The prepay delay

Municipal natural gas prepayment deals withered in the second half of 2007 as a result of the credit crisis. While this year has seen a trickle of new deals, greater problems may be lurking. David Watkins reports

Municipal prepayment deals, an important market structure allowing US municipalities to secure substantial discounts on long-term gas contracts, have been hit hard by the US credit crunch. Several large deals have stalled in recent months due both to downgrades in investment bank credit ratings and Federal Reserve interest rate cuts denting the economics of the deals.

As the credit crunch reins in activities at investment banks, international oil companies such as BP and Shell are gaining an

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