Although cooling load would remain about as strong for Thursday as it was Wednesday, highly negative guidance from the previous day’s 48.2-cent plunge by August futures caused a large majority of cash trading points to fall Wednesday.
Articles from Plunge
Driven largely by a futures plunge of 60 cents a day earlier, cash prices fell by large amounts at all but one point Tuesday. Slightly diminishing cooling load in several areas and the growing certainty that Hurricane Bertha will remain a nonevent for Gulf of Mexico production added to the bearish mood.
The Florida citygate was the sole location left out of falling prices at all other points Tuesday. The overall bearishness was primarily due to the previous day’s plunge of 76.8 cents by April futures, and to a lesser degree to the relatively moderate shoulder-month weather that several areas are experiencing in mid-March.
As a marketer had predicted, prices were softer at a large majority of points Thursday due chiefly to a 35.4-cent plunge by the expiring December futures contract the day before and milder weather returning to the South. Northeast citygates, where temperatures are falling and will bottom out around freezing or lower Friday, saw nearly all of the flat to about 75 cents higher exceptions to the overall market trend.
With a worsening technical environment and weather forecasts becoming less supportive, the August natural gas futures contract continued its recent plunge on Tuesday, dropping to a low of $5.830 before closing the day’s regular session at $5.863, down 17.6 cents from Monday’s close. In the three sessions since last Thursday’s $6.706 settle, the prompt month has spiraled 84.3 cents.
The continuing plunge in temperatures may help deplete some of the natural gas storage glut, but if the temperatures rise in the next couple of weeks, three energy consultants last week said working gas levels in storage may finish the season hovering around 1.7 Tcf or more. Barring production shut-ins from hurricanes and assuming normal weather patterns, one analyst said the storage glut may pressure gas prices through the rest of 2007.
Even with the recent plunge in temperatures, three energy consultants in separate reports Tuesday said working gas levels in storage will likely finish the season at 1.7 Tcf or more. Barring production shut-ins from hurricanes and assuming normal weather patterns, one analyst said the storage glut could put downward pressure on gas prices through the rest of 2007.
As expected following Thursday’s modestly bearish storage injection report and the subsequent screen plunge, prices saw double-digit declines at all points Friday. The fact that outside the Rockies and Upper Plains cold weather forecasts only occasionally called for below-freezing lows, and the drop of industrial load that accompanies a weekend trading period, also contributed to cash market weakness.
There may be a silver lining in this year’s plunge in gas prices: it may prevent rioting by the rate-paying villagers. Apparently, consumers have had just about enough of rising bills. Downward adjustments to rates couldn’t be coming at a better time.