Energy companies started predicting a sharp cutback in the amount of natural gas pumped in the U.S. more than a year ago.
But even though gas prices now hover 30% below a year earlier, the promised reduction never came. And this week two major natural-gas companies reported big increases in production, while a third, Devon Energy Corp., announced that its new East Texas well was yielding 31 million cubic feet of gas a day, one of the most prolific U.S. wells this year.
The burgeoning supply is good news for consumers, who can expect their electricity rates and home-heating bills to be lower this winter. But it’s bad news for gas producers, which could face low prices for longer than expected.
The continued production growth has caught energy experts and others off-guard. “Nobody seemed to anticipate this,” said Rocco Canonica, director of energy analysis for the research firm BENTEK Energy in Evergreen, Colo.
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