The power-generation fuel has been in high demand to run air conditioners and make up for parched hydropower markets, and forecasters expect booming exports and more steamy weather to keep supplies down and prices up. Natural-gas futures have gained 37% since April and are more than twice the price of a year ago. They settled Tuesday at $4.027 per million British thermal units.
Lower production is a big reason why analysts said they expect more expensive gas. For one, lower crude prices should mean less natural gas unearthed as a byproduct of oil drilling. Meanwhile, the companies that extract gas from the shale fields of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are resisting the temptation of $4 gas.
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