Are High Natural-Gas Prices Here to Stay?

Equipment used for the extraction of natural gas is viewed at a hydraulic fracturing site on June 19, 2012 in South Montrose, Pennsylvania. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, stimulates gas production by injecting wells with high volumes of chemical-laced water in order to free-up pockets of natural gas below. The process is controversial with critics saying it could poison water supplies, while the natural-gas industry says it's been used safely for decades. While New York State has yet to decide whether to allow franking, Governor Andrew Cuomo is considering whether to allow limited franking for communities along the pennsylvania border that want it. Economically struggling Binghamton had passed a drilling ban which prohibits any exploration or extraction of natural gas in the city for the next two years. The Marcellus Shale Gas Feld extends through parts of New York State, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia and could hold up to 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  
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Clare Foran
Feb. 25, 2014, 1:37 a.m.

Winter weath­er is cre­at­ing a price surge for nat­ur­al gas, and in­dus­tri­al users of the fuel are ar­guing that a wave of ex­ports could make the surge per­man­ent.

“Amer­ic­ans are get­ting hit in the wal­lets by huge price spikes and sup­ply short­ages, but it will only get worse if we send more nat­ur­al gas over­seas to our glob­al com­pet­it­ors,” said Amer­ica’s En­ergy Ad­vant­age, an as­so­ci­ation of man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Al­coa, Dow Chem­ic­al, and Nu­cor, in a state­ment. “It’s bad enough now, but this is an eer­ie fore­shad­ow­ing of the crisis to come un­less there is a change in course.”

However, the nat­ur­al-gas in­dustry and most en­ergy ana­lysts, in­clud­ing fin­an­cial ana­lysts, pre­dict that price spikes will be short-lived, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ports.

“Janu­ary was the 10th cold­est on re­cord, not just a spot of cold,” Erica Bow­man, chief eco­nom­ist of Amer­ica’s Nat­ur­al Gas Al­li­ance, a trade as­so­ci­ation rep­res­ent­ing nat­ur­al-gas ex­plor­a­tion and pro­duc­tion com­pan­ies, told The Post. “On Janu­ary 7, we saw the highest with­draw­al from stor­age, 137 bil­lion cu­bic feet, ever. And we still see prices $6 or less. I would say that’s a pretty good sign of how ro­bust the sys­tem is.”


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