Mixed price movement was repeated Wednesday, but this time the bulls were running instead of the bears. Some sizable heating load is starting to emerge as temperatures more seasonal for mid-October replace what had been a fairly mild (or sometimes hot) start to autumn so far. With a major outlet blockage being removed, Rockies prices responded with spikes a day after plunges to as low as 40 cents the day before.
A large majority of the market ranged from flat to about $1.15 higher, although outside the Rockies gains were limited to about 45 cents and most were in single digits. Losses ran as high as a little more than a quarter, although in most cases they also were small.
TransColorado had greatly limited Rockies Wednesday flows to the San Juan Basin by performing tie-ins at the Blanco Hub that day, which barred any deliveries through Segment 310. However, the maintenance was for one day only, so TransColorado access to the basin would be open again Thursday. The renewed competition from Rockies supplies caused El Paso-San Juan numbers to fall a little more than a dime.
Cash prices, which had essentially neutral guidance from Tuesday’s 1.7-cent increase by November futures, will have a bit more support Thursday after the contract posted a 14.7-cent gain Wednesday.
Florida Gas Transmission ended an Overage Alert Day Wednesday, prompting drops of a little more than a dime and nearly 40 cents by Florida Gas Zone 3 and the Florida citygate, respectively.
The desert Southwest is the last remaining bastion of major cooling load with highs still reaching the mid to high 90s. The western end of the South will still be rather warm Thursday but only reaching the mid 80s not long after peaking around 90 degrees. Cooling load has diminished significantly in the eastern South, where comfortable highs in the mid 70s were forecast.
Otherwise, furnaces are starting to get fired up in most of the rest of the nation and Canada, where few areas will get above the low 60s in the next couple of days and lows in the 30s and 40s are becoming more common.
Tropical activity remains muted in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, although a few areas of interest are still being monitored, such as a low-pressure area over Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and a tropical wave in the Lesser Antilles island chain. However, neither was expected to develop.
A western trader reported a quiet market, saying much of the region has little cooling load left and is only gradually getting any significant heating load to replace it. “Pricing was weird” in the Rockies recently, he noted, adding that he guessed it was the TransColorado outage at Blanco Hub Wednesday that the numbers bouncing down and up so much. He said he was unable to “find any workable spread” from Kingsgate to Malin Wednesday.
A survey of 22 industry analysts by Reuters found an average expectation of a 70 Bcf storage build during the week ending Oct. 5. Estimates ranged from 60 Bcf to 80 Bcf, the news service said. George Hopley of Barclays Capital Research weighed in with a 66 Bcf projection. Bentek Energy looks for a 69 Bcf injection. And Stephen Smith of Stephen Smith Energy Associates said he expects an addition of 72 Bcf.
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