Weak oil prices were the bane of three major producers reportingsecond quarter earnings so far. Depressed crude prices were blamedfor second quarter and 1998 first half results significantly offfrom year-ago periods. At least one company said it may refigureE&P expenditures should the low prices persist. Gas prices alsowere off in most cases but less so than oil.
Articles from Three
The currently one-member Wisconsin Public Service Commission issoon to be restored to full three-commissioner status. Thecommission has been down to one member, Joe Mettner, since May 15when Chair Cheryl L. Parrino stepped down. Previously, Dan Eastmanleft his commission post April 30.
Thursdays have been a bearish trader’s best friend lately withthree of the last four featuring follow-through selling on theheels of some hefty storage refill estimates. However, yesterdaydid not follow true to form, as traders digested alarger-than-expected 92 Bcf American Gas Association storage refillestimate then managed to push July up 2.5 cents to settle at$2.071. In doing so, several traders remarked, July exhibitedJune-like characteristics marked by narrow trading ranges amidrelatively low volume. June looked to expire without much fussearlier in the week, then the bottom dropped out on the last day.It “looks as if that was more a case of people liquidatingpositions then anything,” a trader reasoned.
FERC said it plans to begin audits of three additionalinterstate pipelines next month as part of its stepped-up effort tocrack down on abuses involving marketing affiliates. The on-siteaudits of Columbia Gas Transmission, Great Lakes Gas TransmissionL.P. and CNG Transmission are expected to get underway around May18, according to a spokeswoman.
Despite $15 oil and the whopping $810 million federal CentralGulf of Mexico lease sale three weeks ago, oil and gas prospectorshad enough shekels remaining to make the Texas General Land Officesale April 7 the largest high bids sale in 22 years and the seventhlargest in the history of the 150-plus-year old agency.
Three members of the Wisconsin Legislature told FERC this weekthey would not be supporting the Viking Voyageur project unlesssignificant safety and evironmental modifications were made.Included among the modifications are thicker pipeline in ruralareas rather than just urban areas, automatic or remote shutoffvalves every five miles rather than the planned manual shut-offvalves every 20 miles, use of technology that minimizes the noisecreated by the Hancock Compressor Station, additional pipelineprotection at certain locations so large trucks can be driven overthe line, placement of the line away from residential and schoolareas in Wautoma, routing across farmland in a way that does notimpact irrigation or drainage, and giving property owners the rightto decide where the pipeline should be placed.
Mitchell Energy & Development agreed to pay $50 million foroil and gas producing properties in three separate transactions.
CNG Energy Services of Pittsburgh signed a three-year contractwith Ormet Corp., one the nation’s largest aluminum producers andsuppliers of aluminum products, to provide gas management servicefor eight Ormet facilities in the United States. The facilitiesconsume about 12 Bcf/year
Fearing that it might be growing dusty and staid, FERC earlierthis month kicked off a three-month, all-encompassing review of itsprocedures and processes “to try and keep current with the times,including a very changing energy marketplace that we regulate,”Chairman James Hoecker said.