The cash market Wednesday fell overall on average by about 9 cents and elected to coat-tail on a futures double-digit loss on Tuesday. Gulf and California points were notably weak as were eastern points. Northeast locations managed to hold steady or record modest gains. At the close of futures trading August had gained 11.6 cents to $2.853 and September had risen 10.9 cents to $2.837. August crude oil tacked on $1.90 to settle at $83.91/bbl.
Articles from Tail
A study of the electricity needs in the oil/natural gas patch was funded Monday by the North Dakota Industrial Commission for upcoming work to be overseen by the state’s power transmission authority. Separately, the commission also authorized paying for another study of future natural gas growth in the state.
The tail end of the uneventful 2009 Gulf of Mexico (GOM) hurricane season was punctuated last week by the threat of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ida, which sent some offshore operators scurrying to evacuate crews and shut in production in the eastern GOM. However, Ida’s impact was short-lived and traders mostly yawned.
In spite of bearish EIA storage figures, natural gas futures turned tail and headed higher in active inventory report-driven trading Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The EIA reported withdrawals from working gas inventory tallied a miserly 23 Bcf, below the ICAP options auction consensus of 25.5 Bcf, and short of a Reuter’s survey of 22 analysts and traders that predicted a fall of 31 Bcf. Bentek Energy of Colorado calculated a withdrawal of 40.9 Bcf in its Wednesday Daily Market Summary.
Scared off by the $6 psychological mark yet again, the natural gas futures prompt month tucked tail Friday as the June contract notched its second consecutive down day. After penetrating the $6 level in trading Wednesday, the June contract followed up its Thursday drop of 4.2 cents with a 6.2-cent loss on Friday to close at $5.862. The prompt month traded in the $5.850-5.970 range on light volume, with 48,826 contracts changing hands.
In concert with the downtrend now in its seventh week, the natural gas futures market stumbled lower Monday as traders returned from the weekend to weather forecasts suggesting the month of March would blow in more like a lamb than like a lion.