Algonquin (AGT) - Algonquin Gas Transmission
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from pipeline interconnects in New Jersey and southeastern New England to major markets in New England. Algonquin is owned by Spectra Energy Corp.
A market situation in which prices in succeeding delivery periods are progressively lower than in the nearest delivery period. Also known as an "inverted market." The opposite of backwardation is contango.
Short for "basis differential," basis is the difference in the value of an underlying commodity between different physical locations and/or different points in time. Basis is most often traded in the form of swaps. By swapping the price of a commodity at one physical location for the price at a different location, traders can capture the basis differential between those two points.
BCF - One Billion Cubic Feet
One BCF is one billion cubic feet of natural gas at standard distribution pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60° Fahrenheit.
The five business days immediately preceding the first of the month. During bid week, all financial positions must be closed out. Financial positions serving as hedges for physical natural gas transactions must be converted into physical supplies. Physical trading activity during bid week is the basis of the price index numbers published in Inside F.E.R.C.’s Gas Market Report.
BOEM - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
A bureau in the U.S. Department of the Interior that manages the nation's natural gas, oil and other mineral resources on the outer continental shelf.
BTU - British Thermal Unit
The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one Fahrenheit degree. One BTU is equivalent to 252 calories, 0.293 watt-hours, or 1,055 joules.
The trading of physical natural gas during the month in which delivery will be taken. The majority of cash trading is for next day gas and is conducted during the morning hours prior to and shortly after the opening of the futures market day session. Cash trading for Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays (as well as Tuesday, in the event of a Monday holiday) is done on Friday mornings unless the month ends on a weekend, in which case cash trading for the final days of the current month occurs on Thursday and trading for the first of the following month occurs on Friday.
CCF - One Hundred Cubic Feet
One CCF is one hundred cubic feet of natural gas at standard distribution pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60° Fahrenheit.
The point of demarcation between a natural gas transmission pipeline and the local distribution company. The city gate is the most common point of sale in the retail natural gas business, since transfer of control and risk of loss between the marketer (who is also typically the shipper of record on the pipeline) and the LDC occurs at this point.
The base ticker symbol for the NYMEX West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures contract. One crude oil futures contract represents 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of product. In addition to the base symbol, the ticker symbol for a NYMEX futures contract contains a letter indicating the month and two digits indicating the year. The letters corresponding to the months are F - Jan, G - Feb, H - Mar, J - Apr, K - May, M - Jun, N - Jul, Q - Aug, U - Sep, V - Oct, X - Nov, Z - Dec.
Columbia (TCO) - Columbia Gas Transmission
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from pipeline interconnects in Appalachia to markets in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and Virginia. TCO is divided into 10 zones which are further divided into dozens of individual market areas. TCO is owned by NiSource.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
An independent government agency created by Congress in 1974 to regulate the trading of commodity futures and options. Each week, the CFTC publishes a report showing the total number of open futures and options contracts in the markets it oversees.
A market situation in which prices in succeeding delivery periods are progressively higher than in the nearest delivery period. The difference in price between corresponding present and future delivery periods is referred to as the "carry" in the market. The opposite of contango is backwardation.
Cooling Degree Day (CDD)
An indicator of space cooling demand. The cooling degree days for a single day equal the average of the highest hourly temperature and the lowest hourly temperature for the day minus 65 degrees Fahrenheit, if greater than or equal to zero.
DOE - The U.S. Department of Energy
A cabinet-level federal agency created in 1977 to replace the Federal Energy Administration. The Department manages national energy policy, nuclear power and nuclear weapons programs, and the national energy research labs.
Dominion (DTI) - Dominion Transmission, Inc.
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from pipeline interconnects in Appalachia to markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and West Virginia. For trading purposes, Dominion is divided into north markets that include the upstate New York utilities and south markets that include Ohio, most of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Dominion owns and operates the largest collection of underground natural gas storage assets in the U.S. Dominion is owned by Dominion Resources.
DT - Dekatherm
One dekatherm of natural gas contains one million BTU (one MMBTU) of energy. One dekatherm is equal to 10 therms.
EIA - Energy Information Administration
An agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. EIA provides energy data, forecasts and analyses.
EIA Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
A weekly report that estimates the total working natural gas held in underground storage facilities in the continental U.S. based on a survey of major storage facility operators. Inventories are reported separately for three separate regions: the west consuming region, the east consuming region and the producing region. The report is normally released every Thursday morning at 10:30 AM eastern time.
EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report
A weekly report that estimates a variety of activity in the U.S. petroleum industry. The most closely watched numbers are the petroleum stocks, which indicate the total quantities of crude oil, distillate fuel oil, motor gasoline, and other petroleum distillates held in domestic storage. The report is normally released every Wednesday morning at 10:30 AM eastern time.
Empire State (ESP) - Empire State Pipeline
An intrastate natural gas pipeline that transports natural gas from a Canadian import point in Chippawa, New York to markets in upstate New York. Empire State is owned by National Fuel Gas.
FERC - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
An independent federal agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil and electricity. FERC also regulates the storage of natural gas and the importation of liquefied natural gas. The commission is composed of up to five sitting commissioners that are appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. The commission is staffed by economists, engineers, attorneys, policy experts and administrative law judges who analyze filings made by industry participants and advise the commission on its decisions.
Literally, "greater force." Force majeure clauses, standard in most commercial contracts, excuse one or both parties from liability if an extraordinary event beyond the control of the parties prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. Force majeure clauses are intended to excuse a party only if the failure to perform could not be avoided by the exercise of due care.
Forward Power Prices
Price for power traded on over the counter exchanges like ICE for delivery in future months.
A fixed percentage of the natural gas received by a pipeline or LDC that is "lost" between the receipt point and the delivery point. For pipelines, the natural gas is typically used to fuel natural gas combustion motors that drive the compressors that maintain pressure on the pipeline. For LDCs, fuel loss compensates for gas lost to leaks, theft and faulty measurement. Fuel loss is generally expressed as a percentage of the quantity received into the pipeline or LDC. To calculate fuel loss based on the delivered quantity, divide the delivered quantity by 1 minus the fuel loss percentage, then subtract the delivered quantity.
A derivative transaction between two counterparties wherein the seller agrees to fix the price for a predetermined quantity of an underlying commodity, security, bond or currency in a specified delivery period. The buyer becomes "long" the futures position while the seller becomes "short." Futures contracts are generally liquidated (i.e. - traders that are long futures sell their positions to traders that are short) prior to contract expiration, and physical delivery of the underlying asset is extremely rare. Futures are traded exclusively on regulated exchanges such as the NYMEX and traders settle up with the exchange each day based on the market value of their positions.
A natural gas industry trade journal published each business day by Platts. In each issue, Gas Daily publishes the results of a phone survey of traders and other industry participants. The survey provides indicative prices for next day physical natural gas delivered to a large number of trading points throughout the continental U.S. For each point, Gas Daily publishes an absolute high and low price, a common high and low price and a midpoint price. When traders refer to the "Gas Daily index" price, they are generally referring to the midpoint price.
The process of collecting natural gas flowing from numerous wells and bringing it together into pooling areas where it is received into transmission pipelines. Gathering systems are small systems of mostly low-pressure pipe that connect the numerous wells dotting producing fields to the interstate transmission system. The gas carried by gathering lines is often “wet,” which means that it has not yet been treated to remove water, oxygen, carbon dioxide and other impurities. Gathering systems are typically state-regulated as they do not cross state boundaries.
An Internet-based electronic trading system operated by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Globex trading opens Monday through Thursday at 3:15 PM and runs through 9:50 AM the following morning. The Sunday Globex session opens at 7:00 PM and runs through 9:50 AM Monday morning.
Granite State (GSGT) - Granite State Gas Transmission
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from an interconnect with Tennessee in Massachusetts to markets in coastal New Hampshire and Maine. Granite State is owned by Unitil.
Heating Degree Day (HDD)
An indicator of space heating demand. The heating degree days for a single day equal 65 degrees Fahrenheit minus the average of the highest hourly temperature and the lowest hourly temperature for the day, if greater than or equal to zero.
A major pipeline interconnect point located in Louisiana. The Henry Hub is operated by Sabine Pipe Line, LLC and interconnects with 16 separate interstate and intrastate pipelines. The Henry Hub is the designated delivery point for the NYMEX Natural Gas futures contract. The Henry Hub is also a highly liquid trading point, with numerous buyers and sellers of both physical natural gas and financial derivatives. Platts publishes both a monthly and a daily index price for the Henry Hub in Inside FERC and Gas Daily, respectively.
Henry Hub Natural Gas Futures Contract
The standard natural gas futures contract traded on the NYMEX. Each contract is for a fixed quantity of 10,000 MMBTU, deliverable at the Henry Hub in Louisiana. Contracts are traded on each of the remaining months in the current calendar year plus five additional calendar years. At the end of trading on the third-to-last business day of each month, the nearest (prompt) month contract expires and the next delivery month becomes the new prompt month.
The base ticker symbol for the NYMEX New York Harbor Heating Oil futures contract. One heating oil futures contract represents 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of product. In addition to the base symbol, the ticker symbol for a NYMEX futures contract contains a letter indicating the month and two digits indicating the year. The letters corresponding to the months are F - Jan, G - Feb, H - Mar, J - Apr, K - May, M - Jun, N - Jul, Q - Aug, U - Sep, V - Oct, X - Nov, Z - Dec.
In the Money
In options trading parlance, a contract that could be exercised for a gain at current market prices. If January natural gas futures are currently trading at $10, for example, a $9 January call option is "in the money" because it could be exercised for a $1 gain. The opposite of "in the money" is "out of the money."
Inside FERC's Gas Market Report (IFGMR)
A natural gas industry trade journal published each month by Platts. In each issue, IFGMR publishes the results of a phone survey of traders and other industry participants. The survey provides indicative prices for physical monthly baseload supply delivered to a large number of trading points throughout the continental U.S. For each point, IFGMR publishes a high-low range and an index price.
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)
An electronic trading exchange for energy products and precious metals derivatives. ICE is not a regulated exchange in the same sense as the NYMEX. Trades are financially settled between counterparties, not between counterparties and the exchange. This requires counterparties to independently establish and monitor creditworthiness with each other before trades can be conducted.
Iroquois (IGT) - Iroquois Gas Transmission
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from a Canadian import point in Waddington, New York to interconnects and markets in southeastern New England and Long Island. Iroquois is jointly owned by six energy companies, with nearly 90% of its ownership held between Dominion Resources, National Grid USA and TransCanada.
ISO New England (ISO-NE)
A regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the generation and transmission of electric power in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Last Day's Settlement Price (LDS)
The final price at which the financial settlement of all open futures contracts for a particular commodity and delivery month occurs. The price determined by the NYMEX is actually an average of all trading activity in the last 30 minutes of trading. This is done to prevent an individual or a small group of traders from engaging in manipulation of the price of a futures contract in the waning moments of trading.
The ability of a natural gas pipeline to effectively "store" small quantities of gas on a short-term basis by increasing the operating pressure of the pipe. Most pipelines use line pack as a resource to help manage the load fluctuations on their systems, building up line pack during periods of decreased demand and drawing it down during periods of increased demand.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Natural gas that has been cooled and compressed into a liquid state in order to more efficiently transport it from producing regions to market. Most LNG is produced in oil-rich, equatorial countries with little use for natural gas for space heating, such as Algeria, Trinidad and Qatar. It is then transported by ship to import facilities where it is stored and ultimately vaporized and delivered into the pipeline system. LNG is expensive to produce on a commodity basis but is valuable as a source of peaking gas since it can be delivered into constrained market areas without requiring large investments in pipeline capacity back to producing regions.
Local Distribution Company (LDC)
The entity responsible for receiving natural gas or power from the wholesale transmission system and distributing it to end use customers. LDCs are state-jurisdictional entities whereas most transmission providers are federal jurisdictional. In addition to local delivery of energy, the LDC is typically also responsible for providing metering and billing services. In the electric power industry, LDCs are often called "Distribution Companies" or "DISCOs" for short.
M3 - Texas Eastern Market Area 3
A rate zone on Texas Eastern Transmission that includes delivery points serving metro New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. M3 is a highly liquid trading point, with numerous buyers and sellers of both physical natural gas and financial derivatives. Platts publishes both a monthly and a daily index price for M3 in Inside FERC and Gas Daily, respectively.
Maritimes (M&NP) - Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from a Canadian import point on the Maine-New Brunswick border to markets along the Maine and New Hampshire seacoasts and interconnects with Tennessee and Algonquin in eastern Massachusetts. Maritimes is jointly owned by Spectra Energy, Emera and ExxonMobil.
MCF - One Thousand Cubic Feet
One MCF is one thousand cubic feet of natural gas at standard distribution pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60° Fahrenheit.
Millennium Pipeline Company LLC
Millennium extends from Steuben County in western New York to an interconnect with Algonquin Gas Transmission in Ramapo, New York. Along the way, Millennium interconnects with other interstate pipelines as well as local production and storage facilities. Millennium is a joint venture between National Grid USA, NiSource and DTE Energy.
Million British Thermal Units.
Market On Close – An order placed with a broker of securities or commodities where the trader requests that the purchase or sale be made at the final closing price for the day’s trading session. Brokers will make an attempt to honor MOC orders, but in extremely volatile markets they may not be able to.
Calculations that smooth the price action in a commodity or security in order to reveal underlying trends. The 5 day simple moving average, for instance, is a series of values that equal the straight average of the preceding 5 daily settlement prices for each day. A weighted moving average places a greater weight on more recent periods than on those further in the past.
MW - Megawatt
A megawatt is a unit of electrical power equal to one million watts. One megawatt of generation capacity can provide enough electricity to power 800 average North American homes.
National Energy Board (NEB)
NEB is the FERC's Canadian counterpart. NEB is responsible for regulating the construction, operation and rates (tolls) of inter-provincial and international pipelines.
An odorless, colorless hydrocarbon gas composed of over 99% pure methane. At 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60° Fahrenheit, one cubic foot of natural gas contains approximately 1,030 BTU of recoverable energy.
New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)
A regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the generation and transmission of electric power in the state of New York.
Next Day Peak Power Price
Prices for power used or supplied during the following day's peak period. The peak period is commonly defined as "5X16", which means Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM through 11:00 PM.
The base ticker symbol for the NYMEX Henry Hub Natural Gas futures contract. One natural gas futures contract represents 10,000 MMBTU of product. In addition to the base symbol, the ticker symbol for a NYMEX futures contract contains a letter indicating the month and two digits indicating the year. The letters corresponding to the months are F - Jan, G - Feb, H - Mar, J - Apr, K - May, M - Jun, N - Jul, Q - Aug, U - Sep, V - Oct, X - Nov, Z - Dec.
North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB)
An energy industry umbrella organization that attempts to develop and promote operating and contracting standards for the North American energy industry. Among the standards championed by NAESB are the set of nomination and scheduling deadlines used by most interstate pipelines and the form agreement adopted by many energy companies for bilateral commodity contracts.
NYMEX - New York Mercantile Exchange
A major trading exchange for commodities futures and options. The NYMEX is the largest commodity exchange in the world. Natural gas, petroleum products, electric power, coal and precious metals are all traded. NYMEX is owned by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
One Cancels Other – Two or more trades placed with a broker where one trade cancels the other(s) if it is executed. The most common example would be a limit order with a stop loss, where a trader would set a price objective for selling above the current market price but also specify a floor price below which he or she is no longer willing to continue to lose money. In the event that either trade is made, the other trade is automatically canceled so the trader doesn’t accidentally sell twice the intended volume.
A derivative transaction between two counterparties which entitles the buyer to purchase (call option) or sell (put option) a fixed quantity of an underlying commodity, security or derivative within a specified time period at a fixed price in return for a one-time premium payment. The fixed price is referred to as the "strike price" of the option and the end of the specified time period is referred to as the "expiration date" of the option. Exchange-traded options are limited to options on futures or stocks. For over-the-counter options, the underlying entity can be practically anything: physical commodities, futures, swaps ("swaptions"), or other options ("embedded options").
In layman's terms, oscillators are based on the principle that prices are likely to "consolidate" or "regroup" after a sustained run either up or down. Technical analysts use oscillators to describe the recent price activity of a commodity or security in mathematical terms, relative to a fixed range of possible values. Oscillators show an Overbought signal when a commodity has gone predominantly up for a period of time, indicating that the commodity is due for a pull-back. Oscillators show an Oversold signal when a commodity has gone predominantly down for a period of time, indicating that the commodity is due for a rebound. Examples of commonly used oscillators include the Relative Strength Index (RSI), Rate of Change (ROC) and Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD).
Out of the Money
In options trading parlance, a contract that would be worthless if it expired at current market prices. If January natural gas futures are currently trading at $10, for example, an $11 January call option is "out of the money" because exercising the options would result in a $1 loss. The opposite of "out of the money" is "in the money."
PIRA Energy Group - PIRA
A New York based energy consulting, forecasting and analysis firm. PIRA produces a number of widely-read reports on natural gas production, markets, storage and pricing.
A regional transmission organization (RTO) that coordinates the generation and transmission of electric power in all or part of the states of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Portland (PNGTS) - Portland Natural Gas Transmission System
A regional interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from a Canadian import point near Pittsburg, New Hampshire to markets in southern Maine and New Hampshire, and terminates at an interconnect with Tennessee in Dracut, Massachusetts. PNGTS is jointly owned by GazMétro and TransCanada.
The base ticker symbol for the NYMEX New York Harbor Reformulated Gasoline Blendstock futures contract. One gasoline futures contract represents 1,000 barrels (42,000 gallons) of product. The RB contract was introduced as a replacement for the HU contract, which was for reformulated gasoline that generally contained the additive MBTE. Reformulated gasoline blendstock is mixed with ethanol to produce the motor gasoline sold in most service stations. In addition to the base symbol, the ticker symbol for a NYMEX futures contract contains a letter indicating the month and two digits indicating the year. The letters corresponding to the months are F - Jan, G - Feb, H - Mar, J - Apr, K - May, M - Jun, N - Jul, Q - Aug, U - Sep, V - Oct, X - Nov, Z - Dec.
Regional Transmission Organization (RTO)
An independent governing body that coordinates power generation and transmission within an integrated regional market. The RTO projects the hourly load requirements for the markets it serves, collects bids from generators, and dispatches plants to provide energy, reserve capacity and power regulation services. Based on the bids received, the RTO determines an hourly price for each service. The market-clearing price is charged to all net users of the service and paid to all net suppliers. The RTO also serves as a clearinghouse for payments between generators, utilities and end users.
In technical analysis of commodities or securities, a price level where new selling is likely to come in and dampen any further rise. When a market repeatedly rallies to a particular level and then declines, the market is said to be "offering resistance" at that level. In classic technical analysis, when a resistance level is violated - i.e., prices break through the resistance level and trade above it - it tends to become a support level against downward price movement.
The disruption of natural gas supply at the wellhead. Most shut-ins are weather-related, such as when the crews of offshore producing platforms must be evacuated due to an approaching hurricane.
In trading parlance, the difference in price between equivalent quantities of two commodities, securities, bonds or currencies at two specific physical locations and/or points in time. A spread can be for the same commodity and location, as in the summer-winter spread for New England natural gas, or can be cross-commodity, as in the crack spread between the price of crude oil and the price of refined products.
In technical analysis of commodities or securities, a price level where new buying is likely to come in and stem any further decline. When a market repeatedly declines to a particular level and then rallies, the market is said to be "offering support" at that level. In classic technical analysis, when a support level is violated - i.e., prices break through the support level and trade below it - it tends to become a resistance level to upward price movement.
A derivative transaction between two counterparties who agree to exchange financial rates or prices for a fixed quantity of an underlying commodity, security, bond or currency. Energy swaps are typically purchased in order to manage the risk of delivering physical energy. For instance, a trader might pay a premium for a swap that exchanges the index price for January natural gas delivered to Transco zone 6 New York for the January NYMEX futures settlement price. This allows the trader to "lock in" the basis cost between gas delivered to the Henry Hub and gas delivered to New York at the premium paid for the swap. Swaps are financially settled transactions, meaning that traders exchange cash rather than physical energy when the final value of the swap is determined.
TCF - One Trillion Cubic Feet
One TCF is one trillion cubic feet of natural gas at standard distribution pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch and 60° Fahrenheit. The total annual consumption of natural gas in the continental U.S. is approximately 22 TCF.
Tennessee (TGP) - Tennessee Gas Pipeline
A major interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from producing regions along the U.S. gulf coast and a Canadian import point near Niagara Falls, New York, to major markets in the U.S. Northeast. Tennessee zone 6 includes delivery points throughout New England. Tennessee is owned by Kinder Morgan.
Texas Eastern (TETCO) - Texas Eastern Transmission
A major interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from producing regions along the U.S. gulf coast to major markets in the U.S. Northeast. Texas Eastern Market Area 3 (TET-M3) includes delivery points serving metro New York, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Texas Eastern is owned by Spectra Energy Corp.
TH - Therm
One therm of natural gas contains 100,000 BTU of energy.
TransCanada (TCPL) - TransCanada Pipeline
A major Canadian natural gas pipeline system the transports natural gas from producing regions in Alberta to markets across the Canadian provinces and the northern U.S. TransCanada supplies large volumes of natural gas to the northeastern U.S. via Tennessee (Niagara Falls), Empire State (Chippawa), Iroquois (Waddington) and PNGTS (East Hereford).
Transco - Transcontinental Gas Pipeline
A major interstate natural gas pipeline system that transports natural gas from producing regions along the U.S. gulf coast to major markets in the U.S. Northeast. Transco zone 6 is divided into two distinct markets: zone 6 New York includes New York City delivery points as well as Public Service Electric & Gas in New Jersey; zone 6 Non-New York includes delivery points in New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania. Transco is owned by The Williams Companies.
The segment of the energy industry responsible for receiving wholesale energy from producers/generators and delivering it to local distribution companies or large end users. In the power industry, transmission is provided via high-voltage lines (69 kV and up). In the natural gas industry, transmission is provided via high pressure pipelines.
The point at which natural gas is produced, literally at the head of the well. More generally, the term “wellhead price” is used to refer to the price of natural gas in the producing region. EIA reports a “National Wellhead Price” which is an average of the market prices of natural gas in various producing regions.
Zone 6 N.Y. - Transcontinental Zone 6, New York
A rate zone on Transcontinental Gas Pipeline that includes delivery points serving New York City and Public Service Electric & Gas in New Jersey. Zone 6 N.Y. is a highly liquid trading point, with numerous buyers and sellers of both physical natural gas and financial derivatives. Platts publishes both a monthly and a daily index price for Zone 6 N.Y. in Inside FERC and Gas Daily, respectively.