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General Interest 2000 P

  • 12/13/2000 -- US Energy Sec. Richardson orders power sales
    California averted blackouts Wednesday afternoon after US Energy Sec. Bill Richardson ordered power plant owners to sell electricity to the California Independent System Operator at a price to be determined by the Energy Department. But ISO officials said the state is not out of the woods yet and declared a Stage 2 emergency at 2 p.m. PST, signifying reserves have fallen below 5%. The ISO said it expects to ask the state's investor-owned utilities to activate voluntary load shedding programs.
  • 12/13/2000 -- AGA reports gas supplies declined 158 bcf
    The American Gas Association Wednesday reported natural gas supplies for the week ended Dec. 8 fell by 158 bcf to a total of 2,271 bcf. The January natural gas contract settled at $7.537/Mcf, down 0.608�, on the New York Mercantile Exchange on reports of a warming trend predicted for the weekend. For the sixth time in as many weeks, the NYMEX raised the margins on its Henry Hub natural gas contract at the close of business Wednesday.
  • 12/13/2000 -- California ISO official warns of blackouts
    The California Independent System Operator warned Wednesday California has more than a fifty-fifty chance of experiencing rolling blackouts early in the evening. The state is short about 4,000-5,000 Mw for the peak period between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. PST. Credit problems are deterring the ability of the ISO and the investor-owned utilities to import any power from the Pacific Northwest.
  • 12/13/2000 -- Lawsuit filed over federal hydropower project
    Pointing up the growing conflict over access to federal power and water projects, an organization representing federal hydroelectric customers is seeking an injunction to bar the US Army Corps of Engineers from permitting water withdrawals from Lake Lanier, Buford, Ga., by municipalities without charging a 'fair amount' to generate replacement electricity. The lawsuit was filed in federal court by the Southeastern Federal Power Customers Inc. against the US Secretary of Army and the Corps.
  • 12/13/2000 -- UtiliCorp plans IPO of Aquila unit
    UtiliCorp United Inc., anxious to demonstrate the market value of its energy trading unit Aquila Energy, Wednesday reported it spin off a portion in an initial public offering to the public. A complete spin off of all remaining shares of Aquila to UtiliCorp�s shareholders is planned for later in 2001. UtiliCorp has been searching for a generation partner, acquisition or merger for its merchant trading unit since early this year. But so far, nothing has materialized.
  • 12/12/2000 -- California ISO blames transmission for emergency
    With transmission constraints limiting electricity movements to northern California, the California Independent System Operator expects to declare a Stage 2 emergency Tuesday afternoon and possibly Wednesday, Kellan Fluckiger, chief operating officer, said during a morning telephone press conference. Fluckiger said the Northwest power authorities canceled an emergency alert Tuesday morning, freeing up some electric generation resources that can be diverted to California.
  • 12/12/2000 -- DOE expands fuel blend tests
    The US Department of Energy will expand an existing project with Pennsylvania State University to test the consequences on engines using a special fuel blend, of diesel fuel and dimethyl ether, an additive that can be made from natural gas, coal, or biomass.
  • 12/12/2000 -- Sonatrach, Conoco sign cooperation deal
    Algerian state oil and gas company Sonatrach and US major Conoco Inc. have put their names to a cooperation agreement covering joint development projects in 'Algeria and abroad,' according to a report from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' news agency, OPECNA. Sonatrach chief Abdelhak Bouhafs said the agreement would involve the 'whole hydrocarbons chain, including refining, transportation, marketing, and even an extension into the power generation sector.'
  • 12/12/2000 -- Market watch, Dec. 12
    Energy futures prices shot up Monday, as predictions of severe blizzards bearing down on the US Midwest triggered expectations of increased demand for heating oil and natural gas. The January natural gas contract closed at a record $9.413/Mcf on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 82.9� for the day.
  • 12/11/2000 -- Electric Power news briefs, December 11
    Wisconsin Electric ... Nova Scotia Power Inc. ... Orion Power Holdings Inc. ... Alabama Power Co. ... Earth Sciences Inc ... Exelon Enterprises ... AES Corp. .... EDF International SA ... Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency ... Reliant Energy Power Generation Inc. ... Mississippi Chemical Corp.
  • 12/11/2000 -- Pakistan appoints advisor for privatization effort
    Pakistan has appointed US investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. as financial advisor for the planned partial privatization of Oil & Gas Development Corp. 'Merrill Lynch has been nominated as financial advisor, which will help to attract foreign investment,' said Privatization Commission spokesman Tahir Parvaiz.
  • 12/11/2000 -- FERC uncaps California power prices
    Political controversy flared anew over the California Independent System Operator's handling of the state's electricity crisis, with Gov. Gray Davis threatening to dismantle the existing ISO after the grid operator won federal regulatory permission to lift a cap on wholesale electricity prices Friday. The ISO operated under a Stage 1 alert at mid-day Monday, signifying reserves were below 7%, after calling Stage 2 emergencies Saturday and Sunday, indicating reserves were below 5%.
  • 12/11/2000 -- AGA says almost half of US homes can choose gas supplier
    The American Gas Association Monday said that nearly half the US households with gas service can, or soon may be able to, buy from a supplier other than their local utility. It said nearly 26 million of the nation�s 54 million households with gas service will soon be able to buy from a non-utility supplier.
  • 12/11/2000 -- Executive Q&A: New NOIA head urges national energy policy debate
    Thomas Fry III, the new National Ocean Industries Association president, says the US government should review its energy policy options next year.
  • 12/11/2000 -- Market watch, Dec. 11
    A massive column of Arctic cold pushing into the US should buoy natural gas futures prices through the rest of December, said Robert Morris, senior energy analyst for Salomon Smith Barney Inc. The January gas contract hit a new high of $8.58/Mcf Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 21.1� for the day
  • 12/08/2000 -- NYMEX raises gas contract margins; changes rules
    With natural gas prices regularly setting records, the New York Mercantile Exchange is raising the margin on its Henry Hub natural gas contract at the close of business Friday for the fifth time in as many weeks. The NYMEX also altered gas trading rules in a move to allow futures market to more closely track cash market movement.
  • 12/08/2000 -- Market watch, Dec. 8
    Oil futures prices weakened Thursday in the face of increased supplies. Natural gas for January delivery backed off 11.2� to $8.37/Mcf as more electric utilities indicated a switch to heating oil. The recent phenomenal spike in gas prices has made that alternative more economic for dual-fuel power plants.
  • 12/08/2000 -- Safety net
    A little-known provision in a recent law reauthorizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could impact the US oil industry the next time oil prices plunge.
  • 12/07/2000 -- DOE calls for comment on energy technology program
    The US Department of Energy Thursday issued a draft of a new fast-track program to demonstrate advanced power plant technologies and asked the industry for comment. The formal solicitation to be issued early in 2001 will offer up to $95 million for advanced coal-based technologies that can improve the reliability of the US electric power system.
  • 12/07/2000 -- Market watch, Dec. 7
    Colder weather forecasts for most parts of the country helped push natural gas futures to another record high Wednesday, as the January contract surged by $1.10 to $8.49/Mcf on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The American Gas Association estimated that US gas inventories are 17% below year-ago levels.

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