Prices began the week with a mixed performance Monday. Flatnesswas dominant at most points, with small drops outweighing smallgains at others. Mild weather throughout much of the nation lent nofundamental support to gas demand. However, sources saw a goodchance for at least modest increases today based on Monday’sfutures uptick.

Despite initial softness, traders in both the Gulf Coast andMidcontinent saw numbers trending higher as activity proceeded. Amarketer said his NGPL sales in both the Midcontinent and TexOkpools were almost a nickel higher than what he was hearing early inthe morning. Similarly a producer saw his early and late deals forHenry Hub and Texas Eastern’s East Louisiana and West Louisianapools separated by about 4 cents, with the later quotes occupyingthe high ground.

Some stiff imbalances from storm-caused production outages inthe last two weeks still face many traders, but a Louisianaproducer said his offshore output was back to 100% Monday. Justabout everybody else is also back on-line “except for dribs anddrabs here and there,” he said. What was described as a “weaktrough” in the western Gulf of Mexico caught the attention of sometraders, but it was not expected to develop much anytime soon. Thatprobably was just fine to many Houston traders who coped withtropical storm-related flooding last Friday.

Monday’s big gain of almost a dime occurred at the PG&Ecitygate, which got a boost from the utility’s low-inventory OFO ineffect today. Intra-Alberta also was strong, moving up more than adime from intially flat numbers in the low C$1.90s. NOVA linepackwas normal but field receipts were running lower than expected, acouple of Calgary sources said. Also, storage demand remains strongbecause Aeco C is running behind on its injection schedule, theysaid. One was averaging C$2.05 in October sales, which was aroundthe top end of Monday’s day trading range.

A marketer who traded Waha gas at $1.70-74 said prices moved ashigh as $1.80 later after a big utility stepped into the marketlate and began bidding gas up. Waha seems to be developing a trendof moving higher throughout the morning, he said, largely due totime zone differences. Pacific Coast buyers, being two hours behindthe Central zone, tend to inject some extra demand into the Wahamarket in the late going, he added.

©Copyright 1998 Intelligence Press Inc. All rights reserved. Thepreceding news report may not be republished or redistributed, inwhole or in part, in any form, without prior written consent ofIntelligence Press,Inc.