The screen gain of 14.2 cents a day earlier helped the continuing cold weather in several regions to boost prices in nearly all of the cash market Thursday. Lows in the 20s and teens remained in the Friday forecast for a majority of locations in the Northeast, Midwest, Upper Plains, Rockies and Western Canada. Eastern Canada was getting even colder conditions, with lows on either side of 10 predicted for Montreal and Toronto.
Only the Florida citygate’s drop of more than half a dollar was left out of gains ranging about a nickel to a quarter or so.
In reporting a 266 Bcf storage withdrawal for the week ending Jan. 8, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) failed to establish a new weekly pull record and came in on the high side of consensus expectations ranging from the mid 250s Bcf to about 270 Bcf (the range was especially wide for this report, going from a low of 195 Bcf to about 280 Bcf). February futures reflected a bearish response by Nymex traders, falling 14.5 cents on the day despite the latest draw heavily exceeding comparable year-ago and five-year average numbers (see related story).
A few more pipes were ending cold weather-related restrictions, while Northern Natural Gas plans to implement a System Underrun Limitation Saturday because of linepack expanding beyond desired limits (see Transportation Notes). The Northern Natural bulletin board indicated that system weighted average temperatures would be ranging from 10 to 15 degrees above its norm of 14 degrees at this time of year from Thursday through Sunday.
Although the Midwest has warmed up since seeing lows in the single digits and below zero last week, the prospect of bottom-end temperatures remaining in the teens at least through Friday has residents still firing up their gas furnaces. But the region can anticipate a milder upcoming week, said The Weather Channel, with temperatures ranging from average to as much as 20 degrees above average over the next seven day.
The Northeast will be slightly warmer than the Midwest Friday, but not by much, with lows on either side of freezing expected there. Heating load has retreated greatly in the South, although a few of the region’s more northerly locations can still expect temperatures to bottom out in the upper 30s Friday.
Even while remaining the coldest part of the American West, Rockies lows in the 20s Friday will be a little warmer than those in the Midwest. The rest of the West is chilly to moderate, with even Alberta locations not expected to sink beyond the low 20s.
Pan EurAsian Enterprises Inc.’s North American Terminal Survey (NATS) reported that draws on liquefied natural gas (LNG) “dropped back considerably” this week as temperatures moderated in the U.S. following a widespread bout of severe winter cold that sent LNG demand soaring. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts noted Thursday that in the week ending Jan. 8 LNG sendout had jumped from the previous week by 1.5 Bcf/d to 2.9 Bcf/d and was up nearly 2 Bcf/d from a year ago.
NATS noted the recent arrivals of three LNG tankers: the Matthew, carrying 126,540 cubic meters (cm) at Distrigas in Everett, MA; the Bilbao Knutsen (138,000 cm) at Canaport in Canada’s New Brunswick province; and the Trinity Arrow (154,200 cm) at Elba Island near Savannah, GA.
Two more ships — the Arctic Voyager (140,000 cm) and the LNG Ebisu (145,000 cm) — had departed Norway’s Snohvit field and Trinidad & Tobago, respectively, and both were expected to arrive at the Cove Point, MD terminal. The Al Ghariya has left Canaport en route back to the Middle East, NATS added.
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