Prices continued to drop by generally small amounts at nearly all points Thursday despite cooling load remaining heavy in some areas. A few cooling trends and the previous day’s downturn of 6.5 cents by prompt-month futures were primary components of the cash market softness.

Price declines were primarily in the range of 2-3 cents to a little more than a quarter, but only a few were above single digits. Several locations, primarily in the West, were flat to a couple of pennies higher.

The Energy Information Administration reported a 43 Bcf addition to storage for the week ending July 29, handily exceeding consensus estimates in the upper 30s Bcf. As if Nymex traders didn’t already have enough bearish news on which to feed, the storage report prompted them to send the prompt-month September contract 14.9 cents lower on the day (see related story).

Assuming it survives passage over the mountainous terrain of western Hispaniola and eastern Cuba, Tropical Storm Emily was still projected to take an offshore cruise along the east coast of Florida, without disturbing any Gulf of Mexico production, and head out into the open Atlantic by early next week.

PG&E slightly relaxed the tolerance range for its ongoing high/low-inventory OFO (see Transportation Notes), but citygate and Malin numbers were still flat to about a nickel lower.

Most of the West will remain warmish, but not especially hot, with highs in the 80s going into the weekend, according to the forecast on Kern River’s bulletin board. Otherwise, the weather outlook was largely status quo: continued major heat across the southern third of the U.S. with relatively moderate conditions still dominating in the Midwest and Northeast.

Even with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas elevating a previous week-long notice about conserving power use in the late-afternoon hours (see Daily GPI, Aug. 2) to a warning about “high risk of rotating outages” Thursday, prices continued to slip about a nickel each at the Houston Ship Channel and nearby Katy Hub.

Westcoast still hadn’t issued an OFO about it but continued to report high-linepack issues Thursday.

©Copyright 2011Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news reportmay not be republished or redistributed, in whole or in part, in anyform, without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.