Cash prices tended to make modest gains Thursday, with most ofthe strength concentrated at Texas points where significant airconditioning load is developing. Houston’s heat index shot up to102 degrees in the afternoon, said a local source. That caused ShipChannel numbers to rise a little over a nickel to the $2.20 area.Waha prices also benefited from the statewide heat and also roseslightly more than a nickel into the low $2.12s. However, late Wahaprices were tailing off slightly, a marketer said. The Texasheat-related upticks carried over into the Permian and San JuanBasins in a domino effect, another trader said.

Northeast citygates were flat to only slightly higher, but gasprices there are starting to beat fuel oil again in the New YorkCity area because of the petroleum business tax, one source said.Tennessee seemed a bit short, according to an aggregator who wasreceiving “good bids” all through the trading session.

Intra-Alberta constituted one of the few falling markets,dropping into the mid- to high-C$1.80s. One trader said theprovince still had fires burning but the resultant haze in Calgarywas lessening. The early-week price spike into the C$2.10s hadpeople pulling so much gas out of storage that Nova linepack is nowon the high side, causing the price slide of the last couple ofdays, she said. However, a marketer said the pipeline is stilltrying to pack the line to get back up to 12.8 Bcf. A third sourcesaid more and more gas is coming back on-system as the fires dieout.

Rockies prices continued to strengthen and remain the closest toindex levels of any market. One marketer said he heard PublicService Co. of Colorado recalled capacity on CIG, which tightenedthe transportation market. Weekend prices there, however, turnedweak, falling into the low $1.80s from $1.90 Thursday. There weretwo reasons for the falloff, according to the marketer: The threatof California utility OFOs for the weekend due to high linepack,and people’s inclination to “get things out of the way” beforeheading to the New Mexico gas trade fair for the weekend.

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