Adding to Tuesday’s rebound, the natural gas futures market worked its way quietly higher Wednesday as bargain buyers again narrowly outnumbered speculative sellers. Some short-covering was also seen with traders taking a balanced portfolio approach prior to the release of fresh inventory data. The November contract finished at $4.924, up 4.9 cents for the session and within striking distance of overhead resistance in the $4.98-$5.00 area.
Articles from Worked
Once again a previous-afternoon screen uprising worked its magic on next-day cash prices. Friday quotes for weekend flow mostly ranged from approximately flat to nearly a quarter higher. A majority of the gains were relatively modest at around a dime or less.
Amid continued non-commercial short covering, natural gas futures worked their way higher Tuesday morning, only to fall late in the session as trade and local accounts took profits ahead of today’s release of fresh storage data. At the closing bell the April contract was 2.1 cents weaker on the day at $2.467.
House lawmakers worked into the night Wednesday, vigorously debating the Republican-focused omnibus energy bill, with GOP legislators touting the environmental, conservation and supply features of the packed energy initiative, while Democrats assailed the $33 billion in tax credits being offered to producers. Because debate was expected to last 12 hours, Capitol Hill observers did not expect a final vote until late Wednesday at the earliest.
Two additional former San Diego Gas & Electric employees who worked at Duke Energy’s South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista, CA, came forward Thursday in a press conference in Sacramento hosted by California’s Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, adding to allegations that the merchant generator manipulated the power plant’s operations to drive up wholesale prices earlier in the year.
As El Paso Natural Gas worked to restore one of three pipes inits 1 Bcf/d South Mainline system, possibly by today, the NationalTransportation Safety Board (NTSB), investigating Saturday’sexplosion in one of those lines, said they found corrosion and athinning of the pipeline wall in a 22-foot section that broke offin the blast.
A lightning strike Monday night at PG&E GasTransmission-Northwest’s Station 13 (Chemult, OR) caused ashortfall in receipts, but PG&E GT-NW said it worked with NOVAto correct respective linepacks under an Operational BalancingAgreement and thus did not expect any impact on Tuesday’s scheduledvolumes. However, it was unable to schedule any increased receiptsat Kingsgate or additional deliveries through Station 13 Tuesday.
Even as temperatures were shattering records throughout much ofthe Northeast,sending electricity prices spiking near $1000/MWhTuesday, natural gas futures were hit with a wave of selling tokick off the week. Speculative fund traders, who have been longpositions for almost three months now, were prominent sellersearly. But trade and local selling was not far behind, sending theAugust contract to its lowest level since the middle of April. Theprompt month finished down 9.6 cents at $2.191, after carving out a$2.16 bottom. Estimated volume was a robust 124,967.