More than 50 municipalities across upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region that touch the Marcellus Shale are asking a state appeals court for permission to weigh in on whether they may ban oil and natural gas drilling within their jurisdictions.
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Raymond James & Associates Inc. on Monday raised its 4Q2012 natural gas price assumptions by 75 cents and lifted the 2013 forecast by 50 cents, predicting 1Q2013 price “spikes to near $5.00/Mcf.”
The cash market combined support from forecasts of hot weather from the Southeast to Arizona, a touch of heating load-raising chill returning to the Northeast and Midwest, the previous Friday’s 16-cent increase by June natural gas futures and the return of industrial load from its greater-than-usual decline over a holiday weekend to record gains at all points Monday. Several western upticks were in triple digits.
The Bush administration has turned a deaf ear to Sen. Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) recommendations on how the president can use his existing authority to cut high-flying natural gas prices and bolster supply.
It will probably take four to five years of working through the current crisis environment in the energy markets, setting up regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and installing a standard electricity market design before FERC can ratchet down the current levels of regulatory oversight over the industry, FERC Commissioner Linda Breathitt said last Thursday.
With signs that the touch of winter experienced earlier thisweek in the Northeast was already starting to subside, nearly allof the cash market ranged from flat to about a dime lowerWednesday. Most production area and Midwest citygate points fell bya nickel or less. The declines of a dime or more tended to clusterin the Northeast.
The national heat wave continued through Friday into theweekend, and electric utilities continued to use appeals forcustomer conservation and other demand-side management tools tokeep juice flowing as needed. But the heavy cooling load lost itsability to keep cash gas prices moving higher. Instead, most pointswere about a dime or more down in flows for the last day of July,and although quotes for Sunday and Monday tended to surpass thosefor Saturday, they still were below monthly indexes. Sources citedthe usual drop in weekend demand, a small screen decrease andforecasts that major market areas will have cooled off a bit bytoday as reasons for the softness.
Too little, too late was the apt expression for the futuresmarket yesterday, which continued lower despite what someconsidered to be the most constructive fundamentals yet thiswinter. And so the April contract took a page out of the Marchcontract’s playbook, slipping 3.8 cents to $1.659 amid a tight,6-cent trading range. Estimated volume was high for the usuallyquiet day-after expiration with 65,714 contracts changing hands.
In a huge turnaround of the cash market spurred by the arrivalof weather that finally appeared more wintry than springlike,prices were skyrocketing Monday from the abyss into which they hadsunk prior to the weekend. To say that double-digit increasescharacterized trading was a gross understatement when many pointswere rising by 50-60 cents or more.
Though still one of the most dangerous hurricanes to come downthe pike in many years, Mitch was unable to to sustain its positiveinfluence on cash prices Tuesday. Incremental quotes ranged fromslightly higher to as much as 7-8 cents lower, with the majority ofpoints registering downticks. A diving futures screen set theexample for cash to emulate, sources said.