Feeling support from returning power generation load as summer-like heat began to reassert itself and also from a 17.5-cent screen gain on the previous Friday, cash prices rose at virtually all points Monday.
Not counting a flat Dracut, Monday’s upticks ranged from a little less than a nickel to a little more than 60 cents. Florida Gas Zone 3 recorded the largest gain as the pipeline reinstated an Overage Alert Day for its market area (see Transportation Notes).
Weather forecasts played a definitive part in geographic trends. Most of the largest gains occurred in the West, where above normal temperatures are expected almost everywhere Tuesday except a thin West Coast strip and desert Southwest highs will be pushing into the 110s. On the other side of the continent, increases at Northeast citygates were fairly modest in being capped at around 15 cents; that section of the U.S. was in transition from a chilly weekend to merely “comfortable” conditions early this week.
Heat levels are still relatively moderate at the eastern end of the South, but starting to push into the 90s again at the western end. The Plains from Nebraska southward is also due to be heating up into the 90s. Midwest highs will remain subdued in the 60s near the Canadian border, but the 70s and 80s will prevail over most of the rest of the area.
The Southern California border was up about 55 cents after SoCalGas ended a 12-day run of high-linepack OFOs Monday.
Cash numbers may be hard-pressed to continue their ascent Tuesday. A 16-cent futures loss Monday will provide negative guidance, and temperature increases will stay relatively minor along the populous East Coast.
Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) became the latest consulting firm to weigh in on the prospects for much weaker prices this fall due to lack of storage injection capacity (see related story). Not surprisingly, CERA sees a likelihood of “abrupt decreases” in pricing as storage facilities fill before the end of the traditional injection season, and it expects this problem to be particularly acute in eastern markets.
Dominion said its working gas inventory totaled 178 Bcf as of June 1, compared with 145 Bcf on June 2, 2005 and 133 Bcf on June 3, 2004.
A Midwest utility buyer said the outage of the Bushton (KS) Compressor Station on Northern Natural Gas, which is preventing any deliveries into the Bushton Processing Plant (see Daily GPI, June 5), was “no big deal.” This is a relatively low flow period on Northern anyway, he said, and his company was not seeing any Bushton-related supply allocations. Its throughput should remain fairly strong, though, as high temperatures in the 80s and 90s through the end of the week will support power generation load.
Substantive progress recently in reducing Gulf of Mexico shut-ins related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year prompted Minerals Management Service (MMS) to issue Monday what it called “the final report” on Katrina/Rita statistics. Because of relatively small variations in shut-in volumes in the preceding few months, MMS said just over a month ago it was ceasing the reports that it had been issuing every two weeks (see Daily GPI, May 4). However, “in the last month there has been substantial improvement in the production numbers warranting another release, so a decision was made to issue a final report after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” the federal agency said Monday. Based on reports made by 43 companies, MMS tallied 1,099.25 MMcf/d remaining off-line as of June 1. That was 196.06 MMcf/d less than the total recorded on May 3. The count of platforms remaining evacuated was 71. Cumulative deferred production since Aug. 26, 2005 stood at 785.502 Bcf, or 21.493% of the Gulf’s appoximated annual output of 3.65 Tcf.
Weekend flows saw huge drops of 142,000 MMBtu/d at the Chicago citygate, 101,000 MMBtu/d at the PG&E citygate and a whopping 235,000 MMBtu/d at Malin, according to analysis of pipeline nomination postings by Bentek Energy. On the other hand, the MichCon citygate was up 159,000 MMBtu/d and Opal volumes rose 132,000 MMBtu/d, the consulting firm said.
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