Natural gas futures resumed trading Tuesday right where theyleft off last week as traders pressured the market higher in twodistinct buying surges. The first one came at 10:00 a.m. (EST),when February opened a penny above last Friday’s $2.35 high onreports of the coldest air of the season for the Northeast U.S. Thesecond wave of buying came near the close, in a local-led attemptto push the spot month above its 40-day moving average at $2.385.In the end that push was only half-successful; February was able topunch through its 40-day average, but was unable to settle aboveit. The contract closed up 6.1 cents at $2.383 amid light volume ofjust 43,581.
Articles from weather
Texas Eastern (Tetco) said Friday its delivery pressures haddropped below contractual levels due to cold weather and highmarket-area takes. Thus it issued an OFO, effective at 1 p.m. CTthat afternoon, requiring that all deliveries in its M-3 zone underall rate schedules be made at a uniform hourly rate. All M-3Operational Balancing Agreements were suspended for purposes ofhourly allocations only during the OFO period, the pipeline said.Penalties for non-compliance with the OFO were $25/dth. However,late Friday afternoon Tetco said the OFO was being suspended at 9a.m. Saturday because of forecasts of a “slight” warming trend.
MRT issued an OFO Tuesday due to anticipated cold weather andoperational conditions; the order will remain in effect today anduntil further notice. It is interrupting all IT volumes andAuthorized Overrun gas flowing on the mainline north of theGlendale, AR, Station. MRT will not allow underdelivery of gasduring this time but will continue to accept positive imbalancenominations.
Citing anticipations of cold weather and operational conditions,MRT issued an OFO effective today until further notice. Thepipeline will interrupt all IT volumes and Authorized Overrun gasin excess of contract demand flowing north of the mainline’sGlendale (AR) Station. Firm customers must restrict mainlinevolumes to within their contracted zone entitlement and primarypath. MRT will have a zero tolerance for underdeliveries during theOFO but will continue to accept positive imbalance gas. The OFOsupersedes a System Protection Warning that took effect Wednesday(see Daily GPI, Dec. 15).
Taking a cue from stronger cash market prices, the futuresmarket continued higher yesterday as buyers pressed prices throughseveral key resistance levels. After gapping higher on the open at$2.55, the January contract moved mostly sideways before checkinglower to fill in the gap late in the morning. However, from thereit was all gravy for bulls, who bid the prompt month up 7.6 centsto its $2.585 close.
Due to forecasts of colder weather, a System Protection Warningtakes effect today until further notice for MRT’s mainline north ofthe Glendale (AR) Station. MRT recommended that customers withinterruptible and Authorized Overrun gas on the mainline re-sourcethose volumes to the East Line. The East Line is a lateral about 90miles long from Trunkline in central Illinois east to the St. Louisarea, connecting with NGPL along the way. If excess volumescontinue on the mainline, MRT said, it will issue an OFOrestricting that line to FT only.
Absent anything in the way of new influences from weather orfutures, most of the market went into a holding pattern Thursday.Mild softness permeated much of the general flatness as what wasconsidered a bullish storage injection report Wednesday afternoonfailed to provide support for cash prices. Northeast citygates fellabout a nickel, resuming their decline after a brief respite fromthe softness that had prevailed since the first of the month.
For the second trading session in a row, natural gas futureswere hit with a wave of selling pressure Monday, as bears basked inthe glow of forecasts calling for continued above-normaltemperatures across much of the country. After showing earlypromise last week in trading up to $2.485, the January contract hassince slipped to new life-of-contract lows, closing at $2.224yesterday. Activity was with 69,325 contracts changing hands.