Change in the electric industry will mirror what took place inthe gas industry following deregulation and the introduction ofcompetition, particularly with regard to trading, Enron PresidentJeffrey K. Skilling told attendees at Ernst & Young LLP’s ninthannual Energy Conference in Houston Tuesday.
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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.
Hurricane Georges took aim at the Gulf of Mexico Friday afterpassing the southern tip of Florida, and producers and pipelineswere responding. The pace of platform evacuations and productionshut-ins accelerated rapidly following tentative starts in theMobile Bay area Thursday. Evacuation reports extended as far westas the West Cameron area off southwest Louisiana. As of late Fridayafternoon a hurricane watch was in effect from Morgan City, LA, toSt. Marks, FL.
Williams took a bigger jump into the energy marketing businessyesterday by announcing it has acquired full ownership ofEnergyVision by purchasing the 50% interest in the company that washeld by BEC Energy. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
California regulators took another step toward unbundling thenatural gas business in the state last week, issuing proposedguidelines and saying it will remove limits on the state’sseven-year core aggregation program, meaning any size core customereventually will be able to choose a new supplier.
Cash prices took a cue from the futures screen Thursday andpulled out of their headlong dive that has dominated the marketsince Monday. But sources considered the general leveling off ofprices, which leaned slightly to the softer side, as onlytemporary. Noting that Northern market areas already have startedcooling off from their recent temperature heights and that thecooling trend is expected to spread further this weekend, manytraders expect the general downturn to resume today.
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.
IPL Energy and MCN Energy took the last major regulatory step inadvancing their 1 Bcf/d Vector Pipeline project this week by filingan application with Canada’s National Energy Board forauthorization to construct the 16-mile Ontario portion of the342-mile line. An application for the larger U.S. portion was filedwith FERC in December.