Watkins Crafts Tax Relief Bill for Producers

Rep. Wes Watkins (R-OK) introduced legislation Wednesday thatwould provide marginal well tax relief for oil and natural gasproducers. This is a “rifle shot approach,” and is not seen as acompanion to the measure on the same issue that Sen. Kay BaileyHutchinson (R-TX) is expected to sponsor later this week.

April 2, 1998

Weather or Not, Prices on the Rise Again

The cash market once again ignored spreading mild weatherWednesday and posted price gains that were most often around anickel. Although the central and northern Atlantic Coast regionswere still feeling some late-winter chill, most of the rest of thenation ranged from spring-like to somewhat summerish. So the pricestrength again derived from the screen, sources concluded. It onlyemphasises, one said, that “this market never really has been doingwhat the weather indicates it should this winter.”

March 26, 1998

April Futures Looking To Expire Quietly

The April Nymex contract crept 3.5 cents higher to $2.365 onWednesday, as traders continue to hold the spot month to smalldaily changes ahead of the contract’s expiration this Friday. Aprilmanaged to reach $2.40 before intraday profit taking drove thecontract back, a source told GPI. Total estimated volume came in at70,152 contracts.

March 26, 1998

FERC OKs Merger of Kentucky Utilities

Kentucky’s two largest electric utilities – Louisville Gas andElectric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) – won final FERCapproval for their merger Wednesday, paving the way for itscompletion sometime in the second quarter, the utilities said.

March 26, 1998

Most of West Fails to Join Overall Firming

As sources had predicted, Wednesday’s run-up on the Nymex screenset the stage for cash price rises Thursday, which were abetted byfurther futures gains. There was even some expected cold weatherdemand in the central and eastern sections of the U.S. to help giveprices a little boost, traders said. Increases were on the modestside, mostly within a range of 2-5 cents.

March 20, 1998

Futures Traders Score One For the Bulls

Brokers and speculators (at least some, anyway) may havebreathed a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday, as volatilityreturned to the New York Mercantile Exchange. The April contractfinally broke out of the tight $2.105-205 trading range that hadbeen containing its movements since March 6 by virtue of its 8.4cent rise to $2.239. Sources agreed the activity was led byanticipatory buying ahead of the release of the latest AGA storagereport. “It was more buy based on rumor today, but the rumor wasstrong enough to drive April above major resistance at $2.205,” oneof the sources told NGI.

March 19, 1998

Bill Introduced to Revamp Federal Royalty Collection

Rep. William M. “Mac” Thornberry (R-TX) introduced legislationWednesday aimed at “completely overhauling the current system” usedby the federal government to collect royalties on oil and naturalgas production.

March 5, 1998

Futures Slip Lower in Slow Trading

The April Nymex contract slipped 1.3 cents to $2.228 onWednesday, as the near month contract continues to be hounded bytight trading ranges. April could move no higher than $2.245 and nolower than $2.210 yesterday.

March 5, 1998

Halt of IT Discounting Not Tied to NGC Contracts

El Paso Natural Gas conceded Wednesday it discontinueddiscounting interruptible transportation early this year, but saidits action was primarily due to its new status as “swing supplier”of California-bound transportation – a position that it says givesit free reign to charge maximum IT rates.

March 4, 1998

FERC Gives Producers a Break on Refunds

Natural gas producers scored a victory Wednesday when FERC ruledthey could post surety bonds in lieu of multi-million dollarrefunds to customers that fast coming due on March 9th. The bondmethod guarantees that customers will receive their refundpayments, and it gives producers what they seek most – a delay inpaying out the amounts until disputes over the refunds calculationsare resolved. The downside of this option is that producers will berequired to continue paying interest on the refund principal aslong as the bond remains in effect. Producers also have thealternative of paying their refund amounts into escrow accounts.

February 26, 1998
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