Prices rebounded, if only slightly, at most points Monday as temperatures closer to normal for those of late August began to return in most of the market areas.

A majority of locations were flat to up as much as about 20 cents. Most of the markets seeing gains of around a dime or more were in the Rockies, Midcontinent and Northeast. The occasional drops of a couple of pennies to about a dime primarily in California.

Prompt-month futures ended a lengthy losing strength as the newly christened October contract finished 10.7 cents higher Monday, promising some support for Tuesday's cash prices (see related story).

Hurricane Danielle was already well on its way to heading out between Greenland and the British Isles Monday. Hurricane Earl appeared to be on a similar tracking and staying well clear of the U.S. East Coast. Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center was giving high odds (90%) of a low-pressure system in the mid-Atlantic of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.

El Paso said it had canceled its weekend warning of a potential Strained Operating Condition due to high linepack, saying customer response was sufficient to return its linepack to acceptable levels.

However, Kern River was a western pipeline saying linepack levels were high on its system due to excessive banking through the weekend, and it wanted shippers and operators to take delivery of their scheduled quantities.

Forecasted highs in the low 90s were coming back to the South, but that was short of the region's normal heat levels at this time of year. And even Phoenix was expected to fall slightly short of its normal triple-digit peaks in late August. However, peaks around 90 to the low 90s were predicted in the Northeast and Midwest, which helped to raise overall cooling load.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts noted that among the total increase of nine rigs entering shale plays last week, the Bakken Shale rose three, the Barnett Shale was unchanged at 69, the Eagle For was up two, Fayetteville fell by one, Haynesville was unchanged at 115, Marcellus increased five to 100 rigs, and Woodford was unchanged at 48 rigs.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) indicated a further softening of September bidweek numbers, saying Houston Ship Channel prices traded on its system had fallen from about $3.90 last Wednesday to the $3.74 area Monday.

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