Small decreases of 2-5 cents were the order of the day Tuesdayat most trading points, although a few managed to hang in there atflat levels. Moderating weather played some part, but the screen’sretreat late Monday along with another small drop Tuesday set thesofter mood, sources said.

Declines were minimal in the Southwest basins because of lateprice support at Waha, a producer said. Waha quotes popped back toas high as $2.20 after starting the day at 3-4 cents down. The Waharebound was due to an unexpected outage at TU Electric’s ComanchePeak nuclear plant, the producer said, which prompted a buyingspree at Waha by TU gas purchasing unit TUFCO. A marketer confirmedTUFCO was buying at Waha but wasn’t sure if the volumes were largerthan usual. There definitely was a late surge in Waha prices,though, she said. A Daily GPI inquiry to TU Electric about thenuclear plant’s status received no response.

Traders estimated constraints and outages at Kern River’s MuddyCreek Station and at the Opal plant were backing up 180-230 MMcf/dinto the Rockies, but that didn’t seem to have much impact onprices, which were down slightly to the low $1.90s. “We have reallyrun the weather gamut here in Colorado over the past week,” onesource said. “A snowstorm dumped as much as three feet of snow insome parts last week, and now it is 72 degrees.”

A Northeast-oriented marketer reported getting a lot ofbidweek-related calls, “but nothing is happening there yet.” Shewas hearing basis talk of TCO at plus 13, Transco Zone 6 (NYC) atplus 24.5 and Niagara at plus 14.5.

A Western trader said his gut feeling on bidweek is that manybuyers will wait until Monday in hopes of cheaper prices after theHenry Hub futures contract expires Friday. Producers, however, willpush to sell by Friday since the market is currently strong, headded. He said he had seen some producers already making Rockies,Permian and San Juan sales, but there weren’t that many buyers. “Wehave been mainly sellers ourselves” so far, he said, reportingfixed prices of $2.10-14 (Permian), $2.04-07 (San Juan-Blanco) and$1.89-92 (Rockies in general).

Another source quoted April deals at Blanco for $2.04-05, addingthat the Blanco-Topock spread is shaping up as 30-31 cents. Withthe screen unable to sustain Monday’s run-up into the low $2.40s, amarketer said, overall Midcontinent was narrowing back to minus10-11 Tuesday.

A marketer quoted a Chicago citygate deal at plus 6.75, whichput the effective price at $2.40. “I would rather be a seller at$2.40 than a buyer,” she added.

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