Only a few scattered points missed out on a continued moderate rally in a majority of the market Wednesday. Once again, buying to replace storage gas that was withdrawn during the recent weeks-long heat wave was believed to be the primary support for cash numbers, although high temperatures across much of the southern U.S. are still contributing significant power generation load.
Most of the flat points were in the West, although there was another one at Texas Eastern-East Texas in the Gulf Coast. Florida Gas Zone 3 was the only location to see a price drop after the pipeline canceled an Overage Alert Day. Otherwise, gains tended to be a little larger than those on Tuesday in ranging from a little less than a nickel to about 35 cents. Northeast citygates tended to record most of the largest upticks even though mild weather for mid-August is due to stick around the region for a while longer.
Outside of high temperatures across the southern U.S that will be particularly intense in Oklahoma, Texas and the western sections of Louisiana and Arkansas and also in the desert Southwest, cooling load will be relatively light elsewhere.
It was another pretty quiet day for cash traders. Pipeline constraints were minimal, and a couple of them in the Gulf Coast were being resolved Wednesday (see Transportation Notes).
Whether the cash market can sustain its modest bullishness of the past two days is questionable after September futures made it four down trading days in a row with a loss of nearly a dime.
Excess supply issues are starting to surface in the West again. Kern River reported high linepack throughout its system Wednesday.
A low-pressure area in the Atlantic about 125 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach, SC Wednesday afternoon was being monitored because of its potential for developing into a tropical depression, possibly as early as that evening. But any threat to the offshore production area was considered quite remote. Instead, its likely impact on the gas market would be to dampen power generation demand in whatever section of the East Coast it might land.
It’s been “lovely weather” recently for a marketer in the Upper Midwest. Her company hasn’t been buying any daily gas this month, she said. “We haven’t needed it” because of the nice weather and being able to shuffle around baseload gas that it bought during bidweek among several meters as needed.
Estimates of the storage injection for the week ending Aug. 11 that will be reported Thursday by the Energy Information Administration include 35 Bcf by Jim Osten of Global Insight, who looks for the build to rise to 42 Bcf for the current week. Bentek Energy is calling for an injection of 30 Bcf. Reuters news service found an average build of 29 Bcf expected in its survey of 20 industry players. Their estimates ranged from 5 Bcf to 49 Bcf.
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