12 April 2005 22:56 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Department of the Interior (DoI) said Tuesday it will hold its first public discussion on the transparency and accuracy of natural gas pricing in the ?xml:namespace>
DoI’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) said today it will hold a panel discussion and take questions from the public at a meeting in Houston, Texas on 26 April on the question: “Do the published natural gas price indices in the US now have sufficient liquidity, transparency and accuracy to truly represent the value of natural gas commodities in today’s marketplace?”
The price of natural gas has increased three-fold in recent years, causing a major operational cost increase for US chemicals manufacturers and forcing the shutdown of some productive capacity in the US and Canada.
Gas costs around $7/m Btu now, up from the $2 range as recently as 1998. In its current short-term energy outlook, the US Department of Energy (DoE) said natgas is likely to remain in the $7 range this year and next - unless it moves higher.
MMS, which is the US federal agency chiefly responsible for selling off-shore oil and gas leases to exploration and development energy firms, said the 26 April panel discussion will be moderated by Mary Williams, the MMS manager for federal onshore oil and gas compliance and asset management.
Panellists will include Stephen Harvey, deputy director at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has purview over the transmission and sale of natural gas in the
MMS cautioned in its statement, however, that in sponsoring the panel discussion it “neither endorses nor opposes possible future use of published natural gas price indices as a basis for natural gas valuation for federal royalties.”
The discussion will be held at the Houston InterContinental Hotel. Additional information may be obtained from MMS in
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