Prices continued to fall at most points Friday as temperature forecasts remained relatively moderate for most areas in late August, a lengthy streak of futures weakness continued and there was still no threat to offshore production from Atlantic tropical activity.
A few locations in the Rockies, Louisiana, Northeast and Western Canada defied the overall price trend by being flat to up 2-3 cents. Most points saw losses ranging from a couple of pennies to nearly 30 cents.
The cash market will again have negative screen guidance Monday after September futures expired Friday with a drop of 16.6 cents (see related story).
Outside Texas and Arizona, few locations were seeing highs above about 90 Friday and similar conditions were expected through the weekend. Temperatures for late August are decidedly below normal in most of the U.S. and Canada.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) was still monitoring Hurricane Danielle and Tropical Storm Earl in the mid-Atlantic, but both appeared to remain on track for courses that would keep them well clear of the East Coast, much less getting into the Gulf of Mexico. A broad area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave remained not far off the West Africa coast, NHC said, and it continued to have a 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the succeeding 48 hours.
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) found ANR-Louisiana prices falling nearly a dime along with volumes traded on its online system falling from 508,800 MMBtu for Friday to 343,800 MMBtu during the weekend. Henry Hub, however, soared from 430,900 MMBtu Friday to 692,400 MMBtu for the weekend even though it also declined about a dime, ICE said.
El Paso said high linepack had compelled it Friday to set the possibility of declaring a related Strained Operating Condition or Critical Operating Condition to high.
Bentek Energy's U.S. Natural Gas Hub Flows report showed volumes dropping Friday at nearly all major trading points, with the MichCon citygate leading the decline with a fall of 295,000 MMBtu from the preceding day, or 26%, to 843,000 MMBtu.
A western trader said the regional market was quiet with "pretty cool" West Coast temperatures. Although she hadn't been active in the bidweek market yet, it was obvious that index prices would be down quite a bit for September, she said.
ICE indicated bidweek numbers continuing to fall for the most part, with Houston Ship Channel quotes having gone down from about $3.90 Wednesday to the $3.67 area Friday. It also said the MichCon citygate dropped from around $4 to $3.82 during the same period.
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