Prices continued to soften Friday but except for some steepdrops in the West, the weekend declines were considerably smallerthan many traders had been expecting.
Articles from Steep
Eastern Heat Helps Keep Cash Prices from Falling
Some sources figured the screen’s steep drop Friday afternoonwould have a depressing effect on cash numbers Monday, but theyreckoned without the heat that began blanketing the U.S. east ofthe Mississippi River over the weekend and continued through earlythis week.
Weekend Price Dive Materializes as Predicted
As expected, weekend prices took a steep plunge in Friday’strading as almost every point fell by around 20 cents or more. Thebiggest drops of almost 40 cents occurred at the SouthernCalifornia border and PG&E citygate, where both majordistributors had widely anticipated high-inventory OFOs in placefor Saturday.
Expectations of Weekend Price Plunge Fulfilled
When futures took a steep dive after cash trading had beencompleted Thursday, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to predictthat cash prices would be headed into the dumpster Friday. Sureenough, quotes for the weekend were way down. Most of the declineswere between 10 and 25 cents, but some in Appalachia and theNortheast reached the 40-50 cents range. The smaller drops tendedto be concentrated at western points.
Price Declines for Weekend Milder Than Thursday’s
It had appeared Thursday the tumble back down for cash pricesmight get just as steep as the climb upward had been earlier lastweek. But in Friday’s trading for the weekend, the downward slopegot considerably gentler as few points other than the Southwestbasins fell more than a nickel, and many declines were milder thanthat. In fact, Northern Natural’s demarc and Ventura points sawsmall upticks due to freezing temperatures in parts of the pipe’smarket area, and Chicago citygates also rose, probably fromforecasts of the Upper Plains chill moving eastward.
Prices Continue to Slide but at a Slower Pace
Cash prices continued this week’s slide Wednesday, although thedescent wasn’t as steep as on the day before. Most of the newdeclines were around a dime or slightly more. The few pipes fallingless than a dime tended to be clustered in the Midcontinent.
El Paso Buys Into Enron’s NJ Power
Attempting to meet steep generation acquisition goals set by itsCEO for 1999, El Paso Energy recently bought a 49% ownershipinterest in East Coast Power, a subsidiary of Enron Corp. Terms ofthe deal were not disclosed. Enron still maintains control of thecompany with its 51% interest. El Paso said this deal is the firstdomestic power alliance between the two companies.
Sumas Price Spike May Signal New Trend
A steep price spike highlighted a lasting change in natural gasprices at Sumas, the Washington state entry point for exports fromBritish Columbia, say Canadian producers and marketers.
April Prices Continue to Soften for Weekend
Late-April prices maintained their weakening ways Friday,although most of the declines were not as steep as on “BlackThursday,” as one producer called it. The largest drops tended tobe concentrated at Western points, especially with Malin andPG&E citygates falling at double-digit rates again. Theirsoftness was exacerbated by PG&E’s Stage 2 OFO that becameeffective Saturday. The OFO, prompted by high system linepack,carried penalties of $5/dth for any deliveries exceeding 110% of acustomer’s nominated volumes.