Late-week price losses got steeper Friday even with forecasts of peak temperatures around 100 degrees or more still prevailing for most of the southern third of the U.S. Cooling trends in the key Midwest and Northeast market areas, along with the previous day’s plunge of 14.9 cents by September futures and the usual weekend drop of industrial load, obviously played a large role in Friday’s market softness.
Except for Western Canada, nearly all losses were in double digits, ranging from about C5 cents to about 30 cents. The downturn was most prominent in the Northeast, where temperatures were predicted to top out around 80 and the upper 70s in New York City and Boston, respectively.
After three straight sessions of negative guidance for the next-day cash market, September futures finally were neutral in being flat at $3.941 (see related story).
The remnants of former Tropical Storm Emily had become a broad area of low pressure between central Cuba and the Bahamas Friday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It gave the system a 60% chance of regenerating into a tropical cyclone within the succeeding 48 hours, but still expected it to proceed northward off the eastern Florida coast with no threat to Gulf of Mexico production.
Bison Pipeline reported that the section of pipe damaged in a July 20 rupture had been repaired, and it was beginning inline inspections Thursday as part of the restoration plan, allowing it to accept up to 200,000 Dth/d of nominations for Friday’s gas day. The inline pig runs were anticipated to be completed Friday.
A Rockies producer said he was not certain whether the return of some Bison capacity would impact Rockies prices, noting that they had held up pretty well even while Bison was offline.
A Northeast marketer said temperatures in his region were “very cool for early August,” and his company was definitely seeing lower gas orders from power generators than before. LNG supplies currently are relatively low in the Northeast, he said, with Canaport only flowing about 160,000 Dth/d, Cove Point sendout essentially nothing since May and Distrigas “only sending out a little.” However, Marcellus Shale production is making up generally all of the LNG supply shortfalls, he added.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) continued to appeal for conservation of electric use between 3 and 7 p.m. through the upcoming week as record-high summer temperatures continue throughout the state. ERCOT said it reached new all-time peak demands three times last week, with the current record of 68,294 MW being set Wednesday in the 4-5 p.m. period.
Lingering heat in the South through the Midcontinent and desert Southwest was being largely counteracted by mild conditions in the northern U.S. and much of Canada. An expected warm-up along the West Coast was proving to be much less than what was anticipated, and while above-seasonal temperatures remained in the Rockies, Denver wasn’t due to get above about 90, according to Weather Central.
The Northern Natural Gas bulletin board highlighted low-demand situations in the Upper Midwest with a posting saying market-area temperatures around 76 and 78 degrees for Friday and Saturday were expected to sink near its normal system-weighted average of 72 for this time of year Sunday and Monday.
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