Cash natural gas prices vaulted higher Thursday on average by 15 cents. Oppressive heat over much of the country was cited as driving prices higher, but on the West Coast traders attributed the higher quotes to a stronger screen. At the close of futures trading the August contract had gained 4.6 cents to $2.945 and September had posted an advance of 3.9 cents to $2.950. August crude oil slipped 44 cents to $87.22/bbl.
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The cash market for weekend and Monday delivery overall tumbled on average of just over a dime Friday as traders cited a lack of weekend demand and Monday temperatures in key metropolitan areas were forecast to reach no more than seasonal norms. Most points were lower, but California points were particularly hard hit.
Cash prices bounded higher Monday and left futures in the dust as traders cited attractive storage differentials and were ambivalent about the prospects for storage gas flooding the market. At the close of futures trading April had advanced 2.5 cents to $2.351 and May had gained 3 cents to $2.466. April crude oil rose $1.95 to $107.06/bbl.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will perform water sampling at about 61 homes in Dimock — the small Susquehanna County, PA, township where some state officials believe hydraulic fracturing (fracking) may have contaminated water wells — “to further assess whether any residents are being exposed to hazardous substances that cause health concerns,” EPA said.
February natural gas gave up more than half of Friday’s gains Monday as traders cited a lack of cold weather capable of any kind of meaningful change in the storage surplus. At the close February had fallen 5.1 cents to $3.011 and March had skidded 4.8 cents to $3.050. February crude oil shed 25 cents to $101.31/bbl.
December natural gas made its debut as the spot futures contract by bounding higher Friday as traders cited the inevitability of weather-generated demand, and follow-the-leader-like buying as prices moved higher on heavy volume. At the close December had gained 15.9 cents to $3.923 and January was up 14.6 cents to $4.042. December crude oil digested a portion of Thursday’s large gains and settled 64 cents lower at $93.32/bbl.
November natural gas posted a double-digit loss Tuesday as traders cited the relentless increase in production and lack of demand growth as continuing to thwart any price advance. At the end of the day November had fallen 13.5 cents to $3.553 and December had shed 11.5 cents to $3.788. November crude oil rose $1.96 to $88.34/bbl.
A day after lifting an Imbalance Warning on Line 300 downstream of Station 313, Tennessee cited mild weather and limited operational flexibility in saying it will implement a systemwide Imbalance Warning Saturday. It will require all delivery point operators to keep actual daily takes out of the system equal to or greater than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position, and all receipt point operators to keep actual daily receipts into the system equal to or less than scheduled quantities regardless of their cumulative imbalance position.