Cash prices continued to drop going into the weekend asexpected. Moderating weather and the usual lower weekend loads werethe obvious reasons for softening, sources said. Despite theoverall downward trend, falls were only 1-3 cents on several pipesin the Gulf Coast and Midcontinent. Again, the points that hadrisen most rapidly earlier in the week-such as Northeast citygates,Northern Natural-demarc and Waha-were the ones seeing the steepestdeclines.

A marketer said Friday’s first Transco Zone 6 offer was onlymildly lower at $2.70, but within five minutes more were arrivingin the $2.50s. She thought the fact that the market got a lot moreliquid with many traders returning from Houston’s trade fair helpedaccelerate the price slide. Another Northeast source said priceswere getting back close to where they had been Monday when thewinter storm-related run-up got under way.

Although Waha lost “some major league ground” of almost a dimeFriday, it still was even with or slightly above Katy numbers, onetrader said. He doesn’t see Katy as being able to reclaim itstraditional premium of a dime or so as long as Western prices staystrong and Texas utilities keep up their strong buying interest atWaha.

PG&E citygates have been virtually identical with SouthernCalifornia border prices for almost the entire two weeks of thefledgling PG&E index’s existence. However, they were startingto diverge late last week as PG&E quotes softened more slowlythan the SoCal numbers, leaving PG&E in the low $2.40s about anickel above SoCal. A marketer said his best guess about thedeveloping spread was “not as many people need the gas in SouthernCalifornia.”

Intra-Alberta was among the few flat points, staying around theC$1.70 level after trading higher earlier in the week, a marketersaid. He noted that NOVA maintenance limiting throughput at theEastern Gate is having a big impact on Empress pricing. WhereasEmpress usually trades at Aeco plus C12-14 cents, he said, dealsdone for today’s flow were at Aeco plus C35-40 cents.

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