Physical gas prices overall on average jumped a whopping 37 cents Monday as traders scrambled to deal with multiple challenges ranging from high power prices, to covering short positions, to below normal temperatures forecast for major eastern and Midwest energy markets. The Northeast was especially strong, with a couple of New England points registering gains north of $4.00. Futures traders were looking at more distant weather events and sold early and sold often. At the close December had fallen 17.1 cents to $3.730 and January was down 16.6 cents to $3.868. January crude oil fell 54 cents to $87.74/bbl.
Articles from Scrambled
The cash market overall surged on average by 17 cents Tuesday as traders scrambled to make up volumes not purchased going into the long holiday weekend, screen prices initiated a solid advance to close at the high end of the day’s range, and traders hinted at expectations of a bullish storage report Thursday. At the close of futures trading, October was 5.5 cents higher at $2.854 and November had added 3.7 cents to $3.000. October crude oil tumbled $1.17 to $95.30/bbl.
The physical gas market overall rose about a penny Thursday as traders scrambled to get deals done before the release of a key government report. Maintenance on a Northeast pipeline prompted double-digit gains at several points in New England. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported an inventory build of 67 Bcf, which was significantly less than market expectations, and prices surged. At the close of futures trading July had soared 31.0 cents to $2.495 and August had advanced 30.5 cents to $2.541. July crude oil added $1.29 to $83.91/bbl.
December natural gas rose Tuesday on extremely light volume as traders scrambled to determine positions and locate funds in the aftermath of the MF Global trading debacle. At the close December had risen 4.9 cents to $3.745 and January had gained 4.0 cents to $3.843. December crude oil added $1.28 to $96.80/bbl.
With Dennis having further strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category Four hurricane overnight, producers scrambled Friday morning to batten down the hatches in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) by evacuating platform and drilling rig workers and shutting in production as necessary. Pipelines with offshore segments or connections in the eastern Gulf were posting bulletin board warnings of expected supply losses as the day wore on and instructing shippers on the proper response.
As private and public sector utilities scrambled to adjust power flows around transmission corridors threatened by a series of brush fires in Southern California last week, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) reported a peak demand record for the third straight day on Wednesday, hitting 44,360 MW.
Argentina’s scrambled economy that has drawn front-page attention from some major U.S. financial news media so far does not worry San Diego-based Sempra Energy, which has significant interest in two natural gas utilities.
With gas prices tumbling fast and fundamentals decidedly bearish, producers have scrambled to lock in the highest wholesale rates available. Among others, Fort Worth-based independent XTO Energy Inc. said last week it has hedged 90% of its production through March 2002 at $4.30/MMBtu and has hedged 200 MMcf/d at $3.72 for the last three quarters of 2002. XTO is one among many independents who have touted their foresight in locking long-term rates when prices were considerably higher.