Natural gas prices continued in their march of monotonyyesterday, as neither buyers nor sellers were able to tip the scalein their favor. Flatness ruled as a result, with many pricinglocations unchanged.

When pressed, a Gulf Coast source said prices exhibited a littlebit of strength in a late morning deals. “There were some peoplewaiting to buy who were forced to pay up once the majority of thesellers were finished.” Another source agreed that prices peakedlate, adding that lack of liquidity because of the Houston EnergyExpo, was a contributing factor.

Alberta prices were basically unchanged as well, with Aeco inday trading at C$2.25-26/GJ, a Calgary marketer reported. Evenexcess gas on the Nova system, due to firm deliveries at Empressbeing cut for [Thursday’s] flow did not have an impact on prices,he explained.

Those traders stuck “holding down the fort,” Wednesday afternoonfound the quiet market presented the opportunity to hypothesize asto the direction prices might be going into Bidweek. A Westerntrader fears the market has not yet seen the lows. He maintainsthat a return to normal weather and an ample storage surplus willresult in lower gas prices for the second and third quarters of1999. In the nearer term, he feels March Malin offers, currentlyflat to the screen, are overvalued. “If I am patient, I will seethose offers gradually shift to a Nymex-minus type number.”

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