Natural Gas Prices May Surprise This Winter

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Natural Gas Prices May Surprise This Winter - this winter could be one of the rare instances when supply and demand conspire to drive up prices. 

Those expecting prices to rise have had plenty to point to on the demand side of the equation: Scores of industrial plants have sprung up to take advantage of cheap fuel, the U.S. has become a major exporter of gas, and coal plants are closing in droves in favor of environmentally friendlier and more flexible gas-fired generators.

The supply side of the ledger has been just as dynamic, though. The recent boom in oil drilling in shale basins such as the Permian has unlocked cheap gas almost as a byproduct. New pipelines will make it easier for the fuel to reach market. U.S. natural gas production is seen rising for the eighth month in a row in November to a new record.

Keith OConnor