Although there was only a fairly small return of heat in the Northeast Monday and some areas there were already due to start seeing high temperatures slacken again a few degrees Tuesday, Northeast citygates recorded most of the largest upticks of up to about 35 cents. One source suggested that Monday’s moderate temperature upticks may have spurred a little extra buying by Northeast traders to resolve unexpected Monday imbalances.
Otherwise, flat numbers were common, and few cash points varied much either up or down from there. Excepting Northeast citygates, gains topped out at a little more than a dime (at Texas Eastern-East Texas), while other points fell as much as about a dime. Western markets were home to a majority of the declines.
Friday’s flat performance by September futures gave no guidance to cash trading, but the physical market will have a slightly negative influence from Nymex Tuesday after the prompt-month contract, after wavering on either side of unchanged, finished the day with a 0.6-cent drop (see related story).
Former Tropical Storm Emily had regenerated into a tropical depression by early Sunday morning but was moving out to sea from offshore central Florida into the general vicinity of Bermuda without ever having any significant impact on the gas market. As of Monday morning the National Hurricane Center said it had no Atlantic tropical cyclone activity to report.
However, The Weather Channel reported keeping an eye on two tropical waves — one in the far eastern Caribbean Sea and the other still in the Cape Verde Islands area off West Africa.
Northeast citygates had taken Friday’s biggest price hits due to forecasts of weekend cool-downs. On Monday they were leading the gains, even though several parts of the region that had reheated a bit Monday could expect to see modestly cooler conditions Tuesday.
Even a few eastern sections of the South were losing some cooling load, as such locations as Little Rock, AR, and Memphis, TN, where highs were reaching 100 or slightly higher Monday, were predicted to join Atlanta and Birmingham, AL, with peaks generally in the mid 90s. Most of Texas and Oklahoma were expected to continue seeing the thermometer top the century mark, although Oklahoma City would be dropping from around 110 Monday to the low 100s.
The forecast for most of the Midwest and West was remaining merely warmish in the 80s, but parts of the desert Southwest were expected to keep hitting the 100s while most of Canada is due to remain limited to the low to mid 70s.
About the only significant pipeline restrictions to show up were Tennessee’s Imbalance Alert in market-area Zones 5 and 6 and capacity allocations for two delivery groups by Southern (see Transportation Notes).
Florida Gas Transmission and Gulfstream had ended actions against negative imbalances in their Florida market area, and Westcoast said linepack was trending Monday from high levels to “healthy.” Florida citygates experienced Monday’s biggest drop, while Westcoast Station 2 rose a couple of pennies.
Henry Hub rose about a penny, according to IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), but volumes traded on the ICE platform fell drastically from 876,200 MMBtu Friday to 639,500 MMBtu Monday. However, ICE said, the Chicago citygate rebounded from Friday’s drop of 16 cents by gaining nearly a nickel, and its ICE activity also rose from 721,000 MMBtu to 808,000 MMBtu.
After recording a drop of 12 units in U.S. gas-oriented drilling activity for the week ending July 29, the Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Count said its tally had recovered by half that amount to 883 in the week ending Aug. 5. Two rigs were deactivated in the Gulf of Mexico, Baker Hughes said, while eight were added onshore. Its most recent count was up 1% from a month ago but down 10% from the year-earlier level.
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