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Weekend Prices See Only Mildest of Softening

Weekend Prices See Only Mildest of Softening

The typical slump in gas demand that accompanies a weekend was able to coax a smidgen of softness out of the cash market Friday-but just barely. Flatness was the word at quite a few points, and decreases at others only rarely exceeded 2-3 cents. Sources continued to remark on how relatively stable the market feels even when prices come off a little.

Denver-Julesburg Basin prices into CIG again were conspicuous amid the overall sea of mild softness. DJ quotes were up about a nickel on average and ran as high as $2.25 as the pipeline had a Strained Operating Condition(SOC) in effect. CIG has only a limited amount of working storage gas left, one trader said. The CIG constraint combined with the Restricted Delivery Day declared earlier by Public Service Co. of Colorado (see Daily GPI, April 22). PSCo confirmed Friday that the RDD would end with the start of today's gas day, while CIG canceled its SOC effective Saturday. Snowy conditions prevailed in much of the Rockies Friday.

Although San Juan-Blanco was off only about a penny overall, it was getting hammered near the end of trading, one source said. Prices that began approximately flat at $2.03 were a dime lower in late deals, he said, apparently because the California market dried up quickly.

Nobody seemed in any hurry to get on with May business. Although no one quoted any fixed prices Friday, a marketer said he was hearing Rockies talk in the mid to upper $1.90s and intra-Alberta about even with current swing pricing in the mid C$2.60s.

Another marketer said all Gulf Coast basis for May is about a penny stronger than April's. He was hearing ANR-Southeast at minus 4.5-5 in May compared to minus 5-6.5 last month. May basis for Columbia Gulf-mainline is plus 2.75-3. A buyer said Transco Zone 6-NYC is at plus 25.

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