Generally the cash market failed to find any support from eitherAGA’s big storage withdrawal report Wednesday afternoon or thescreen’s strong push upwards Thursday. With the exception ofupticks at a few scattered points, cash numbers ranged from flat todown nearly a dollar at Transco Zone 6 (NYC). Most of the declineswere between about a nickel and 30 cents.
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Fueled by a larger-than-expected storage withdrawal and promptedby gains in Wednesday night’s Access session, natural gas futuresclimbed higher yesterday as traders lifted prices in a briskafternoon buying surge. The March contract finished up 5.2 cents at$2.592, but the real story was the outer months, which gained 6cents or more on moderate position rolling.
Union Gas announced the availability of 2 Bcf of peak storage atthe Dawn Market Hub. The storage permits summer 1999 injection and1999-2000 winter withdrawal. The storage capacity will be awardedbased on a bidding process. All bids are due by 1 p.m. EST onFriday, May 21. The high bidders will be awarded the capacity by 3p.m. EST that same day. The storage hub has six pipelineinterconnects and easy access to 15 pipeline and distributioncompanies, Union Gas said. The complex has a working capacity of130 Bcf and can deliver 2 Bcf/d for customers.
Fresh after receiving a boost from a hefty storage withdrawalWednesday afternoon, natural gas futures continued higher yesterdayin yet another tumultuous trading session. And for the second dayin a row locals were seen as the catalyst, using buy stops toorchestrate a gap higher opening. But overhead resistance at $1.77held and the market was left to ebb and flow within the 4-centtrading range, which was set in the first hour of trading. TheApril contract finished up 3.9 cents to $1.762.
The cash market shrugged off what many considered a bearishstorage withdrawal report and maintained what has become February’sstatus quo Thursday: flat pricing with mostly tight ranges. Sourceswere dismayed to admit their general expectation Wednesdayafternoon of falling prices Thursday was off the mark. “Nothingseems to be moving this market in any direction,” a marketer in theWest said.