Despite a leveling off of the general cash market Thursday, inno way did it signify that the recent price slide was coming to anend, sources said. Instead, there was a consensus that weekendnumbers will be performing an ugly swan dive today. Chiefly therewill be the influence of Thursday’s dime-plus screen drop, whichoccurred for the most part after cash business had been completed,several traders said. In addition, quite a few pipelines eitherhave high-linepack OFOs already in place or are expected to issuethem today as storage injection capabilities are highly constrainedon nearly every system. And although it was getting decidedlychillier Thursday in the Midwest and Northeast market areas, theweather still wasn’t cold enough to generate any great amount ofheating load.

Cash continues to dictate the direction of the futures screen, aGulf Coast trader said, and that likely will become more pronouncedtoday when it will be difficult to find a home for the physicalmolecule. Furthermore, he expects the Gulf Coast to get hit withthe most severe price decay as gas floods in from the West andMidcontinent seeking the relatively premium Gulf prices.

Though projecting linepack inventories at 200 MMcf or more aboveits target level through Sunday, PG&E had not issued an OFO asof Thursday afternoon. However, a marketer said it’s a safe betthat both major California distributors will be issuing weekendOFOs today. Transwestern will be ending its Topock outage ondeliveries into PG&E Saturday, adding even more supplies intoan already overburdened system, he said. Besides that, SoCal Gas isperforming storage maintenance that is cutting injectioncapabilities by 380 MMcf/d through Nov. 22.

Much like Wednesday’s market, some of the weakest points were inthe Rockies Thursday. However, only CIG, which had begun ahigh-linepack OFO, was still registering sub-$2 quotes.

Although it’s getting late in the 1999 hurricane season, the AirForce may send out aircraft today to investigate a squally systemin the northwest Caribbean Sea that has a chance of developing intoa tropical depression within the next day or two, a forecastingservice said.

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