Basis relationships have tightened by a remarkable degree inMarch, and Thursday’s continuing price strength in the West coupledwith drops of a nickel or so at points in the Gulf Coast,Midcontinent and Appalachia/Northeast brought the regions evencloser.

The low $2.20s average of Louisiana pipes during bidweek wasalmost 30 cents more than Rockies indexes. But with Rockies gashanging tough around $2 Thursday and Louisiana quotes falling toeither side of $2.10, nearly 20 cents had been shaved off the gap.

Northern Natural-demarc was able to lead the non-Appalachianproducing areas with quotes in the mid $2.10s because of snow inits market area. A marketer acknowledged that Midcontinent priceshad come off again again while the Rockies stayed flat, but hefeels if the Midcontinent falls again today “then the Rockies willall but be forced to follow.”

Intra-Alberta pricing continues to forge higher in smallincrements against the grain of general south-of-the-bordersoftness. Thursday’s quotes in the low C$1.70s were up about C3cents. A couple of Calgary sources agreed that temperatures are abit colder than normal for this time of year and should remainchilly at least through the weekend. Provincial storage inventoriesare still at a very healthy level of about 40% of full, they said.However, one source said scheduled March 9-27 maintenance at NOVA’sSchrader Creek Station in eastern Alberta could cause IT holders topull from storage when their regular flows get cut. This also mightback up gas into the province that usually would find its way eastinto Foothills and/or TransCanada at Empress, he added.

Those who went long at Sumas this month might be excused forbreaking out the champagne. From a bidweek range that hit $1.07 atthe low end and averaged in the low $1.10s, Sumas numbers gainedabout a dime Thursday to the mid $1.60s, a marketer said.Undoubtedly it has been the weather-aided price strength of U.S.domestic Rockies gas that has made Sumas the top above-indexperformer of March, she said.

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