A room full of producers was asked last week in Houston whetherthey would contract to sell gas for $3 for 10 years, adjusted forinflation. Only a smattering of hands went up. Clearly, optimismhas returned to the industry.
Articles from Whether
A room full of producers was asked yesterday in Houston whetherthey would contract to sell gas for $3.00 for 10 years, adjustedfor inflation. Only a small smattering of hands went up. Clearly,optimism has returned to the industry.
Arguments likely raged all day Friday over whether the gasmarket was overreacting to Tropical Storm Bret or not. But as evena member of the “overhyped” camp reluctantly conceded, there was nodenying that cash prices ignored mild northern market-area weatherand the usual drop in weekend load to achieve gains of up to adime. The smallest showings of flat to only about a nickel highercame at western points, which are more insulated from potentiallosses of Gulf of Mexico production.
Marketers considering whether to enter soon-to-be deregulatedelectricity and gas markets should re-evaluate strategies in lightof the experience of gas marketers in Georgia. Late entrystrategies may be very risky, according to an analysis of Georgia’sgas deregulation process by Atlanta-based Energy Market Solutions.
Whether the cash market follows the futures screen or vice-versais the source of considerable conjecture and debate in the naturalgas market-almost on a daily basis. Although there have been timeswhen futures have been the driving force in the market, many feelthat cash prices, egged on by solid heating demand, have liftedfutures prices out of the doldrums this month.
ANR Pipeline has yet to decide whether to proceed with expansionof its Eugene Island system in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of aFERC order upholding a previous decision that approved the projectbut put ANR at risk for its cost. “I think all I can say at thispoint is we’re continuing to review the order and consider ouroptions,” an ANR spokesman said Friday.
Despite it remaining unclear Friday whether Tropical Depression8 (expected to become Tropical Storm Hermine by Saturday) wouldhave substantive and lasting impact on Gulf of Mexico production,just the possibility was enough to propel cash prices upward byanywhere from a dime to 20 cents at eastern points. Westernmarkets, more removed from the Gulf supply outages, also rose butmostly by a dime or less. The double-digit uptick on the futuresscreen did more than anything fundamental to boost numbers in theWest, a marketer said.
Perceptions of whether September prices were still fallingFriday sometimes depended on the specific market. A trader in theSouthwest basins said numbers bounced around a bit Friday butessentially had hit bottom late Thursday. But another source saidChicago citygates continued to fall to a low of $1.62.
The sale of Ozark Gas Transmission to an Enogex affiliate hasbeen completed, but it remains to be seen whether the FERC willbless Enogex with the rates it seeks for an interstate pipelinecomposed of the combination of Ozark and its currentlynon-jurisdictional NOARK Pipeline.
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) decided last week itlacked authority to rule on whether Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)could be required to lease or sell its wiring inside Chicago’sSears Tower to the building’s owner. Tower Leasing is seekingcontrol of the building’s internal wiring so it can installgas-fired cogeneration to meet a portion of the building’selectricity needs.