Tuesday’s overall rally continued at most points Wednesday, but there were more instances of flat to backsliding numbers. Significant cooling load remained on the light side outside the South and much of the West, but the cash market did derive support from a 13.8-cent screen gain the day before.
All of the small losses of up to nearly dime occurred at western points, but flat quotes were found at scattered points in the Gulf Coast and Midcontinent. Upticks ranged from a couple of pennies to 20 cents or so. Northeast citygates tended to record most of the largest increases.
The fact that the July futures settlement of $5.887 was a 17-month low for a prompt-month contract’s daily close (see futures story) was a “bullish sign” to one marketer. Despite all of the bearishness about mild weather and storage issues, the screen’s reaching such a low point after such a long time means prices have almost nowhere else to go but up again, he said.
A tropical disturbance never qualified for the name Beryl but did cause some of the worst flooding in parts of the Northeast since Hurricane Agnes in 1972, The Weather Channel (TWC) said. It kept things relatively cool along much of the East Coast, although some cities in the Southeast are due to top out around 90 degrees Thursday. Normal summer heat — beastly, that is — will begin to reassert itself in the South by the weekend, according to TWC. Temperatures will stay fairly moderate Thursday in much of the Midwest but could start hitting the 90s in the Ohio Valley and possibly top 100 in parts of the central Plains this weekend.
Unusually warm weather in the West continues to reach as far north as Western Canada. Calgary was expected to reach 95 degrees Wednesday, although Vancouver, BC was likely to be considerably cooler in the high 70s.
A Trunkline LNG spokesman said the June 20 closure of the Calcasieu Ship Channel to commercial shipping due to a refinery oil spill has had no impact on operations at the company’s LNG terminal near Lake Charles, LA. However, two refinery operators in the area (ConocoPhillips and Citgo) have requested the loan of a combined 750,000 barrels from the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve because of the inability of crude-laden tankers to reach their facilities for the past week. Some parts of the channel were being reopened Wednesday, but it will be a while longer before normal ship traffic resumes.
With the traditional injection season less than half over, Northwest’s Jackson Prairie storage facility is just shy of being at 87% of capacity. The Northwest bulletin board said working gas inventory stood at 19,436,797 dekatherms as of Tuesday, out of total capacity of 22,415,201 dekatherms. The pipeline’s own Jackson Prairie account is full for all practical purposes. Northwest said its working gas inventory Tuesday was 7,174,599 dekatherms, 926 dekatherms short of total account capacity.
Commenting on the Jackson Prairie situation, a western marketer said people without firm capacity there who relied on interruptible and Park and Loan services have stopped doing that for the most part.
He went on to express surprise at seeing July futures settle below $6. He echoed others in saying it has been a “very quiet” bidweek. “There is a lot of disinterest in July gas,” he said. His company managed to move its gas, but it was slower going than usual. It was 10 a.m. Mountain time Thursday before ICE started showing any new Sumas numbers, he added.
Wednesday bidweek numbers saw almost no change from Tuesday, the marketer continued. He reported trading Sumas at $5.18-20 Tuesday and about the same Wednesday, although quotes appeared to be trying to inch higher. There is a lot of maintenance scheduled on Westcoast next month, and one plant will be down, so Canadian producers may be reluctant to sell gas that they won’t have for parts of the month, he said.
On Monday Aeco (NOVA Inventory Transfer) was trading about a dime in daily business above July numbers, “and that made sellers come out of the woodwork,” the marketer said. They will take any opportunity they can to sell out of storage whenever daily prices allow them to realize a small profit over next-month gas, he said.
Evidence that load is beginning to return to the Florida market came when Tuesday flows at the Florida citygate jumped 239,000 MMBtu/d after an even larger loss Monday, according to Bentek Energy (https://intelligencepress.com/features/bentek/). However, it found huge declines in Tuesday volumes at a couple of key Midcontinent/Midwest points. The Chicago citygate was down 226,000 MMBtu/d, Bentek said, while Northern Natural-demarc fell a humongous 582,000 MMBtu/d, or 45%, from the day before.
Jim Osten of Global Insight expects a storage build of 70 Bcf to be reported for the week ending June 23. This week’s milder weather in the East lead him to anticipate a sizeable jump in injections in next week’s report; he projects an 88 Bcf build for the week ending June 30. There’s a “very strong correlation” of cooling degree day (CDD) values each week to the level of injections at this time of year, he told NGI. In a Wednesday advisory, Osten said CDDs “were above normal in all regions last week, and averaged 29% above normal for the United States as a whole…According to the National Weather Service, CDDs this week are expected to average above normal in the far West and in the Northeast, but below normal everywhere else in the country. Nationwide, CDDs are forecasted to average 3% above normal.”
The Reuters news service survey of 20 industry players found a range of 50-78 Bcf in injection estimates for Thursday’s report. The average was 64 Bcf, Reuters said.
©Copyright 2006Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.
© 2020 Natural Gas Intelligence. All rights reserved.
ISSN © 1532-1231 | ISSN © 2577-9877 |