Despite a return of spring-like weather bringing cool to mild temperatures to the South, wintry conditions occasionally abetted by snowfalls proved sufficient to rally a majority of points Tuesday, although flat performances were common and most of the gains were in single digits.
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The market proved Friday it had at least one more trick left up its sleeve, rebounding at a large majority of points despite The Weather Channel’s (TWC) calling for warmer-than-average weekend temperatures in nearly all regions except Western Canada and the upper reaches of the West. Cash prices did have a bit of support from prior-day futures, but it seemed that weekend declines of industrial load would have largely offset that.
Wednesday’s minimal gains proved to be an accurate harbinger of a three-day market rally coming to an end. A flat Westcoast Station 2 was the sole exception to falling quotes at all other locations Thursday as the previous day’s 12.7-cent drop by prompt-month futures joined generally pleasant early-fall weather in applying downward pressure to physical gas numbers.
Virtually all of the cash market was down Friday as modest rebounds of high temperatures and a prior-day 4-cent decline by October futures proved unable to support continued firmness. The usual weekend drop of industrial load applied further downward pressure on cash numbers.
The cash market proved to be more resilient than expected Friday. Despite cool to merely warm forecasts dominating in most areas, the expiration-day drop of 5.3 cents by June futures a day earlier and the extra loss of industrial demand over a long holiday weekend, prices remained near flat in most cases and rose at several locations.
Tuesday’s smaller price gains than those a day earlier proved indicative of the market direction, as most points saw small losses Wednesday. Forecasts of modest retreats in peak temperatures in the South, and to a lesser extent in the Northeast, tended to squelch some of the extra cooling load from earlier in the week, and Tuesday’s 0.1-cent decline by June futures was neutral regarding cash market guidance.
The cash market regained the price ground lost on the previous day and more Wednesday as a decline of heating load in the South proved to be less than expected and the lower Northeast saw a substantial reversal of prior warming trends. Spot gas also had fairly strong support from Tuesday’s May futures rise of 12.4 cents.
The rally that started the week in most of the cash market proved to be short-lived Tuesday. Although there was still a fair amount of heating load in some northern market areas, modest warming trends and the previous day’s small futures decline caused prices to fall everywhere except for a flat Florida Gas Zone 2.
Petrohawk Energy Corp. announced Tuesday that test wells using a new flow-channel fracturing technique called HiWAY — created by Houston-based Schlumberger Ltd. — yielded increased production and it plans to expand use of the technology.