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NYMEX August gas settles 3.6 cents lower, strong production outweighs power burn

Houston — NYMEX August natural gas futures fell 3.6 cents Monday to settle at $2.721/MMBtu as dry gas production outpaced the high power burn totals seen of late.

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The front-month contract traded between $2.713/MMBtu and $2.741/MMBtu on Monday.

Power burn is expected to rise 0.87 Bcf to 35.49 Bcf Monday, with the Northeast and Southwest rising 0.9 Bcf and 0.3 Bcf, respectively, and the Southeast falling, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

After setting an all-time system load record on two consecutive days last week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas footprint is forecast to hit a fresh all-time high Monday, according to Platts Analytics.

Looking ahead, the most recent six-to-10-day forecast from the US National Weather Service points to colder-than-average temperatures for much of the Midcontinent and Upper Midwest and warmer-than-average temperatures in much of the Southwest and Northeast.

Demand in the Southwest has averaged 10.7 Bcf/d in July to date, 0.2 Bcf/d below the average for the full month of July last year, but pipeline restrictions in Southern California have pushed the SoCal Gas city gate basis up to an average of $2.51/MMBtu, a $2.34/MMBtu increase from July last year, according to Platts Analytics.

US dry gas production is set to fall 0.7 Bcf to 80.3 Bcf on Monday after production remained flat Saturday and Sunday at 81 Bcf/d, according to Platts Analytics.

US dry gas production remains strong, as there have been five consecutive days of production over the 80 Bcf/d mark.

The increase in demand for exports and power generation is being balanced by the increase in production, which is outweighing any supply concerns that the market may have, according to Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy.

Going into the weekend, US dry gas production rose 0.7 Bcf/d to 81 Bcf/d Thursday to Saturday. The main driver of the increase was the Northeast, with a 0.5 Bcf/d increase between Thursday and Saturday, according to Platts Analytics.

The NYMEX settlement price is considered preliminary and subject to change until a final settlement price is posted at 7 pm EDT (2300 GMT).

--Arsalan Syed, arsalan.syed@spglobal.com

--Edited by Wendy Wells, wendy.wells@spglobal.com