As most players expected for Thursday’s cash market, gas pricestumbled across the board amid moderating temperatures throughoutmajor markets nationwide. Cash prices fell about a dime on averageat most trading points.

“The board was down and cash prices remained soft throughout theday,” said a Midcontinent area marketer. “The weather is moderate,the board isn’t showing a whole lot of strength and, on top ofthat, you’ve got typical low weekend pull.” He added that themarket is supply driven right now.

Sources said business was back to normal on ANR’s SW Mainline,as compressor maintenance is complete and the line is expected toflow at 100% today (see Daily GPI, Nov. 11, 1998). As a result,traders said ANR SW prices were trading in-line with other areapipes. However, sources said an unscheduled outage at NorthernNatural’s Mullinville Compressor Station could have a major impacton prices given another cold front (see Transportation Notes). “The long and short of that is if it does get colder up North,there will be limitation on how much gas you can put in south ofMullinville,” one marketer said.

“It is going to be nice all over this weekend,” said one Rockiestrader who reported deals on Rockies pipes at almost 20 cents belowWednesday’s levels. Therefore, “what we’ll have here is no storagepull and a ton of gas looking for a home.” He said the only thingkeeping prices in the Rockies up is the spread between the Rockiesand the Midcontinent and the spread between the Rockies and theCalifornia border. “What happened is when the Rockies finallydropped off, the Midcontinent was in the $2.20s and everyonestarted gobbling up all the Rockies,” the source said. “I couldn’tfind Rockies gas late in the day.”

A western trader said that while there still is a lot of utilitydemand, prices had to soften ahead of weekend forecasts. Gas at thesouthern California border averaged about a dime below Wednesday’slevels. The trader noted that the 20-cent drop at Malin made senseespecially because it traded above the Southern California borderon Wednesday. “It just costs a lot less to move the gas from Topockto the PG&E Citygate; I can’t imagine anyone buying Malin atthose levels. Malin had to fall to where it did today,” he said.

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