This article is totally weird. To begin: “scheduled pipeline maintenance in Colorado reduced the system’s capacity to export out of the Rocky Mountain region”. So then what happened? “gas supplier Colorado Interstate Gas dropped the price” I have no idea why they did that. And there were buyers, in particular the city owned utility in Colorado Springs. Now this stuff “normally trades at $3 to $4” but the utility did pretty well: “2.6 cents”. Sadly most of their storage was already full; so they only managed to save a few million dollars. Too weird.
The clue is at the bottom, where it says penalties would apply if you don’t take the gas that you bought. Gas production is continuous, and the pipeline runs from the well to the consumer. So the maintenance meant gas had to be sold within the Rockies; a increase in supply caused the prices to drop.
Well, now that you mention it, I guess that’s obvious; but it only leads to two questions. First being; how can that be – they can’t turn it off closer to the source? Second being – that sure does look damn tempting if your a bad actor, eh?