Amid colder weekend weather trends and production impacts from another tropical cyclone tracking toward the Gulf of Mexico, natural gas futures gained in early trading Monday. The November Nymex contract was up 3.5 cents to $3.006/MMBtu at around 8:45 a.m. ET.
An already active hurricane season for the Gulf Coast could soon get even worse, as the region finds itself in the potential path of yet another named storm.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has started tracking Tropical Storm Zeta, which was about 175 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico, as of 8 a.m. ET Monday.
“On the forecast track, the center of Zeta will move near or over the northern Yucatan Peninsula later today or tonight, move over the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and approach the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday,” the NHC said.
The forecaster was expecting Zeta to strengthen into a hurricane later Monday morning.
Genscape Inc. estimates showed dry gas production in the Gulf of Mexico falling to 1.23 Bcf/d for Monday, down from 1.59 Bcf/d on Saturday.
“Most notably, receipts on Destin have declined by 145 MMcf/d as deliveries from the Okeanos to Destin meter have been reduced to zero,” Genscape analyst Preston Fussee-Durham said. “Furthermore, declines of nearly 97 MMcf/d have been observed” on the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line system “over the weekend as production from Hess’ and Chevron’s Tubular Bells platform was shut in.
“Currently, operators have begun securing offshore facilities and evacuating personnel from many of their platforms. As such efforts are undertaken, production is expected to decline further in the coming days.”
Meanwhile, over the weekend the European weather model “delivered a bit of a surprise” by trending colder to add several gas-weighted degree days to the outlook, according to Bespoke Weather Services.
Along with the colder trends from the European dataset, Bespoke also pointed to a “spike” in liquefied natural gas feed gas demand over the weekend as a driver of price gains early Monday.
“We do feel the pieces are in place to get a warmer pattern and do not think this is a case of modeled warming that simply never shows up,” Bespoke said. “As such, we feel risk ultimately will be to the downsider later this week, but that may not be until after November has rolled off the board. With the weekend surprise in modeling and the fog of expiry coming up, our near-term sentiment is back to neutral for now.”
December crude oil futures were off $1.06 to $38.79/bbl at around 8:45 a.m. ET, while November RBOB gasoline was down about 1.6 cents to $1.1232/gal.
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