The best laid plans of energy titans can often go astray,particularly where mergers are concerned. ExxonMobil tossed a wrenchinto the BP Amoco-ARCO merger works by suing for a preliminaryinjunction against the merger partners and PhillipsPetroleum. Phillips has agreed to buy ARCO’s Alaskan holdings forabout $7 billion in a deal intended to win Federal Trade Commissionapproval of the merger (see Daily GPI, March17).
Articles from Where
Natural gas futures resumed trading Tuesday right where theyleft off last week as traders pressured the market higher in twodistinct buying surges. The first one came at 10:00 a.m. (EST),when February opened a penny above last Friday’s $2.35 high onreports of the coldest air of the season for the Northeast U.S. Thesecond wave of buying came near the close, in a local-led attemptto push the spot month above its 40-day moving average at $2.385.In the end that push was only half-successful; February was able topunch through its 40-day average, but was unable to settle aboveit. The contract closed up 6.1 cents at $2.383 amid light volume ofjust 43,581.
As might be expected at a Calgary conference where producersdominated attendance and the first day’s panels, bullishness onfuture gas prices ran rampant despite last week’s price slump.Emphasizing the challenges and opportunities in reaching aprojected 30 Tcf/year market by the 2010s, speakers at Ziff EnergyGroup’s North American Gas Strategies conference agreed thatCanadian gas is well positioned to benefit both volume-wise andprice-wise in the coming years.
By virtue of a new agreement with TransCanada PipeLines Ltd.,Sears Canada could become the place where Canadians shop fornatural gas. Sears Canada and TransCanada, through its wholly ownedsubsidiary TransCanada Energy Ltd., plan to offer gas toresidential consumers in Ottawa. The program will start out as apilot, and the agreement between the companies is for six years.Sears will be the first national Canadian general retailer to offergas, the companies said.
As might be expected at a Calgary conference where producersdominated attendance and the first day’s panels, bullishness onfuture gas prices ran rampant despite the current week’s slump.Emphasizing the challenges and opportunities in reaching aprojected 30 Tcf/year market by the 2010s, speakers at Ziff EnergyGroup’s “North American Gas Strategies” conference agreed Mondaythat Canadian gas is well positioned to benefit both volume-wiseand price-wise in the coming years.
The futures market continued higher Wednesday in another quiettrading session where local buying was too much for scale-up tradeselling. But despite its 2.6 cent advance to finish at $2.264, theJuly contract fell short of filling in the chart gap up to Friday’s$2.283 low. Estimated volume was a relatively light 56,980.
Demonstrating the growing popularity of weather derivatives,Kansas Gas Service is on the brink of offering a weather-proof billto all 600,000 of its customers, said Steve Johnson, executivedirector of corporate relations for the LDC. Johnson and a panel ofweather derivative experts spoke on the growing use of weatherproducts at NGI’s Gasmart/Power’99 in Dallas last week.
“Where has all the gas gone now?” asked a Houston-based marketerTuesday as April numbers turned upward going into the home stretch ofbidweek. He was starting to encounter some tightness of supplies inthe Gulf Coast and Appalachian production areas that caused prices tobe bid higher. Echoing a producer’s Friday observation (see Daily GPI, March 29), the market suspectedthat reduced drilling budgets last year may be reflected now in afirmer gas market.