Virtually all of the cash market was down Friday as modest rebounds of high temperatures and a prior-day 4-cent decline by October futures proved unable to support continued firmness. The usual weekend drop of industrial load applied further downward pressure on cash numbers.
Only a flat performance at Florida Gas Zone 3 was left out of losses everywhere else ranging from 2-3 cents to nearly half a dollar. However, only Tennessee Zone 4’s weakness on Line 300 resulted in a drop exceeding about a dime.
Cash traders will have moderately negative futures guidance Monday after the prompt-month contract declined 6.5 cents (see related story).
Tropical Storm Nate seemed much less threatening to Gulf of Mexico (GOM) production after revised National Hurricane Center projections had it headed westward into central Mexico.
Tropical Storm Maria was still on course to pass north of the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and Hispaniola before taking a northward turn toward Bermuda that would closely resemble the path of Hurricane Katia. Meanwhile, as of Friday Katia was proceeding northeastward into oblivion over cooler North Atlantic waters east of Canada’s Maritimes provinces. Other than some occasionally dangerous surf conditions along the Atlantic Seaboard, Katia had little impact.
Shut-in GOM gas related to Tropical Storm Lee shrank further to 210 MMcf/d, or 4% of normal production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) said Friday based on reports from 21 companies. It counted 87,378 b/d of oil (6.2% of normal) as still offline. All mobile drilling rigs had been restaffed, BOEM said, while four production platforms remained evacuated.
There was some threat of lost production in Central and East Texas due to wildfires, and Southern California demand also fell due to power blackouts (see related stories).
Northern Natural Gas indicated some relative Upper Midwest warmth — but nothing meaningful to the gas market — in a bulletin board posting saying that compared to its normal system-weighted temperature of 63 degrees at this time of year, it anticipated averages of 70 on both Friday and Saturday followed by 71 Sunday and 69 Monday.
Kern River linepack was still normal but trending toward minimum target levels Friday, the pipeline said.
It’s reasonable to expect some more price softness early this week; both due to the lack of a tropical storm threat and continued mild weather in most areas, a Texas-based marketer said. In addition, the Nymex drop will be bearish for Monday’s spot market, he said. All in all, it looks like a quiet period coming up in the gas market for the near term, he added.
An Upper Midwest marketer said her company was buying “sparingly” in the daily market, with most of its clients’ deliveries going into Consumers Energy. With local weather seeing lows in the 40s and highs in the 70s, there was almost nothing in either cooling or heating demand, she said.
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