A generally quiet market week came to a close Friday with anticipated softening at virtually all points (a flat Westcoast Station 2 was the exception). The lack of significant heating load in all market areas, the previous day’s bearish storage report and its accompanying screen loss of 22.7 cents, all played a part, with the usual weekend reduction in industrial load in a minor role.

Most declines were in double digits, with the overall range running from about a nickel (Sumas) to 40 cents (Tennessee Zone 6). Western Canada and the Rockies/Pacific Northwest saw most of the smallest losses, while Northeast citygates took many of the larger price hits.

With an icy storm having abandoned the lower Atlantic coastal states for a sea voyage, there were few areas left that couldn’t expect normal to above normal temperatures. Calgary had snow and temperatures a few degrees below freezing in Friday’s forecast, but that’s about normal for this time of year and intra-Alberta prices dropped about C5 cents.

Thursday morning’s storage report, which featured a 188 Bcf withdrawal that was well below the range of prior expectations (200-230 Bcf), was still on traders’ minds Friday, but the likelihood of a future revision seemed to be ruled out.

A Northeast marketer said he heard “a few rumors” Thursday about the Energy Information Administration issuing a revision “because the report was so far off” from prior estimates. But speaking for himself, the marketer said he doesn’t expect such a revision. Turning to the cash market, he noted that prices were “pretty weak” for the weekend and unlikely to rally substantively anytime soon. Forecasts indicate that his region won’t see any significantly colder weather until after the Feb. 12-13 weekend, he said. Trading activity remained quiet Friday, he added.

Citigroup analyst Kyle Cooper weighed in with this commentary on the storage issue: “Unfortunately, the EIA reported a withdrawal far below our expected range [216-226 Bcf]. It has been quite some time [since] we have been ‘whipsawed’ this badly. We were low last week, high this week. Will there be a revision? We don’t think so. Rather, this week seems to have ‘corrected’ the withdrawal of 230 Bcf from the prior week. If, for instance, last week was a 215 Bcf withdrawal and this week was a 203 Bcf drop, these reports would easily fit within an expected error from the base models.”

A utility fuel buyer in the Lower Midwest said area weather was “pleasantly warm in the mid 60s” Friday afternoon, which he added, was 20-25 degrees above normal. But then the mercury levels will get down to “average” cold of about 35 degrees Sunday, and a storm is due Monday, he said. “That kind of messes up our weekend” by making it more difficult to schedule for varying load, “but I guess that’s what storage is for,” he concluded.

Prices fell about a quarter in Florida Gas Transmission’s production-area Zones 2 and 3 despite the pipeline keeping an Overage Alert Day notice at 25% tolerance in effect for a fourth day Friday.

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