Absent anything in the way of new influences from weather orfutures, most of the market went into a holding pattern Thursday.Mild softness permeated much of the general flatness as what wasconsidered a bullish storage injection report Wednesday afternoonfailed to provide support for cash prices. Northeast citygates fellabout a nickel, resuming their decline after a brief respite fromthe softness that had prevailed since the first of the month.

The rare shows of modest strength (3-4 cents higher) came atPacific Northwest-related points. Sumas was very strong and thatwas rubbing off on Kingsgate, Stanfield and Malin, a marketer said.Quoting Kingsgate at $2.20, she said the point was maybe a dimehigher than it otherwise would have been because of IT cuts ofabout 50% at the Alberta/British Columbia.

Sumas was running about a dime higher than domestic gas intoNorthwest Pipeline because the U.S. product was “sort of trapped,”according to one trader. Northwest’s Kemmerer (WY) Station is atcapacity, he said, preventing any extra domestic gas from gettingto the chilly Pacific Northwest and giving the advantage to Sumas.Also, the Stoddart Plant on Westcoast was having problems Thursday,taking about 75 MMcf/d off the market, he added.

It looks like the San Juan Basin well freeze-ups from earlierthis week are starting to ease up, a marketer said. Almost all ofthe supplies he had lost were back on-line Thursday.

A producer was looking toward next month’s business but said itwas “still a bit too early” for that. However, she expressed hopesof getting “a jump start on the holidays.”

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