Lows slipping into the low to mid teens Tuesday and often accompanied by snow generated higher numbers, including some triple-digit spikes in the Northeast and a few other locations Monday. However, reflecting some weather moderation and easing of supply tightness since late last week, most of the market recorded losses.

The majority of declines ranged from 2-3 cents to about 70 cents, with the biggest downturns occurring on El Paso and Transwestern at Waha.

A few points outside the Northeast joined the giant urban area in being flat to as much as a little more than $2.35 higher, with Transco Zone 6-New York claiming the top jump.

To say the situation in the Southwest was in a great state of flux would be a major understatement. El Paso, which had been experiencing drastic linepack shortfalls due to underperformance at the production end and excess demand at the market end as late as of Friday, got turned around entirely over the weekend and by Monday was not only struggling with high-linepack issues but was pleading with producers to throttle back flows and consumers to increase takes if possible (see Transportation Notes and related story).

Transwestern also was beginning to see a rebound as early as Friday, said spokeswoman Vicki Granado. A low-linepack Alert Day had been lifted and operations were back to normal Monday, she said. Although Transwestern did not have a serious problem with excess linepack like El Paso, it did have slightly higher than desired levels, she said. Transwestern is preparing for more cold to arrive later this week, Granado said; no one can be sure, but this cold blast probably won't be as fierce as the one last week.

In another area, CIG is restoring a cold-related Constrained Operating Condition that it had lifted Monday (see Transportation Notes).

The Weather Channel (TWC) said the Northeast can expect temperatures near average to 20 degrees below average in the next day or two, but most of the heaviest snowfall will occur across upstate New York and New England. And although a few of its locations such as the Chicago citygate and Northern Natural-Ventura saw upticks Monday, the Midwest is also bracing for another blast that will carry some lows below zero. The break from harsh winter will be a little more extended in the South, but it won't escape a new storm starting to sweep in from the western end through the Tennessee Valley, TWC said.

According to IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), Dracut not only saw a huge uptick of nearly $1.90 Monday but had volumes on the ICE platform soar from 41,500 MMBtu Friday to 135,000 MMBtu Monday.

Two drilling rigs quit the search for natural gas in the U.S. during the week ending Feb. 4, lowering the total to 911, according to the Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Count. Both losses were onshore, with the Gulf of Mexico count unchanged. Baker Hughes said its latest tally is flat from a month ago and 4% above the year-earlier level.

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