Natural gas cash prices overall fell 4 cents in Wednesday’s trading as strength at eastern and northeast points was unable to offset slumping quotes at major market hubs and West Coast locations. Losses were widespread and only a few points managed to make it onto the positive side of the trading ledger. At the close of futures trading, May had fallen 7.2 cents to $4.166 and June was down 7.5 cents to $4.203. June crude oil added $2.25 to $91.43/bbl.
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One of the 10 largest U.S. natural gas producers, Tulsa, OK-based WPX Energy Inc., said Monday that its Niobrara formation discovery well in the Piceance Basin of western Colorado has exceeded 1 Bcf of production in a little more than 100 days of operation.
Cash prices continued to romp higher by another 15 cents Tuesday, led by weather-driven strength along the Eastern Seaboard. Large price gains typically seen on constrained New England pipelines such as Algonquin and Iroquois were also seen throughout the Northeast on Transco, Texas Eastern and Tennessee.
Physical natural gas prices rose on average 7 cents in Wednesday’s trading. Eastern points exhibited strength as the bone-chilling cold and snow that raked the Plains headed east; relatively few points experienced losses. Midwest locations were mostly steady. At the close of futures trading April had eased 2.2 cents to $3.434 and May was 2.3 cents lower at $3.481. April crude oil rose 13 cents to end the day at $92.76/bbl.
Overall cash prices added about a nickel on average Wednesday as strength at eastern and other points was able to offset weakness in the Northeast and a steady Midcontinent market. Meanwhile, December futures recorded a 12-month spot contract high on the day at $3.827 before closing out the regular session at $3.760, up 2.1 cents from Tuesday’s finish. January was 2.2 cents higher at $3.879. December crude oil rose 94 cents to $86.32/bbl.
Temperatures over the next three months should average above normal across most of the eastern two-thirds of the United States, a weather pattern that would keep a lid on natural gas consumption in population centers in the Northeast, according to forecasters at Andover, MA-based Weather Services International (WSI).
Cash gas prices for Thursday delivery rose 6 cents on average overall. Particular strength was noted at Gulf locations, but points in the Northeast were firm as well. California points in the north saw gains, while operational issues prompted an oversupply of gas and prices fell on SoCal Gas Pipeline. At the close of futures trading November had risen 0.8 cent to $3.475 and December gained 1.5 cents to $3.783. November crude oil tumbled $1.14 to $91.25/bbl.
Overall cash market prices surged nearly 14 cents on average Monday, nearly outpacing a soaring futures market. Much of the strength was derived from the screen, but weather forecasts in key eastern markets also provided some short term support. Northeast and eastern markets were particularly strong and California markets posted weather-derived gains. Gulf points were also firm. At the close of futures trading November had jumped 16.0 cents to $3.480 and December had added 13.7 cents to $3.752. November crude oil gained 29 cents to $92.48/bbl.
The overall market Tuesday was flat, but modest strength at Northeast and eastern points offset the more than a handful of Rockies locations which traded anywhere from a couple of pennies to close to a dime lower. A Connecticut nuclear outage was expected to ripple through the markets Wednesday. At the close of futures trading September had risen 10.5 cents to $2.834 and October was up 10.3 cents to $2.871. September crude oil gained 70 cents to $93.43/bbl.
The cash market overall Tuesday was on average a penny higher with mild strength evident in most regions. More than a handful of Northeast points weakened. Futures found the rarefied air of Monday’s gains unsustainable and recorded a double-digit loss. At the close August had dropped 14.6 cents to $2.737 and September had lost 14.8 cents to $2.728. August crude oil dropped $2.08 to $83.91/bbl.