Continued uncertainty surrounding the recovery of record highwholesale prices for electricity prompted the Fitch rating serviceTuesday to lower its rating outlook from “stable to negative” forCalifornia’s three major investor-owned electric utilities. Themove came in the midst of another week of late summer heatthroughout the state that is pushing up power prices and squeezingsupplies.
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Southwest Gas threw the latest stone in the battle surroundingits proposed merger with Oneok Inc. earlier this week, refusing togo along with a request from Carl Kunasek, the Arizona CorporationCommission (ACC) chairman, to allow rival suitor Southern Union(SU) to intervene in the ACC proceedings involving the merger.
Adding to the lengthy and often heated controversy surrounding its contractual relationship with El Paso Natural Gas, Dynegy has signed a fourth contract with El Paso covering 196 MMcf/d of alternate firm backhaul capacity on the southwestern pipeline.
Adding to the lengthy and often heated controversy surroundingits contractual relationship with El Paso Natural Gas, Dynegy hassigned up for another 196 MMcf/d of El Paso pipeline capacity,bringing under its control a total of 1.5 Bcf/d of space on thesouthwestern pipeline.
So far cash prices are following the script surrounding theFourth of July holiday weekend. As virtually every trader hadexpected, the market fell hard Thursday. “There were just no buyersout there,” complained one marketer. It was a fairly quiet daysince some gas had already been committed for the weekend onWednesday or earlier, and many people were anxious to get it doneand clear out early for the holiday, said another source.
After all the volatility surrounding the May Nymex contract oflate, the spot month spent what is typically one of any contract’smost volatile trading days (its expiration) by slipping only 0.4cents to settle Tuesday at $2.262. A trader said late strengthpushed June and the rest of the outmonths up a couple of cents forthe day, and noted May would have expired with a gain, had it notbeen for a fund dumping a large position within the last 30 minutesof trading.