GAS PRICES: ABOVE $2.9
PLATTS - NYMEX September gas futures climbed 6.9 cents to $2.962/MMBtu as Monday's eclipse was projected to boost natural gas demand.
The September contract settled at $2.962/MMBtu, up 6.9 cents from Friday's close.
The price increase comes after a week where the NYMEX front-month contract dipped 9 cents over five trading sessions.
Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group, said the market could be seeing an "eclipse rally," as more gas was likely used for power generation as solar power was not available during the eclipse.
According to US Energy Information Administration data, solar photovoltaic capacity was expected to be affected by an estimated 8.8 GW in California, along with North Carolina seeing nearly 3 GW affected, possibly giving support to prices as gas was used to account for some of that missing power generation.
Any rise in gas demand could put increased pressure on national natural gas stocks, which currently sit 1.8% above the five-year-average, according to EIA data. Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy, said there are expectations that the storage build for the week ended August 18 will be below the five-year-average.
The jump in price goes against the grain of the most recent six- to 10-day outlook from the National Weather Service calling for a likelihood of cooler-than-average weather for the Northeast and Midcontinent.
Flynn said private meteorologist reports are conflicting, as some call for warmer-than-average weather heading into September, whereas others project possible frosts in some regions leading to "possible heating demand in September."
According to Platts Analytics' Bentek Energy data, US dry gas production is expected to dip 400 MMcf day on day to 72.5 Bcf/d, shy of the 73 Bcf/d month-to-date average.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.