Cash 'Muddles Around' in Flat Performance
The cash swing market kind of "muddled around" Tuesday,
unimpressed by a small screen uptick or anything else for that
matter, according to a Midcontinent trader. Nearly all points were
flat to barely a penny or two lower. The big drop of a nickel or so
at Sumas likely was due to a three-day outage of Jackson Prairie
storage operations starting today, causing Northwest to get strict
about banking gas on the system, one source said.
Except for supply constraints in San Juan Basin, fundamentals
remain a no-show in the market, a Southwest marketer said. The bulk
of El Paso's Blanco Plant maintenance outage ended last Thursday,
he said, but some continues to restrict gas this week. And the
unplanned outage of Transwestern's Bisti Station is making about
another 150 MMcf/d unavailable, the marketer estimated.
Canadian traders returned from holiday Tuesday to find swing
intra-Alberta prices running in the C$2.70 area, about C3 cents
above where they left the market Friday. One Calgary source was
trading intra-Alberta baseload for June at C$2.67-68 but said she
expects many deals for provincial gas to be done swing since May
31-June 9 inspections of NOVA receipt points will take an estimated
1 Bcf/d off the market for the first week of June.
Fixed-price quotes for June remained scarce Tuesday, but sources
did report deals at $1.94-96 for San Juan-Blanco, $2.17-19 for the
Southern California border and $2.04 for Malin. Those numbers, only
4-8 cents below May indexes, belied projections late last week that
going by basis talk, June indexes would be falling by a dime or
more. However, whether bidweek trading will move from up or down
from these early quotes "will depend entirely on where the screen
goes," a marketer commented.
The Midcontinent is looking pretty soft for June with lots of
supply being offered, a buyer said. All the June deals he did or
was hearing of were at index or below. NGPL-Midcontinent has traded
at index minus 0.75, Panhandle Eastern at index minus 0.5,
ANR-Southwest at index flat to minus 0.25, and Northern
Natural-demarc and Ventura at index flat, he said. But Chicago
citygates are commanding a small premium to index, the buyer added.
For no reason that he could detect, a marketer saw three
successive Chicago basis purchases Tuesday rise steadily from plus
4.75 to plus 5 to plus 5.25. Another source quoted basis deals at
plus 21 for Texas Eastern M-3, plus 15.25 for CNG South Point,
minus 5 for Texas Eastern-East Louisiana and minus 6.25 for
Tennessee 800 Leg.
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