NatGas Prices Inching Higher, $4 Mcf This Summer?

This is not a story about the Marcellus/Utica per se, but it has a direct bearing on landowners (how big their royalty checks are) and the drilling industry (whether or not they’re willing to sink a hole) in Appalachia.

The enormous success of the shale drilling industry has been its own worst enemy in one respect: Demand for natural gas as not kept pace with the enormous flood of new supplies, and that has led to a commodity price “collapse” since 2011. Even though domestic supplies of natural gas are now at an all-time high, prices are once again inching up and it’s expected the commodity price will hit $4 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf) sometime this year—perhaps this summer. Why? The switch from coal to natgas in electric power generating plants…

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