looking for bolt-on acreage acquisitions. The Haynesville Shale will have to wait.
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Pointing the finger of blame squarely on the operator and regulators, federal safety officials at a meeting of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last Tuesday in Washington, DC, described last September’s fatal San Bruno, CA, natural gas transmission pipeline rupture and explosion as preventable and resulting from systemic “flawed” pipeline operations and regulatory oversight.
August natural gas futures managed to hold on to early gains and settle squarely in the bullish camp perplexing some traders. Longer-term observers see a strong physical market and the need to price in reduced injections in upcoming weeks. At the close August had risen 8.3 cents to $4.288, and September had gained 7.3 cents to $4.277. August crude oil fell $1.05 to $95.15/bbl.
Financially battered Calpine Corp. ended the week squarely facing a date with destiny, but how soon the day would come was still unknown.
As temperatures soared to the 90 degree mark across much of the Southeast U.S. and ahead of another potentially bullish storage report to be released Wednesday, natural gas traders pressed prices higher Monday, setting the stage for a possible retest of recent highs. After gapping higher on the open, the May contract shuffled mostly sideways yesterday as traders debated whether the American Gas Association would announce another withdrawal or the first injection of the season. The prompt month finished 8.9 cents higher at $5.477, its highest close since the last week of March.
Follow-through on last week’s gains and record-settingtemperatures put bulls squarely in control Monday in the Nymex gaspit. Locals and commercials were good buyers in the first hour oftrading yesterday as they buoyed the market to its highest level insix months. However, after the initial surge the market could notattract fresh buying and was left to chop sideways amid arelatively light 59,236 in estimated volume. The July contractfinished at $2.442, up 0.5 cents for the day.