Heavy air conditioning load and a tightening of supplyavailability not only generated a late rebound in bidweek pricesFriday but also pushed up last-of-May and early June aftermarketnumbers in nearly all Eastern, Gulf Coast and Midcontinent/Midwestmarkets. Waha and Permian Basin gas, supported by Texas andMidcontinent cooling demand, also was rising above index levels.But in the generally cool West, weekend and 1st-of-month swingprices tended to go down by a few cents.

Intra-Alberta was an exception to the West’s general softness.Quotes shot up by almost a dime into the low C$1.80s due to lowNOVA linepack Friday morning, a marketer said. However, althoughsome sellers thought the run-up would continue, prices were fallingback to around C$1.77 by midday, he added. However, the marketerexpects more strength in provincial pricing this week, saying June2-5 line restrictions on NOVA will cause about 500 MMcf/d ofshut-ins.

In swing deals for the 1st only, many points east of the Rockieswere trading as much as a dime above bidweek averages. A trader whohad paid in the low $2.10s for June baseload at the Chicagocitygate was seeing low $2.20s pricing for today’s flow.Midcontinent field prices were surpassing $2 in some cases astrading proceeded, a producer said. NGPL-TexOk and NorAm areparticularly short on supply, according to a marketer. In recentmonths NorAm has been trading flat to little more than a pennyabove other Midcontinent pipes, he said, “but this month thepremium is more like 2-4 cents.” He said he knew someone caughtshort on NorAm-east who had to pay as high as $2.08 Friday.

One trader noted that Transco and Florida Gas cash-out priceshad helped pull Louisiana prices on those pipes up into the low$2.10s in last-of-May deals.

A source who found Houston Ship Channel averaging $2.14 for bothSaturday/Sunday and today-only flows commented that incrementalvolumes and prices are both running strong “because we’ve got a hotstate.” But a marketer said, “It may be hot in the South, butChicago is due to receive continued mild weather through theweekend.” That’s why weekend citygates were up by only a couple ofcents over Friday levels, she said.

Southern California Gas said it would not declare anOvernominations Day OFO for Saturday but the decision would be on aday-to-day basis after that. Just the possibility was enough todepress weekend border prices by about a nickel, one source said.

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