Cash prices continued to leap higher Tuesday even though futurestraders decided it was time for major retrenchment. Gains were indouble digits at almost all points, but tended to range from littlemore than a dime on Rockies pipes and in El Paso’s Permian and SanJuan Basin pools to around 50 cents or more in capacity-constrainedCalifornia.
Waha prices continued to derive strength from El Paso’s ruptureoutage while Permian numbers, although higher for the day, wererelatively weak in comparison. Permian numbers were falling in latedeals, said a marketer who paid $4.70 in the Keystone pool butlater received an offer at $4.50. In contrast, another traderreported a wide Malin range that began at $4.85 and rose to $5.25.
El Paso said late Monday night it had begun repairs on the linethat ruptured last Saturday east of the Pecos River (NM) Station.Of more immediate interest to traders was the announcement that oneof the adjacent undamaged lines could be returned to service asearly as today, which would restore “a significant portion of thePecos River capacity,” El Paso said. However, until it is certainabout when the line will be available, current allocations willcontinue. A lateral connecting to affiliate El Paso Field Services’South Carlsbad Station has already been returned to service, aspokewoman said. A systemwide Unauthorized Overpull Penalty alertwas continued through at least Tuesday.
Meanwhile both natural gas and crude oil futures plunged astraders in the Nymex pit apparently decided that the supply worriesstirred up Monday by Tropical Storm (later Hurricane) Debby Mondaywere “way overblown,” as one marketer termed it. But despite thefutures sell-off, the hurricane remained on a west-northwestheading toward the northern edge of Cuba and still stood a chanceof making it into the Gulf of Mexico.
Fundamentals remained generally negative as far as northernmarket-area weather went. The Midwest could see a warm-up by nextweek, sources said, but “there’s no demand here whatsoever,”according to a Northeast utility buyer. In fact, it got cool enoughovernight for his furnace to kick on for a while, he said, andprojections are that the region is unlikely to get any meaningfulheat for at least another two weeks.
Intra-Alberta was a rare market where prices failed to advance,remaining flat. The weak screen tended to hold provincial quotesback, said a Calgary trader, and NOVA linepack is back to normalafter being low late last week. Besides, “the weather here isfine,” she said.
As usual the guessing game on today’s AGA storage report waspopular. Injection predictions mostly were in the 45-65 Bcf rangewith a majority in the vicinity of 50 Bcf. Several sources said afigure like that is likely to be considered bullish.
With September bidweek approaching, one trader reported hearingbasis talk of minus 96 for the Rockies in general and minus 98 atSumas. Another said an electronic trading service was quoting theSouthern California border at plus 113-117.
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