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Western Price Survey / Archives

September 17, 2004
Prices Fall in Late-Week Trading

The peak-power price South of Path 15 attracted a high of 54 mills/KWh on Monday before closing out the week between 43.75 mills and 44.50 mills/KWh. The big price drop was recorded across the board at Western hubs. Low-demand power at the hub hovered near the 30 mills/KWh mark most of the week.

At NP15, the price hit 55.75 mills/KWh on Wednesday before dropping nearly 10 mills in late-week trading. The price for off-peak power did not move much in NP15 territory this week, sticking to between 35 mills and 38.25 mills/KWh.

California-Oregon Border peak-power costs trailed the California prices by about 5 mills this week. Nighttime deliveries at the hub changed hands for between 35.25 mills and 36.50 mills/KWh at the be-ginning of the week, slipping down a low of 31 mills/KWh for weekend deliveries.

Mid-Columbia power prices stayed in the low forties during the first three days of the week before slipping to the 35 mills to 37 mills/KWh vicinity in Friday dealing. Off-peak power attracted just about the same price that day, closing the week between 33 mills and 35 mills/KWh.

In the Southwest, Palo Verde prices also weaken and the week wore on. Having started the week priced between 45.50 mills and 47.25 mills/KWh, slipping demand and seasonal weather chipped away at peak-power prices each day. By Friday, the price for high-demand power at PV had dropped as low as 37.25 mills/KWh for next week's deliveries. The price of off-peak power at the hub stayed below the 30 mills mark nearly all week, dove to a low of 24.25 mills/KWh for power to be delivered over the weekend.

In other power-related news, Williams Companies announced on Thursday that it would be holding on to its wholesale power operations. The firm has been attempting to sell the assets and exit the business.

"Williams progress in reducing the size of its power portfolio, combined with its improved financial capability and its focused business strategy have created the opportunity for us to take a long-term view of what is in the best interest of shareholders when it comes to our power business," said company President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Malcolm. "We believe that retaining the power business is the best path to create additional economic value."

Williams' power business is comprised mainly of long-term contract commitments for 7,700 MW of capacity in the wholesale markets. The power-business unit also operates in the natural-gas field, mar-keting 2.7 Bcf of gas per day, according to a company news release [Shauna O'Donnell].

Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne Have Little Impact on Gas Prices

Despite the slew of hurricanes attacking the Southeastern part of the country and forcing the closure of the majority of oil and natural gas production rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, the price of gas on both the futures and daily markets remained the calm in the eye of the storm. The commodity price dipped at both producing basins and delivery hubs as the week wore on.

Permian Basin gas, which reached a high of $4.70/MMBtu on Tuesday was moving for between $4.25 and $4.345/MMBtu at the end of the week. At the San Juan Basin, gas prices sagged to $4.15/MMBtu in Thursday trading, losing around $0.30 from the week's high.

Canadian gas fared no better during the week. After recording a high of $4.24/MMBtu on Tues-day, the price for Alberta gas barely kept above the $4.00 mark by closing out the week at $4.01/MMBtu [S. O'D.].

Western Electricity Prices
September 13 - 17, 2004
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 10.34-419.81 8.75-219.10
Mid-Columbia 34-45.50 29.50-35
COB 39.75-50 31-36.50
NP 15 46-55.75 32-38.25
SP 15 43-54 27.25-33
Palo Verde 36.26-47.25 24.25-27.50

Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.


The Western Price Survey is excerpted from Energy NewsData's comprehensive regional news services. See for yourself how NewsData reporters put events in an accurate and meaningful context -- request a sample of either or both California Energy Markets and Clearing Up.

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Contact Shauna O'Donnell, editor with questions regarding Price Survey Content.

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