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Some Sub-$1 Rockies Quotes Amid Overall Softness

Prices sank as low as about 35 cents into Northwest-South of Green River and to less than a dollar at a few other Rockies points as weakness returned to a majority of the cash market Monday. Seasonal springtime weather, with its lack of either heating load or cooling load to any significant degree, was chiefly responsible. The previous Friday's drop of 2 cents by May futures was an additional bearish element.

Cheyenne Hub was an anomaly in the Rockies as it recorded the biggest gain among locations that were flat to about 60 cents higher. Losses ranged from 2-3 cents to nearly $1.25.

Tuesday's cash market will have a small amount of prior-day screen support after the May futures contract rallied by 1.8 cents (see related story).

Dracut in New England fell by nearly 65 cents after it was reported that the Sable Offshore Energy Project off the coast of Nova Scotia had returned to normal production after an outage that began last Tuesday (see related story).

Other than Western Canada, parts of the Rockies and some U.S. locations along the Canadian border, forecasts of freezing lows were few and far between. And forecasts of 70s highs in much of the South were unlikely to induce the activation of many air conditioners.

A Rockies producer noted that the regional market had several strikes against it. There's a "ton of maintenance going on," especially on El Paso, which was due to have a total outage of Bondad Station capacity Tuesday, he said. A complicated set of WIC-related constraints was also set for Tuesday only, he said, and Questar's Clay Basin storage facility, which could absorb up to 300 MMcf/d of injections normally, will remain out of action until Thursday. And although there is still some cold weather in the northern Rockies, highs near 70 in the major population center of Denver mean regional cooling load is severely limited, he added.

However, the biggest transportation constraints will be ending soon, so although Rockies prices may be pretty weak early this week, they should be improving again before the weekend, the producer continued. He isn't looking for extra takeaway capacity from Rockies Express (REX) to help anytime soon, joking that if the pipeline "had an over and under going" on getting its REX-East expansion operational, "you wouldn't want to be under."

The National Weather Service's six- to 10-day forecast posted Sunday for the coming weekend through early next week calls for below-normal temperatures everywhere east of a line running from central Minnesota to southeastern New Mexico. Above-normal readings are expected west of a line from eastern Montana to central New Mexico.

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