Continued heat problems in the West had Rockies and SouthernCalifornia border prices rising Wednesday, while the rest of themarket leveled off with mostly flat numbers. A bullish storagereport had sources predicting across-the-board upticks for today.

AGA reported 52 Bcf went into storage last week, but that figurewas deceptively high since a footnote said it included a one-timeupward adjustment by a Producing Region company. Subtracting theadjustment effectively set the net injection at 42 Bcf. As usual,Nymex traders wasted no time in expressing their opinion byrevising what had been a moderately higher screen during themorning into a gain of more than 17 cents for the day.

A Northeast marketer agreed with the consensus on higher pricestoday. However, he said, “there might not be as much cashfollow-through as people expect due to the aborted expectations ofhotter weather in the Northeast and Midwest.” The much-above-normaltemperatures that had been expected to dominate conditions in thenorthern market areas by Wednesday remained a no-show, andprospects for significant heat there before the weekend were dim.

After almost a full week’s respite from power troubles lastweek, California’s electric grid is back in the hot seat again asit was for the last half of July and the first week of August. Thestate’s Independent System Operator declared a Stage Two ElectricalEmergency for the fourth straight business day since last Thursday,asking the state’s three biggest electric utilities to shed about1,900 MW of interruptible customer load. Cal-ISO revised theafternoon’s forecasted peak demand to 44,070 MW (all-time record is45,884 MW) and said about 2,122 MW of generation capacity wasunavailable due to mechanical breakdowns at power plants.

Naturally every gas-fired plant still operational was at maximumoutput, helping to raise border prices by about a nickel and boostingsome Rockies pipes by about a dime. San Juan and Permian advances weremore modest at only 2-3 cents despite El Paso continuing anUnauthorized Overpull Penalty situation (see Daily GPI, Aug. 16).

Nearly all Waha gas was moving west since Waha quotes around$4.23 were at parity with Katy, a marketer said. PG&E GasTransmission-Texas (formerly Valero) supplies were physicallylimited getting into El Paso at Waha, she added. PG&E GT-T saiduntil further notice, its Waha deliveries to El Paso would belimited to the displacement volumes it received back from El Paso.

Former Tropical Storm Beryl no longer even qualified as atropical depression as it dumped rain on the mountains ofnortheastern Mexico Wednesday. The National Weather Service said itwould have no further advisories on Beryl.

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