C3 processing margins hold firm; prices drop

Fourth-Quarter 2004Energy and propane prices declined in fourth-quarter 2004, while US Gulf Coast processing margins remained strong. Average spot prices declined to 78¢/gal at Mont Belvieu, Tex., and 82.4¢/gal at Conway, Kan. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices declined to $43/bbl.Propane stocks continued to run above normal. Petrochemical demand increased to 375,000 b/d in November.Extraction rates continued at below average rates of less than 525,000 b/d. A month ago, January natural gas bid week prices were on track to average $6.50-6.75/MMbtu on the Texas Gulf Coast. Refinery production continued at below normal rates of less than 330,000 b/d. Imports remained strong at ne...

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