Late-April prices maintained their weakening ways Friday,although most of the declines were not as steep as on “BlackThursday,” as one producer called it. The largest drops tended tobe concentrated at Western points, especially with Malin andPG&E citygates falling at double-digit rates again. Theirsoftness was exacerbated by PG&E’s Stage 2 OFO that becameeffective Saturday. The OFO, prompted by high system linepack,carried penalties of $5/dth for any deliveries exceeding 110% of acustomer’s nominated volumes.

The OFO surprised a marketer because ongoing pipe replacement ofPG&E Gas Transmission-Northwest’s A-Line was causing somecurtailment at Malin. The order was issued early Friday afternoon,and a buyer said it cost him some time later that afternoon due tohaving to move nominations around for the weekend.

San Juan-Blanco was another point down by double digits into the$1.80s and $1.90s, although a few early quotes were still above $2.One trader thought it strange to see Blanco come off so hard forApril, “especially with next month still around $2.06-07.” Heguessed the threat of PG&E’s OFO “had people anxious to unloadtheir gas.”

Although a producer said Panhandle Eastern prices rose to ashigh as $2.20 late after hovering in the mid $2.10s for a while,sources said most other U.S. points were moving lower as tradingprogressed. But Sumas and intra-Alberta numbers gained almost anickel from beginning to end, traders in Canadian gas said. Onesaid the rally was at least partly due to Saturday’s scheduledreopening to injections of British Columbia’s Aitken Creek storagefield, which had been shut down for some time. That was allowingextra storage demand to emerge, according to a marketer.

Sources had differing perceptions about how quickly the Maybidweek was developing. A marketer said it looked like one of thoseFriday afternoons when a lot of people would be going home earlybecause “the phones aren’t ringing very much at all.” But aproducer said the phones at her company were quite busy; she wassurprised that so many people (both buyers and sellers) werealready trying to do bidweek deals. Several other traders hadsimilarly opposite opinions about activity levels.

In the scant number of fixed-price quotes received Friday, itappeared that April-May convergence was close. Sources reportedprices for both the weekend and May baseload in the mid $2.10s atMalin and the mid $1.60s at Sumas. A small Transco-Holmesvillepackage went for $2.37. New basis talk included Carthage at minus5.5-6.25 and Houston Ship Channel at minus 1-1.5, which a marketercalled “pretty tight.”

People are willing to buy the Malin-PG&E Citygate spread(that is, buy citygate and sell Malin) for May at 37 cents, atrader told Daily GPI, but spread sellers (vice versa) want 45cents. This spread is traded very actively, he said, because of anabundance of traders with excess Malin gas but no Redwood Pathtransport to the citygate (“those folks are trying to buy thespread”).

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