Trade

Moler May Lack Political Clout for DOE

Officials of key electricity trade groups question whetherDeputy Energy Secretary Elizabeth Moler has the political cloutneeded to be considered as a serious candidate by the White Houseto replace departing Energy Secretary Federico Pena.

May 7, 1998

Prices Mostly Lower in Subdued Trade

Following a frenetic week of April trading featuring near20-cent price swings and unusually high volume in both futures andcash markets, Monday’s market exhibited a calmness that remindedtraders April is a shoulder month. But, regardless of the smalllosses and lack of excitement generated yesterday, prices are stillat their highest levels since the December bidweek and as much as80 cents above year ago levels.

April 7, 1998

KCBT Open Interest Continues to Surge

The Western Natural Gas Futures contract on the Kansas CityBoard of Trade has continued its rapid expansion, with openinterest surpassing 9,000 contracts for the first time everTuesday. KCBT said long-time participants have been “putting onincreasingly large positions” and “a number of new participantsalso have entered the market.” A floor trader mentioned PG&Eand Southern Energy Marketing as being two big players. KN Energy,Oneok and Duke alsowere reported as recent big entrants.

March 26, 1998

Another Dull Day At the Merc

Volatility at the New York Mercantile Exchange has become so low the April contract was only able to trade within a narrow 3.5 centrange Tuesday, from $2.14-$2.175. The contract settled unchangedat $2.155.

March 18, 1998

Consultant: Mexico Tariff Holds Up Pipes

The current North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tariffon gas imports into Mexico is holding up pipeline development fromthe U.S. to northern Mexico, said consultant George Baker of Baker& Associates. “The only people that have to pay this tariff arethe private industry who would contract with a U.S. gas supplier.If they buy [gas] from Pemex [Petroleos Mexicanos], however, it’s arolled-in price and they don’t pay it.” The tariff, originally 10%in 1991, is rolled back 1% a year and currently stands at 5%.That’s still too high for the private sector to feel confident itcan make money shipping gas to Mexico, Baker told attendees Tuesdayat the conference portion of Houston Energy Expo ’98, formerlyknown as Gas Fair. “That’s an important delay, and the origin of itis largely Pemex’s wanting to say, ‘we’re not ready for competitionyet.’ Some people say, ‘have you ever heard of a state monopolythat has acknowledged that it’s ready for competition yet.’ Mostpeople say no.”

March 11, 1998

Enron Financing Gas-to-Liquids Plant

Enron Capital & Trade Resources Corp. (ECT), SyntroleumCorp., and SLH Corp. contributed a total of $3 million to funddetailed engineering, land purchase and other development costs foran 8,000 barrel/d gas-to-liquids specialty product plant inSweetwater County, WY, to be developed by Syntroleum. Subject toconditions, ECT committed an additional $14.5 million for aminority interest in the plant.

February 25, 1998
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