Though not nearly as massive as those on Friday, further big drops at several Northeast citygates again led continuing softness in most of the market Monday. Most of the small gains were concentrated at western locations.

The Zone 6-New York pool of Transco easily topped overall losses ranging from 2-3 cents to nearly $1.40. Several flat to modestly higher locations elsewhere (primarily in the Gulf Coast) joined the West in gains running as high as about a nickel.

Friday’s minuscule increase of 0.4 cent by August futures and the restoration of industrial load from its weekend hiatus obvious did essentially nothing to support Monday’s physical market. Cash traders will have slightly negative guidance for Tuesday after Nymex’s prompt-month gas contract slipped by 1.3 cents (see related story).

With last week’s Tropical Storms Bret and Cindy long since faded away into the North Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center gave near-zero odds of significant development for a westward-moving tropical wave that was producing disorganized showers and a few thunderstorms Monday over Caribbean waters to the south of eastern and central Cuba.

Consolidated Edison said crews were working through the night Sunday to restore power to parts of New York City (NYC) and Westchester County where 84,000 customers had lost it since a “scorching heat wave” struck last Thursday. Highs around 100 or slightly more continued to plague the NYC area through Saturday, but Con Ed was getting some help as peak temperatures began to subside to around 90 Sunday and were due to be in the mid 80s Monday and Tuesday.

Northeast heat had eased enough for Tennessee to cancel its last remaining major constraint in the region (see Transportation Notes), leading to a plunge of a little more than 60 cents on the 300 Line in Tennessee’s Zone 6.

The most striking development in the Northeast was Transco’s Zone 6-New York recording the day’s biggest loss by far, while the non-New York pool of Zone 6 was flat and Texas Eastern M-3 fell less than a nickel.

Though the Midwest didn’t get as searingly hot as the East Coast late last week, it also was retreating into the mid to upper 80s for the most part. The South was a mix of temperature trends up, down and sometimes flat but mostly still peaking in the 90s, while at the region’s western end century-mark readings continued to dominate in Oklahoma, Texas and northwest Louisiana.

The Rockies and even the desert Southwest were seeing significantly cooler condition, while inland California is remaining on the mildly hot side, and it’s the same old same old for the West Coast, Pacific Northwest and Western Canada: mild to cool.

Western pipes El Paso and Kern River both were reporting low linepack Monday, and both pipes realized small gains.

Despite a small loss at Henry Hub and flat CIG quotes, the CIG-Hub basis spread was about 42 cents, the same as it had been Friday.

A Rockies producer said a total outage of Bison Pipeline appeared to be having little market impact. Owner TransCanada Corp. said it now expects to begin ramping up flows again on Bison around midweek (see related story). The producer reported being told by Bentek Energy that a lot of gas that normally would have gone into Bison was being shifted southward to Cheyenne Plains instead.

However, even with the Bison problem being relatively benign, a partial REX outage (see Transportation Notes) adds a further complication to the Rockies market equation, the producer went on. And Ruby Pipeline may be ready to start operations later this week (see related story), he said, but it won’t really be needed for quite a while, citing the abundance of Pacific Northwest hydropower and the Columbia Generation Station in Washington state looking like it’s getting ready to come back online, which will be worth about 200 MMcf/d of gas-fired generation fading.

The producer noted that extra problems appear to be in the offing since Ruby will be taking some Opal supplies from Kern River. Kern River is holding another open season, he said, but he thought it was getting few if any takers. Does that mean Kern River will need to apply for a rate increase, he asked rhetorically. The “deck seems to be stacked” against Rockies production, he added. It used to be a case of too little takeaway capacity, and now it’s either too much takeaway capacity or falling production in the area, depending on how you look at it.

The producer had a foreboding that all the issues he had cited earlier are going to greatly complicate bidweek trading by Rockies producers.

IntercontinentalExchange said initial August baseload quotes on its system at the Chicago citygate averaged $4.53, which is up about 15 cents from NGI‘s first-of-month Chicago index for July.

The Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Count said gas-directed drilling rig activity increased by four units to 889 during the week ending July 22. Five rigs were added onshore, Baker Hughes said, while one was deactivated in the Gulf of Mexico. The most recent count was up 2% from a month ago but down 9% from the year-earlier level.

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