Although influences such as weather forecasts and record-setting storage inventories were on the weak side, only a couple of points (OGT in the Midcontinent and NOVA Inventory Transfer in Western Canada) were lower Tuesday.

The two losses were minuscule at about a nickel or less. The rest of the market ranged from flat to up about 45 cents. A moderate majority of upticks were in double digits, with the Northeast being home to most of the largest ones despite having seasonably cool temperatures in most locations.

Dracut in New England likely recorded the top increase due to Maritimes & Northeast reporting a supply shortfall Monday from the Sable Offshore Energy Project (see Transportation Notes). A call about whether the shortfall was continuing Tuesday did not get a response.

It will be more meager than before, but Wednesday’s cash numbers can still count on prior-day screen support after December futures began their three-day countdown to settlement with a small increase of 1.6 cents Tuesday (see related story). However, that positive influence is almost certain to be more than negated by the larger decline of industrial load that occurs during a holiday weekend, especially one including an extra weekday like Thanksgiving.

As of Tuesday morning the National Hurricane Center was still checking out a low-pressure area about 1,000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda; it had raised the system’s chances of becoming an extratropical cyclone within 48 hours to 60% Monday but downgraded them back to 10% Tuesday. However, by midday the agency said it no longer had anything to report on its monitoring map.

Southern and KM Interstate were adding OFOs or similar actions to prevent positive imbalances (see Transportation Notes) to ones already existing or announced by other pipes. Westcoast was a rarity in issuing an OFO to combat low linepack.

Though cold overnight lows were lingering from the Rockies and Midwest into some parts of the Northeast, that swath of territory was either starting to see warmer conditions or would do so during the long weekend. The South was the major region where cooling trends are under way, but the primary effect will be eliminating any air conditioner use without getting cold enough to need heaters.

In spite of Tuesday’s price gains, a Rockies producer saw the weather as looking fairly bearish in most areas at least into December. He noted that the CIG-Henry Hub basis spread has slipped a little since hitting the dime area last week, mainly because the West is warmer now and the East has gotten a bit colder. However, he had no concerns about Rockies pricing going back to the big discounts of as much as a dollar or so to the overall market a few years ago; after all, he observed, something like 3 Bcf/d-plus in Rockies takeaway capacity has been added since then.

Confirming one source’s expectation late last week, IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) indicated a large amount of December business being transacted on its platform at some of the largest-volume points during the official opening day of bidweek. ICE activity totaled 206,000 MMBtu Tuesday at the Chicago citygate; the average of $3.709 was about 12 cents less than NGI‘s Chicago index for November.

The Energy Information Administration will issue its weekly storage report a day earlier than usual at noon EST Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday Thursday.

Stephen Smith of Stephen Smith Energy Associates said he lowered his original estimate of a 19 Bcf storage build in the week ending Nov. 18 to 13 Bcf. Credit Suisse’s Stefan Revielle looks for an addition of 17 Bcf, while IAF Advisors analyst Kyle Cooper anticipates a slightly larger one of 18 Bcf.

Tim Evans of Citi Futures Perspective had one of the analysts’ larger expectations of a 28 Bcf injection. Evans looks for this to be followed by one more build of 23 Bcf during the week ending Nov. 25 before withdrawals begin with one at 23 Bcf in the week ending Dec. 2, followed by a much larger draw of 107 Bcf in the week ending Dec. 9.

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