Prior-day screen dive, slight retreats in southern heat have only minor impact.
Softness dominated the cash market again Tuesday, but despite the drubbing of 20.2 cents taken by October futures a day earlier, declines tended to be much smaller than on Monday in most cases.
All of the double-digit losses occurred in the transport-constrained Rockies amid an overall decline range of 2-3 cents to nearly a quarter. A few more points (and more outside the West) than on Monday were flat to only 2-3 cents higher.
Whether it will be able to rally cash Wednesday is questionable, but the physical market will regain some prior-day screen support after the October contract rebounded by 9.7 cents (see related story).
Early-week bursts of peak heat into the mid (and occasionally upper) 90s in the South were proving to be short-lived as much of the region was forecast to fall into the low 90s Wednesday, while Texas and Oklahoma would remain capped in the 90 area for the most part. Even Phoenix in the desert Southwest is moderating rapidly after a period spent reaching 100-plus highs, it isn’t expected to surpass 91 Wednesday.
The outlook is little changed for Canada, the West Coast and the northern half of the U.S.: generally mild to cool with few locations surpassing the mid 80s. However, that will be relatively toasty in the Northeast as Boston and New York City are predicted to hit 85 and 87, respectively, by Madison, WI-based Weather Central.
Easy come, easy go on the Atlantic tropical scene, so to speak. As previous tropical systems continue to fade, others showed up to replace them. Tropical Storm Lisa became the season’s 12th named storm but was still remote from North America as it chugged its way northward abut 525 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. However, Lisa was getting better organized, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Of more immediate interest to Gulf of Mexico production interests was the “vigorous” tropical wave moving westward from the Windward Islands though the southeastern Caribbean Sea. NHC accorded it a 50% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours but indicated that it would not stray too far north of the South American coast in the near term.
Hurricane Igor became post-tropical as it brushed the eastern coast of Newfoundland Tuesday and was expected to curve into a more northwesterly tracking. Much like Karl over the weekend, Tropical Storm Julia had vanished from NHC’s Atlantic map, and Igor was close to following suit as NHC said it was issuing its final Igor advisory Tuesday afternoon.
Waha flows westward on El Paso through the Permian Basin are being restricted by a Tuesday-Friday shutdown of the pipeline’s Keystone Compressor Station (see Daily GPI, Sept. 15). IntercontinentalExchange said Waha volumes traded on its platform rose only moderately from 111,100 MMBtu Monday to 132,500 MMBtu Tuesday while prices fell nearly 4 cents.
For all practical purposes, a utility buyer in the South said, his company is “full” on storage at the 95% level. It might inject a bit more to get up to 96-97%, he said, “but we always leave a small hole” for flexibility purposes as November nears. Local temperatures peaking in the low 90s are still kind of hot, but that’s more comfortable for residents than when a 100-degree high occurred recently, he added.
A Rockies producer noted that pipeline maintenance, particularly on Questar and Northwest, is currently limiting takeaway capacity in his region, but both constraints are scheduled to end by the weekend. Rockies weather is moderate to cool, so localized load is fairly limited and that causes more of a problem in being limited on exporting gas to other markets, he said.
The CIG-Henry Hub basis spread was getting much wider again at 70 cents Tuesday after having tightened to the half-dollar area last week (see Daily GPI, Sept. 20).
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey’s Cameron Horwitz said he is looking for an 89 Bcf storage injection to be reported for the week ending Sept. 17. The sequential volume decline from a week earlier is due to a 1.5 Bcf/d increase in gas-fired power demand and a 0.5 Bcf/d rise in industrial demand, Horwitz said, which he largely attributed to a rebound from the prior week’s holiday.
Stephen Smith of Stephen Smith Energy Associates said he had lowered an earlier 78 Bcf estimate of the build to 75 Bcf, while IAF Advisors analyst Kyle Cooper projects an addition of 71 Bcf.
Looking further ahead, Tim Evans of Citi Futures Perspective said he looks for a Thursday report of an 88 Bcf injection, to be followed by additions of 88 Bcf and 78 Bcf for the weeks of Sept. 24 and Oct. 1, respectively.
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