If bullish natural gas futures traders became excited when theMay contract moved above the $2.70 mark yesterday morning, theirenthusiasm was tempered following the spot month’s daily close of$2.689. Although this represents a daily gain of 2.1 cents, onetrader is concerned that futures prices will be falling in the daysto come. “I was hoping a break above $2.70 would lead to a move to$2.80, but traders seemed pretty quick to slam the door. It lookslike profit taking has started ahead of the long holiday weekend,”he said. The New York Mercantile Exchange will be closed for GoodFriday.
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After 30% of its gas customers saved $7 million (11%) on theirgas bills through a customer choice pilot in Toledo, OH, last year,Columbia Gas of Ohio decided the results were too good to withholdfrom the rest of its customer base. The Ohio utility filed anapplication with the Ohio Public Utility Commission late Tuesday toallow the rest of its 1.3 million customers to choose alternativesuppliers.
Kentucky’s two largest electric utilities – Louisville Gas andElectric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) – won final FERCapproval for their merger Wednesday, paving the way for itscompletion sometime in the second quarter, the utilities said.
Cash price quotes again put on their stuck-in-cement actWednesday as flatness remained the common denominator among mostmarkets. But snowy conditions in the Rockies couldn’t keep mostof the region’s pipes from softening into the mid $1.90s.Denver-Julesburg Basin gas into CIG yielded about the only Rockiesquotes still above $2. A Denver-area trading firm reportedly closedits offices early Wednesday because of the snowstorm, as did manyColorado schools.
The dueling U.S. titans were continuing their battle to be thenew owner of England’s The Energy Group. Texas Utilities said itacquired 36.9 million more Energy Group shares at 840 pence/share,representing about 7.1% of The Energy Group’s issued share capital,and now holds 114.4 million shares, about 21.96% of issued sharecapital. TU had the blessing of U.S. regulators for the shareacquisition.
The April NYMEX contract gained a meager 1.8 cents to $2.155 onMonday, as traders continue to hold the spot month to a tighttechnical trading range. The bottom of that range was confirmedwhen April bounced off major support at $2.105. Despite the narrowtrading band, estimated volume still managed to reach 33,502 totalcontracts.
Texaco and Chevron are proceeding on a fast track with a $185million subsea production system for their Gemini prospect, asubsalt project in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico expected to yieldup to 300 Bcf of gas and four million barrels of condensate.
TransEnergy Management and SABRE Energy Network will interfacetheir respective software products. Under the agreement, users willhave the ability to submit pipeline nominations and to receiveconfirmations through TransEnergy’s Energy Marketing Systemelectronically using SABRE Energy’s SEN*Net product. SEN*Net is astandardized alternative to the numerous pipeline electronicbulletin boards (EBBs) through which most nominations andconfirmations for gas transactions are now made.
Expiration days are known for their unusualness, but perhaps noother day in the history of the New York Mercantile Exchange willmatch the one turned in yesterday. The last few days of trading hadbeen relatively tame, but a telephone glitch that knocked outcommunications on the floor of the Exchange (see “Phone Lines Dead; Nymex TradingDisrupted”) at approximately 1:50 EST forced many traders intotrading at prices and volumes “that they otherwise would not havedone,” a source told GPI. As a result of the madness, the Marchcontract finally left the board at $2.286, up an even 7.0 cents forthe day.