February 17, 2017 – Bloomberg
Weird Things Are Happening in the Salt Caverns of Mont Belvieu
By: Laura Blewitt
Prices for fuel stored in the salt caverns of Mont Belvieu, Texas, have gone a little berserk.
Three companies, Enterprise Products Partners LP, Targa Resources Corp. and Lone Star NGL LLC, use the caverns to keep natural gas liquids that are traded on the spot market and exported around the world. Butane price fluctuations between the three are usually within a penny or two.
But in December, Enterprise’s butane price spiked as much as 30 cents a gallon higher than the same fuel kept in a cavern that is just footsteps away. Trading volume tripled its monthly average.
“The market just went crazy,” said Kelly Van Hull, director of energy analytics at Houston-based consultancy RBN Energy. “Everybody was off -- it was literally Christmas week -- and perfectly bad timing for somebody to come up short.” …