January natural gas declined Wednesday largely in concert with the petroleum complex and as traders braced for a government storage report with widely varying estimates but nonetheless anticipated to show a decline significantly less than historical averages. At the close January had slid 6.6 cents to $3.421 and February had given up 6.5 cents to $3.458. January crude oil dropped 79 cents to $100.49/bbl.
Articles from Largely
A few points again were flat to moderately higher going into the weekend, but the cash market largely repeated Thursday’s activity in recording mostly substantial declines at a large majority of locations Friday. The usual weekend drop of industrial demand and some doubt about whether the latest bout of winter-like weather would last long enough and be severe enough to put much of a dent in lingering storage surpluses over year-ago and five-year average levels apparently were responsible for many traders’ bearish moods.
January natural gas rose Tuesday as traders saw it as largely a defensive move by those seeking some price protection should cold weather eventually materialize. At settlement January had risen 10.8 cents to $3.633 and February had gained 9.8 cents to $3.653. January crude oil finished just under the century mark, adding $1.58 to $99.79/bbl.
Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI) and El Paso Corp. have agreed to a friendly, $38 billion buyout of the latter that KMI CEO Richard D. Kinder said is largely predicated on the growing role of natural gas in North America’s energy supply picture, thanks in large part to production from shale gas plays around the continent.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is getting a lukewarm reception for his proposed changes to state shale policy, which largely mimic the recommendations his Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission made three months ago (see Shale Daily, Oct. 4).
October futures eased Monday as traders see largely weather-driven weakness in the near term but suggest stronger prices once the heating season kicks in. At the close October had fallen 3.0 cents to $3.885 and November had given up 3.2 cents to $3.966. October crude oil rose 95 cents to $88.19/bbl.
Tuesday’s market was largely an extension of the one that started the week: quotes a bit softer at most locations but a few flat to slightly higher points keeping movement mixed overall. Even as restoration efforts get into high gear along the East Coast following Hurricane Irene’s damage, the overall weather outlook is too moderate to be supportive of gas prices.
October natural gas futures jumped Tuesday on largely technical factors as traders hinted that any confirmation of a market bottom would require weathering the vagaries of Thursday’s inventory report. October rose 7.9 cents to $3.909 and November added 6.9 cents to $4.024. October crude oil added $1.63 to $88.90/bbl.
Researchers from Duke University plan to return to Pennsylvania next week to conduct additional testing of residential water wells in the northeastern part of the state, including wells that are not currently near any Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.