Prices rebounded by generally small amounts at most points Tuesday following across-the-board declines a day earlier. Considering Monday’s futures plunge of 27.4 cents, the rally was rather surprising in light of a warm-up into the 70s forecast for the South along with relatively light cooling trends in parts of the Northeast and mixed temperature movement due in the Midwest.
However, colder weather will be returning to the Plains and Midwest later this week as a cold front moves eastward from the Rockies, according to The Weather Channel (TWC).
At least the Rockies had a valid rationale for price boosts based on heating load, with much of the region expected to see lows around 20 Wednesday. The extra gas staying at home in the Rockies had an extended price impact in Northern California, where Malin and the PG&E citygate were up a quarter or so.
A few scattered points, including Henry Hub, recorded losses ranging from a couple of pennies to about a nickel. The rest of the market was flat to nearly 45 cents higher.
The cash market will have modest futures support Wednesday after the November gas futures contract interrupted a four-day losing streak with a rebound of 4.4 cents Tuesday (see related story).
The Florida citygate saw the day’s largest gain after Florida Gas Transmission (FGT) issued an Overage Alert Day due to hot weather forecasts in its market area (see Transportation Notes).
Other than FGT, transportation constraints were light after Tennessee had lifted an OFO Action Alert that was implemented due to expectations of mild Northeast weather over the weekend.
Significant snowfall levels will stretch from the central Rockies into the northwestern Plains by Thursday, TWC said. Later this week such conditions will be reaching western sections of the Midwest, it added.
The first game of the World Series in New York City will be chilly Wednesday night and may be delayed by rain, according to TWC, but it likely will be played.
A Rockies producer said he was telling coworkers “don’t bitch too much” about the cold weather moving into the region because it was good for business. A forecasting service was reporting that this has been the fifth coldest October on record for Denver, and “we’re not through with the month yet,” he said.
The producer said he expects the return of some shut-in production in the region over the next couple of months, but on the other hand some producers are saying they’re not going to complete some of the wells they’ve already drilled.
Rockies prices, which already are rivaling Gulf Coast numbers, should get additional boosts in the near term from Kern River being due to expand capacity into California by 145 MMcf/d in January and the anticipated mid-November extension of Rockies Express into Clarington, OH, he said.
Southern Natural Gas continues to report increasing storage injection space and is actually behind its refill pace of the last two years. The pipeline said Monday working gas volumes, which total 60 Bcf at its two facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi, had fallen to 54.6 Bcf (91% of capacity) as of last Thursday. That compares with 54.9 Bcf (92%) on Oct. 23, 2008 and 56.2 Bcf (94%) on Oct. 25, 2007. Southern had reported storage being 97% full as the current month began.
Stephen Smith of Stephen Smith Energy Associates said Tuesday he had lowered his forecast of the storage injection during the week ending Oct. 23 from 30 Bcf previously to 20 Bcf.
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