With just minuscule movement downward in the amount of associated natural gas being flared, North Dakota’s top oil and gas official in his latest monthly report said that the state and industry are stuck at about a 28.5-29% level of flared associated gas.
Articles from Minuscule
Price gains were virtually across the board Wednesday and were larger than the prior day’s mostly minuscule upticks. Cooling load is recovering in many areas from its slump during the first two-thirds of August, and Tuesday’s 10.4-cent increase by September futures was an additional bullish factor.
The trend of near-flat pricing earlier this week continued Thursday. Any remaining storage injection buying and the previous day’s minuscule gain of 1.1 cent by November futures were largely offset by mild weather virtually everywhere outside parts of the desert Southwest and by the continuing lack of any tropical storm threat to Gulf of Mexico production.
The tremendous fundamental weakness of cash prices manifested itself again Friday with large plunges across the board. The previous day’s minuscule rally of 3.6 cents by December futures had no impact whatsoever in averting big losses throughout the physical market as the continuing mildness of mid-November weather and the rapid recovery from this year’s only substantive tropical storm-related disruption of offshore production weighed on traders’ minds.
Despite natural gas inventory levels near all-time record levels, Thursday morning’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) report of a minuscule 19 Bcf injection for the week ended Oct. 20 was still small enough to make traders pause. However, cash market weakness helped November natural gas futures — which expire Friday — to drop 19.6 cents to close at $7.497.
The holiday weekend effect of higher demand loss than usual trumped a minuscule prior-day screen gain and moderately rising power generation load as temperatures began heating up in northern market areas. The result: prices continued to fall at nearly all points Friday.
Despite a lack of severe cold in most areas and mounting evidence that minuscule storage space remains for injections, most prices continued to advance Thursday. However, weakness in both the screen and physical fundamentals is expected to send the cash market lower Friday.
Although trends toward milder weather would be minuscule over the weekend, traders used the likelihood that they would become more pronounced in the coming week to push cash prices lower at nearly all points Friday. As usual, the typical weekend drop in industrial load was a minor factor in the softness.