The March swing market continued to roar in like a lionWednesday, and it appeared that many traders are betting it won’tturn into a lamb between now and the end of the month.
Price gains tended to range from about a nickel to a little morethan a dime, with the Rockies, California, intra-Alberta andTransco Zone 6 (both New York City and non-NYC) standing out amongthe strongest points.
“I’m just sitting here watching futures go crazy,” said oneproducer. Although most of the gas screen’s rise of more than anickel came after cash business had closed, sources said it stillhelped lead physical prices higher. What really caught people’sattention, though, was the towering increase of $1.34 in crude oilfutures, leaving the April contract only 23 cents shy of $32/bbl.Heating oil futures also continued to rise.
“Can it be injection season is starting already?” mused oneCalgary trader as she reported intra-Alberta numbers climbing tojust over C$3.50 on an electronic service. Even though provincialweather remains unseasonably warm, she said, NOVA linepack begandrafting “really hard” about noon as the Nymex contracts beganflexing more muscle. “The thinking seems to be that March gas isgoing to be cheaper than April’s, so get it now [for storage] whilethe getting is good.”
A Gulf Coast marketer who saw tight ranges of 3 cents or lesssaid there is little in the way of incremental demand, “so I getthe impression a lot of people are ‘parking’ gas in the productionarea for now in the expectation of more demand later.”
One source said AGA’s report of 75 Bcf withdrawn from storagelast week was below expectations that she pegged at 90-100 Bcf.However, she wasn’t sure if that would halt the rise in cashprices, saying higher Access futures trading appeared to haveshrugged off the news.
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