A large majority of points were in rally mode Tuesday, with some modest increases in cooling load and buzz about potential for new Atlantic storm activity being credited for the overall rebound. But Rockies prices continued to take it on the chin for the most part, with a bottom-end quote of 20 cents for Opal being only a nickel above the all-time record low price established last June.
Gains were remarkably consistent across geographic market areas in ranging from about a nickel to half a dollar or so in nearly all cases. But a couple of outliers showed up. One was a jump of about 65 cents at the Florida citygate after Florida Gas Transmission followed up on Monday’s warning about a potential Overage Alert Day by actually issuing one Tuesday (see Transportation Notes) and setting the tolerance for negative daily imbalances at a relatively stringent 10% (the pipeline usually uses a 25% tolerance). The other was a spike of about $2.25 at Cheyenne Hub, which defied the extreme weakness in the rest of the Rockies chiefly due to its being the primary conduit for gas moving eastward out of the region to more lucrative markets in the Midwest and Midcontinent.
The Rockies losses ranged from a little less than 30 cents to about $1.15 and left all non-Cheyenne Hub points in the region averaging less than 90 cents. Prices continued to be depressed by transportation constraints, primarily on Northwest, and by declining cooling load. Denver, which peaked at 89 degrees Monday, was forecast to see a high of only 79 Wednesday.
Wednesday’s cash market will have some prior-day futures support after the September contract, which expires Wednesday, had one of its rare up days in recent times with a gain of 21.3 cents.
The primary booster for both cash and Nymex traders appeared to be what The Weather Channel (TWC) called a “weak disturbance” — squally weather associated with a low-pressure center — that was midway between the west coast of Africa and the Lesser Antilles island chain at the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea and moving westward at 15-20 mph. “Some development is possible over the next day or two as it continues on its westward trek,” TWC said.
ANR became the latest pipeline to slap restrictions on interruptible storage injections because of rapidly filling facilities (see Transportation Notes). Not only will it stop accepting nominations for interruptible injections Wednesday, but customers of interruptible services must empty their accounts by Oct. 31.
Heat is starting to come back into the Northeast, said a Houston-based producer who noticed a distinct rise in power generation buying there. He also noted the talk of a potential tropical storm out there, but it “could turn out to be hype” or might become a real issue. He saw the screen as “following the cash for a change” as much of the futures strength did not appear until after cash trading had been completed.
The producer reported doing South Texas basis deals for September Tuesday at minus 19-18 cents for Tennessee Zone 0 and minus 18 cents for Transco Station 30.
Referring to the futures rebound, a Midcontinent producer said that it appeared to be reasonable due to the tropical disturbance. He was less sure about the cash rally, saying current six- to 10-day forecasts are “very bearish” for the most part. He was not doing any bidweek business yet because his company has most of its gas committed under summer term contracts.
The tropical activity was about all a Calgary-based producer could think of that helped rally both cash and screen prices. It seems there are one or two tropical waves out there that could strengthen eventually, he said. A leak between Station 1 and Station 2 on the Westcoast system (see Transportation Notes) boosted Station 2’s unusual premium to NOVA Inventory Transfer to more than C50 cents by limiting the volumes available at Station 2, he said. The shortfall at Station 2 carried over to Sumas, which was up half a dollar. Sumas gas was in high demand to make up for a number of Declared Deficiency Periods restricting northbound flows of gas on Northwest.
The National Weather Service’s (NWS) six- to 10-day forecast for the Sept. 3-7 period calls for a wide swath of above-normal temperatures stretching from the West Coast south of central Oregon through the desert Southwest and Rockies into the central Plains and northern Midcontinent into the Lower Midwest and the northwest quadrant of the South. Above-normal readings also are expected in the southern two-thirds of the Florida peninsula. NWS predicted below-normal temperatures in nearly all of New England and in most of Texas except for the upper Panhandle and a strip along the state’s borders with Louisiana and Arkansas.
Ron Denhardt of Strategic Energy & Economic Research expects a storage addition of 44 Bcf to be reported for the week ending Aug. 24.
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