A combination of copious amounts of gas both in the pipe andground, and very little weather demand had the stage set perfectlyfor the futures market to trend lower Monday. But despite all theominous fundamental news and bearish sentiment, few traders wereprepared for the price erosion that occurred in early tradingyesterday. The January contract gapped dramatically lower on theopen and quickly set a $1.97 low in the first half hour of trading.That left the spot month to trade sideways for the rest of the daybefore settling at $1.976. In doing so, the January contractcrushed its previous life-of-contract low of $2.085.
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Regulations related to the construction of interstate gaspipeline facilities took center stage at FERC last week, with theCommission proposing on one hand two initiatives aimed atstreamlining and expediting the certificate process for newprojects, while at the same time seeking through a third measure toexplore the possibility of involving landowners earlier on in theprocess – a move that, while generally viewed as inevitable andeven necessary, could pose added headaches for gas pipelines.
Regulations governing the construction of natural gas pipelinefacilities took center stage at FERC yesterday, with the Commissionputting a package of proposals on the table aimed at streamliningand expediting the certification process for new projects. It seeksto do this while at the same time getting affected landowners moreinvolved in the process.
The on-going inquiry into how to regulate pipelines operating onthe Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) took center stage at FERC lastweek, with interstate pipelines and natural gas producersresponding with proposals that are miles apart.
Kentucky’s two largest electric utilities – Louisville Gas andElectric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) – announced theyclosed their merger deal yesterday, setting the stage for thecombined energy company to become a “more formidable” regionalutility competitor.
As sources had predicted, Wednesday’s run-up on the Nymex screenset the stage for cash price rises Thursday, which were abetted byfurther futures gains. There was even some expected cold weatherdemand in the central and eastern sections of the U.S. to help giveprices a little boost, traders said. Increases were on the modestside, mostly within a range of 2-5 cents.