In a move reminiscent of similar extreme weakness in early June, most Rockies points plummeted by more than a dollar Monday and saw low-end quotes dip to less than a dollar. However, the price carnage wasn’t quite as severe as on the trade date of June 4 (see Daily GPI, June 5) when a CIG deal at 15 cents tied NGI‘s all-time lowest quote.

But unlike the June basis blowout in the Rockies (also on a Monday), when most of the rest of the market was recording gains of about a dime to 80 cents, this time the Rockies were merely way out in front of an overall price slide. Only two points managed to avoid mostly sizable declines ranging from a little more than a nickel to around $1.30.

Reasons for the massive cash market softness that opened this week were the same ones that caused bearishness to dominate every day last week: limited serious cooling load outside the southern third of the U.S.; futures weakness on the preceding trade day; and a lack of any credible tropical storm threat to offshore production. And the specter of nearly full storage facilities continues to loom ominously in the overall market background.

Although there were no OFOs affecting the Rockies in particular (or the West in general) and no known reports of high linepack, Northwest added a second Declared Deficiency Period on northbound flows at Baker Compressor Station Monday (see Transportation Notes) to the existing one at Pleasant View Compressor Station (see Daily GPI, Aug. 22). That allowed the linked points of Sumas and Westcoast Station 2 to realize Monday’s sole increases in serving Pacific Northwest demand that was unavailable to some Rockies production.

Questar averaged a little more than 90 cents in failing to record a single triple-digit quote, and it was joined in sub-dollar numbers at their low ends by CIG, Kern River, Northwest-Domestic, Northwest-South of Green River and Opal.

Florida Gas Zone 3 was the only point with a decline in single digits as Florida Gas Transmission advised shippers that with 90-degree weather forecasted in its Florida market area, they should be alert for the possibility of an Overage Alert Day being issued.

The Northeast is expected to see another day of pleasant weather Tuesday following weekend hot spots in some areas, and cooling rains are due again in the Midwest, which is still trying to recover from last week’s flooding. Temperatures also will be fairly moderate in most of the West outside the desert Southwest and inland California.

Even the South is starting to get some relief from daily temperatures approaching or exceeding 100 degrees and should get more relief from a cold front later this week, according to The Weather Channel. A utility buyer in the region typified the change Monday when he said, “The heat feels like it’s broken; it’s not as oppressive.” It is still pretty warm, though, he added, as his company was still able to sell a little gas to fuel an area power generator’s combustion turbines.

The buyer said the utility will not buy any September baseload gas, since it has plenty of term supply under contract. He noted that the market “kind of looks like last year, according to the Nymex charts.” If so, prices should get very low prices next month, he said, “and we like it.”

With the September bidweek starting in earnest Monday, a Calgary-based producer said Chicago citygate physical basis traded in the minus “20ish” cents area. There was kind of a “skew” in basis with the three-day Nymex settlement process just getting under way, he said. If September futures continue to weaken as much as they have recently, the producer added, he would expect basis to get stronger by Wednesday.

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