Most of the cash market varied little from flat Friday, but modest softness in the West tended to be barely more plentiful than small gains at eastern points. Moderately warmer temperatures were returning in the South, Northeast and Midwest, and cooling trends in the Rockies and desert Southwest were resulting in little cooling load remaining at western trading points.

Gains were slight at 2-3 cents to nearly a dime, while losses ranged from 2-3 cents to a little more than a dime. Nearly all changes in either direction were less than a nickel.

After dropping for three straight days, July futures will provide some support for Monday’s cash market after rallying by 13.4 cents Friday (see related story). Unlike earlier in the week in which the natural gas contract weakened while the rest of Nymex’s energy futures complex went higher, on Friday natural gas again defied the trend with a significant increase while petroleum-related products softened.

A western trader said it was “hot out here, but not that hot.” The region might see some air conditioning load during the weekend but conditions should be cooler by Monday, he said. Basis spreads were fairly large in the West Friday, he said, but are likely to contract with lower temperatures arriving early this week.

After an overall cooling period in the middle of last week, forecasts are starting to turn warmer again in the six- to 10-day and 11- to 15-day periods.

Excess supply issues continued in the West. Although PG&E ended its systemwide high-inventory OFO Friday, SoCalGas issued a high-linepack OFO for Saturday (see Transportation Notes).

Drilling rigs searching for gas in the U.S. increased by seven to 954 during the week ending June 11, according to Baker Hughes. The onshore count climbed by nine, but the Gulf of Mexico tally fell by two to a 52-week low of 12 rigs.

Enterprise Products Partners said it expected to complete repairs of a pipe rupture on its partially owned North Texas system by last Saturday.

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