Financial Times
US natural gas price at odds with low stocks; News analysis

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Has winter dealt blow to stores, or will shale output once again flood market, asks Gregory Meyer.

The US natural gas market is sending out mixed messages. Supplies held in underground storage are at the lowest level in a decade, but futures prices suggest the country is still a land of plenty.

This contradiction has begun to spark debate among analysts. Has a tough winter dealt a lasting blow to stores of the heating fuel? Or will gas drilled from shale rock again flood the market once temperatures - fingers crossed - climb?

Bentek Energy, a consultant, forecasts production will grow by 3bn cu ft per day year on year to above 68bn cu ft/d by the end of injection season.

"It looks pretty dire for the next couple of weeks, but one of these days we'll be producing more gas than we're demanding," says Jeff Moore, analyst at Bentek.

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