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Tuesday's Weakness Continues; September Called 2 Cents Lower

September natural gas is expected to open 2 cents lower Wednesday morning at $2.92 as traders saw Tuesday's failure to breach $3 as leading to further declines Wednesday. Overnight oil markets eased.

Analysts noted September futures "tipped" lower Tuesday in spite of forecasts calling for warmer temperatures. This was "an apparent minor correction to prior gains," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures Perspective in closing comments Tuesday. "Expectations for Thursday's Department of Energy (DOE) storage report edged higher from 44-45 Bcf to 45-47 Bcf, reducing support for prices."

Evans is expecting a storage build of 37 Bcf in Thursday's DOE storage report. Last year 13 Bcf were injected and the five-year average stands at 53 Bcf.

Gas buyers tasked with procuring incremental supply for power generation across ERCOT face several challenges as an expected rejuvenated Harvey makes its way north. "A cold front will sag southward today and wash out across the state during the next two days," said WSI Corp. in a morning note to clients. "This will support variable cloud cover and the daily chance for locally heavy showers and thunderstorms. At the same time, the remnants of Harvey will likely redevelop over the Gulf of Mexico back to a tropical storm.

"This system will take a northwest track into coastal Texas, approximately between Corpus Christi and Freeport by the end of Friday. This will bring heavy rain, gusty winds in excess of 50 mph, coastal flooding, etc into coastal/eastern Texas during Friday through the weekend."

Finding renewable energy looks to be problematic. "Relatively light and variable wind gen is expected during the next two days with some improvement during the end of the week into the weekend. Output is forecast to peak 4-7 GW during the evening and overnight hours and then dip to 1-3 GW during the day. Increasing cloud cover associated with the front and Harvey will reduce solar gen."

In its 8 a.m. EDT report the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the system traversing the Bahamas would be slow to develop while it drifts northward over Florida and the adjacent waters. "Environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for tropical or subtropical development over the weekend when the system begins to move northeastward over the western Atlantic. NHC estimated the likelihood of tropical storm development over the next 5 days at 30%.

"The remnants of Harvey are close to redeveloping into a tropical depression over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico about 150 miles west of Merida, Mexico," NHC said. "The low is forecast to move to the northwest at about 10 mph across the western Gulf of Mexico, possibly reaching the northwestern Gulf coast late Friday. This system is likely to slow down once it reaches the coast, increasing the threat of a prolonged period of heavy rainfall and flooding across portions of Texas and Louisiana into early next week.” NHC said the probability of tropical storm reformation was "near 100%".

In overnight Globex trading October crude oil fell 16 cents to $47.67/bbl and October RBOB gasoline fell fractionally to $1.4984/gal.

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