UN Report Blames Less Production, Outside Speculators for Commodity Prices

The upward pressure on energy and other commodity prices worldwide has been because of the “sluggish response of production to rising demand, particularly for energy and metals and minerals,” according to a United Nations report issued Thursday. However, the influx over the last three years of a large number of speculators with no interest in the commodity itself “may have distorted” near term and futures prices.

September 5, 2006

Farmers’ Almanac Sees Shivery Winter, Sizzling Summer

The healthy year-over-year natural gas storage surplus could be slimmed down rapidly this winter — putting upward pressure on natural gas prices — if the 2007 Farmers’ Almanac weather forecast holds up. “Shivery is not dead,” editor Peter Geiger said, alluding to the winter weather forecast in the latest edition of the 188-year-old publication.

August 31, 2006

S&P: Upward Credit Rating Momentum Expected to Slow in E&P Sector

While the pace of exploration and production (E&P) company mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is expected to remain brisk in 2006, the recent upward credit rating momentum in the sector has been dampened by uses of excess cash flow to buy back stock and pay premium prices for assets and by liberal use of debt leverage to fund M&A, Standard and Poor’s Ratings Service (S&P) said in a new “Industry Report Card: U.S. Oil and Gas.”

January 13, 2006

Most Points Still on the Rise; Some Softness Seen

The continuance of heavy heating load and a major prior-day screen spike were sufficient to propel prices further upward at most points Friday. However, prospects for a bit of moderation in cold weather in several areas, the typical slump of industrial demand over a weekend and the easing or lifting of OFOs and similar pipeline constraints (see Transportation Notes) allowed a few instances of flat or softer numbers to remain in the market.

December 12, 2005

Cold Weather Is the Driver of Cash Rally

Prices rallied at all points Wednesday from the prior day’s overall softness as widespread heating load reasserted itself as the driver of an upward-looking market. Forecasts of virtually no let-up in frigid temperatures, along with Wednesday’s screen advance of 21.1 cents, portend further cash gains Thursday.

December 8, 2005

Some Points Slip Amid Overall Price Firmness

Cash prices again relied on the continuing spread of cold weather and prior-day screen support to keep the overall market moving upward Friday. However, unlike the solid advances recorded in the first two days of December aftermarket trading, several flat to lower points — primarily in the West — surfaced in quotes for weekend flows.

December 5, 2005

Cold Snap Pushes Futures Back Near $14

January natural gas kept the week’s upward momentum rolling Friday from the get-go. After opening at $13.150, the prompt month climbed slowly until approximately 1 p.m. EST, when it exploded higher to settle at $13.931, up 90.4 cents on the day.

December 5, 2005

Canadian Oilsands Use of NatGas to Increase, Then Decrease as Substitutes Develop

Alberta oilsands projects will continue to contribute to upward pressure on natural gas prices as virtually the only industrial sector left in North America where consumption is still rising, Canada’s National Energy Board predicts.

October 17, 2005

Oregon PUC Approves Gas Hikes for Three Distribution Utilities

Bowing to unrelenting upward pressure on wholesale natural gas prices, the Oregon Public Utility Commission Thursday approved sizable retail rate increases for the state’s three major private-sector natural gas utilities, ranging from 13.5% to 26.8%.

September 26, 2005

FERC Staff’s 2004 Market Review Highlights Rising Prices, Changing Market Dynamics

“Broad upward price pressure” and changing market dynamics were among the leading highlights of a 255-page 2004 State of the Markets Report released last week by FERC’s Office of Market Oversight and Investigations (OMOI).

June 20, 2005
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