Traders resurrected a phrase they hadn’t been using very muchlately: “following the screen.” Like a rising tide that lifts allboats, the Henry Hub futures contract for September turned in astrong performance Wednesday and spurred moderate firmness in cashnumbers. In the absence of substantial change in marketfundamentals, there was little besides the Nymex pit for cashguidance, a marketer said.
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A very divided FERC last week proposed a rulemaking that seeksto create a uniform, complaint-driven system for regulating nearlyall offshore gas pipelines based on its authority under thelighter-handed Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
A very divided FERC yesterday approved a proposed rulemakingthat seeks to create a uniform, complaint-driven system forregulating all offshore gas pipelines based on its authority underthe lighter-handed Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
Representing the latest curve on what has become a very windyroad, Southwest Gas announced Wednesday it is reviewing SouthernUnion’s revised merger offer even though it already entered into amerger agreement with Oneok earlier this week. With two offers onthe table, Southwest Gas has said it will not comment further onthe subject until a decision is made, and industry analysts say thedecision will not be easy.
FERC has unveiled its long-awaited final rule on expeditedcomplaint procedures, the focus of which is a “very innovative”fast-track process for resolving “highly time-sensitive” industrydisputes within 20 days after a response is filed. This compares toFERC’s target of up to 60 days for most standard complaints. TheCommission voted out the order notationally after its bi-weeklymeeting last Wednesday.
The April aftermarket was off to a very strong beginning inswing deals done Wednesday. Virtually every point was trading abovebidweek levels and in some cases much higher. For example, a buyerwho paid in the mid $1.70s for April baseload at the SouthernCalifornia border reported a $1.90-95 swing range. Most sourcesagreed that the incremental price strength derived almost entirelyfrom “following the screen” upward.
The futures market sauntered into the weekend Friday in a verysimilar fashion to the way it traded throughout the week-in aboring, hum-drum manner. The March contract was limited to a paltry2.5-cent trading range, slipping 0.1 cents lower to settle at$1.745. Estimated volume was evidence of the quiet trading as only42,085 contracts changed hands.
A combination of copious amounts of gas both in the pipe andground, and very little weather demand had the stage set perfectlyfor the futures market to trend lower Monday. But despite all theominous fundamental news and bearish sentiment, few traders wereprepared for the price erosion that occurred in early tradingyesterday. The January contract gapped dramatically lower on theopen and quickly set a $1.97 low in the first half hour of trading.That left the spot month to trade sideways for the rest of the daybefore settling at $1.976. In doing so, the January contractcrushed its previous life-of-contract low of $2.085.