Milder weather trends continue in the South, while temperature changes are mixed in various parts of the Midwest. Nevertheless, the continuation of winter-like conditions in much of the North American market assured that this week’s overall price advance extended into its third day Wednesday.

The Northeast is getting colder but still not experiencing freezing lows except near the Canadian border. Despite its lack of especially frigid weather, the region recorded most of the largest of gains ranging from a couple of pennies to nearly 60 cents. Most of the flat to about 15 cents lower locations were in Western Canada and the Midcontinent; Oklahoma intrastate OGT led the declines.

The opening of December’s daily cash market had some prior-day screen support, but that faded quickly. Nymex traders provided negative guidance for Thursday’s cash prices as they pushed January futures 8.3 cents lower (see related story).

The last official day of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season featured a nonthreatening low-pressure system about 500 miles north-northeast of the northern Leeward Islands. Although the National Hurricane Center had raised the system’s chances of becoming a subtropical cyclone to 20%, its northward path indicated that it would remain an open water disturbance as so many of predecessors did earlier in the year.

Freezing lows are predicted for Thursday mostly in Canada, the Rockies and parts of the Pacific Northwest and the strip of the U.S. along its northern border. However, some parts of the upper South such as Little Rock, AR and Memphis, TN can expect their temperatures to dip as low as about 32 as well.

After a nearly five-month string of simultaneous high-inventory/low-inventory OFOs on its California Gas Transmission system, PG&E will not have an OFO in place Thursday (see Transportation Notes). PG&E said the available inventory swing to absorb fluctuations in supply and demand will increase from 200 MMcf to 450 MMcf, and thus it is returning to its old method of declaring either type of OFO only on occasions when next-day linepack circumstances indicate that one is necessary. See the Pipe Ranger bulletin board for more details.

El Paso said it has been working to increase linepack in advance of the forecasted winter weather expected to move into its service area late Wednesday. El Paso-San Juan quotes rose about 15 cents in both the Blanco and Bondad pools, while El Paso-Permian saw a smaller increase of about a dime.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) reported minuscule last-minute bidweek trading being done on its online platform. It said 5,000 MMBtu/d changed hands at the PG&E citygate for $3.88, down about 4 cents from Tuesday, with no other location seeing any activity Wednesday.

IAF Advisors analyst Kyle Cooper said he anticipates a 15 Bcf storage build being reported for the week ending Nov. 25.

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