Tensions eased in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Thursday, with shut-in numbers declining and workers preparing to head back to platforms, as Hermine, upgraded to hurricane status, made its long-awaited move toward the Florida coast.
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Tropical Storm Hermine — upgraded from Tropical Depression Nine on Wednesday afternoon — was nearly immobile about 395 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, FL, but forecasters expected it to begin moving to the northeast on Thursday.
September natural gas is set to open 3 cents higher Tuesday morning at $2.71 as weather forecasts again turned warmer and the tropical Atlantic added another storm. Overnight oil markets fell.
Natural gas for weekend and Monday delivery was little changed in Friday’s trading in spite of a dangerous blizzard bearing down on large eastern population centers.
Last week’s 40-cent weekly drop in spot futures proved prescient and this week it was the physical market’s turn to play catch-up. TheNGI Weekly Spot Gas Average fell 15 cents to $2.28 and futures carved out a modest gain. The week’s physical market losses came in spite of a massive week-ending blizzard forecast to crush eastern and Mid-Atlantic population centers.
October natural gas is expected to open 2 cents higher Tuesday morning at $2.71 as traders factor in still-warmer temperature projections and lean toward a bullish posture. Overnight oil markets plummeted.
September natural gas is set to open 2 cents lower Friday morning at $3.87 as weather forecasts moderate and traders expect production gains to ultimately dominate short-term weather developments. Overnight oil markets fell.
August natural gas is expected to open 3 cents lower Wednesday morning at $4.42 as traders factor in the likelihood of another voluminous storage report on Thursday along with the possibility of a demand-dampening storm impacting the East Coast. Overnight oil markets retreated.
Spot natural gas for Friday delivery continued to work lower in Thursday’s trading as the market was pressured by myriad forces. New England recorded the biggest drops as a warming trend was expected to bring Boston to above normal temperatures by the weekend, and the West Coast softened as the Pacific Northwest hydro situation improved.
Natural gas well freeze-offs in the Rocky Mountains and San Juan Basin on Thursday were estimated at about 0.5 Bcf/d, and pipeline operators continued to issue critical notices as Winter Storm Cleon delivered a deadly punch of snow and ice that eventually could stretch more than 1,000 miles from the Plains into Central Texas and east to the Ohio River Valley.