A winter storm sweeping through the South, along with freezingtemperatures expected to last through the weekend in much of theU.S. from the Rockies eastward, resulted in rising prices at nearlyall points Friday.

The increases tended to range from less than a nickel at Midwestcitygates to around 15 cents on several Gulf Coast pipes. The onlyarea to see a decline in weekend numbers was the Northeast, wherecitygates remained handily well above the rest of the market, evenafter declining.

A marketer averaging in the mid $2.60s at Waha for huge volumesof gas said, “Everybody was calling wanting to take Waha gas toEast Texas because it’s finally gotten cold there. They’re justeating it up in the intrastate Texas market.”

One trader thought El Paso might find it necessary to issue alow-linepack OFO (it didn’t) “because so much gas is leaving theirsystem at the east end to go east or north.” A marketer attributedthe Rockies price hikes primarily to gas moving eastward to meetMidcontinent/Midwest demand.

PG&E citygates saw California’s biggest rise of more than adime after the utility had lifted a high-linepack OFO.

Depending on their trading area, sources had differing opinionson the bidweek price trend. A western marketer said prices weremoving slightly higher, saying he had traded San Juan-Blanco at$2.38-40 Friday after seeing prices in the mid $2.30s the daybefore. But another trader saw Michigan citygates slipping a bit,reporting Consumers Power deals at $2.66-68 Thursday and at$2.64-66 Friday.

A Houston-based producer noted that several of his usualelectric utility customers stayed out of the market Friday, optingto wait until this morning to see how prices react coming out ofthe weekend before completing February purchases.

A buyer electing not to take any baseload at the Chicagocitygate observed, “At these prices I’ll take my chances in theswing market. Temperatures over the last few days have averagedmuch below normal, but it is hard to believe the weather will keepthis up all month long. Besides, storage is 71% full with just nineweeks left in the normal withdrawal cycle. At some point that willweigh on prices.”

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