Intense heat in many areas finally appeared to be reviving the spot market, but only to a small degree, Thursday. The previous day's minor rebound of 2.9 cents by September futures also helped in raising cash prices slightly at most points.
A large majority of points were flat to up slightly more than C10 cents (Westcoast Station 2) for the most part. Only Dominion joined several Rockies locations in registering declines ranging from a couple of pennies to nearly a dime.
Even though Florida Gas Transmission only cautioned market-area customers about the potential revival of an Overage Alert Day, Florida citygates responded with the day's largest gain by far of about 40 cents.
The Energy Information Administration's report of a 37 Bcf addition to storage during the week ending Aug. 6 was largely in line with consensus estimates. Although September futures were slightly higher during the morning, they finished the day with a downturn of 3 cents (see related story).
The remnants of Tropical Depression 5, a broad area of low pressure that remained centered near the southeastern Louisiana coast Thursday, were largely inconsequential in disrupting offshore production after the depression faded Wednesday. There was a near-zero chance of the system redeveloping, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, although it could cause localized flooding over South Louisiana and coastal Mississippi.
NHC was no longer monitoring two other tropical systems in the middle Atlantic that had disappeared.
Although high temperatures were due to recede slightly in the South Friday, major heat stayed in the forecast for much of the nation, with even Chicago destined to barely surpass 90, according to Madison, WI-based Weather Central. Northeast prices were mostly flat to a few cents higher even with New York City not expected to get above 83 for the second straight day.
ANR-Louisiana and Texas Eastern M-3 saw the biggest percentage losses in Wednesday volumes, falling by 302,000 MMbtu to 737,000 MMBtu (29%) and 532,000 MMBtu to 2,259,000 MMBtu (19%) respectively, according to Bentek Energy's U.S. Natural Gas Hub Flows chart. MichCon citygates (up 88,000 MMBtu to 758,000 MMBtu, or 13%) and Tennessee Zone 0 in South Texas (up 49,000 MMBtu to 517,000 MMBtu, or 10%) were the biggest gainers, Bentek said.
Encana spokeswoman Carol Howes said a fire at a company well in the northeastern corner of British Columbia that occurred earlier this week had been put out and the well was capped. There was no projection yet for returning production there, she said.
A Gulf Coast trader noted that although September-October futures were looking weak, the rest of the outer-month strip was up a little bit, which she said boded well for bullishness down the road. Also, some people were asking her company for intraday gas Thursday, which she largely attributed to hot temperatures. After all, she noted, North Texas and Oklahoma are still getting up to around 100.
A utility buyer in the South acknowledged that temperatures close to 100 were good for his company's gas throughput, although "not so much for citizens." The utility was still having to deal with Panhandle Eastern nomination cuts from a Houstonia Station restriction (which might end late this month, he said), but was still comfortable on storage injections because it was "filling to the max" back in April and May.
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