August natural gas futures continued to advance Tuesday, making it three consecutive gains driven in large part by expectations of higher temperatures raising cooling load and limiting storage injections. Traders caution, however, that at some point the market may reach a point where further forecasts of warm weather may not have much impact and prices could tumble. At the close August had risen 4.5 cents to $4.333 and September had gained 3.5 cents to $4.312. August crude oil gained $2.28 to settle at $97.43/bbl.
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As natural gas production in Michigan posts its 14th consecutive year of decline, a Michigan Public Service Commission (PSC) report projects interstate pipeline deliveries to the state will be 664.2 Bcf in 2011, a 14.2% increase. The state’s production is projected to decline by 5.5% to 133.5 Bcf in 2011, according to the PSC’s “Summer 2011 Energy Appraisal.” Gas sales in the state are projected to be 780.7 Bcf this year, an increase of 2.4% over 2010 sales and 11.3% over 2009 sales, based on an assumption of normal weather. Residential home heating is seen as the driver for consumption growth as the 2010-2011 winter season was 3% colder than normal, the PSC report said. Despite increased sales, prices should remain relatively flat, the report said. “…[T]he continued growth in estimated and proven natural gas reserves is having a dampening effect on inflationary forces.”
ExxonMobil Corp. last year added 3.5 boe to its proved reserves, replacing 209% of production. It was the company’s 17th consecutive year of reserve replacement exceeding 100% of production.
A natural gas-fired Honda passenger vehicle was named the top-ranked clean vehicle for the eighth consecutive year earlier in February, and Chrysler Group LLC, a unit of Italy-based Fiat SpA, announced last Friday it was considering making a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of its popular Ram truck.
Despite some colder-than-normal temperatures on the horizon, December natural gas futures probed lower values for a third consecutive day on Friday. The prompt-month contract recorded a $3.794 low before closing the regular session at $3.799, down 12.8 cents from Thursday’s close and 13.8 cents lower than the previous week’s close.
For the second consecutive year, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced Wednesday it is lowering retail natural gas charges for the state’s three major private-sector gas distribution utilities, effective Monday (Nov. 1).
After recording its third consecutive low for the downtrend in as many days, natural gas futures staged a meager rebound on Tuesday as the November contract reached a high of $3.530 before closing the regular session at $3.513, up 8.2 cents from Monday.
After venturing above $4 in early Thursday morning trading for the third consecutive session, October natural gas futures plummeted back to earth after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that 103 Bcf was injected into underground storage for the week ending Sept. 10. However, the dip was short lived as the recent bull move prevailed.