The recent rally in futures prices came on the heels of reports that domestic supplies dropped and that more than one company announced that it would curb output due to low prices. Most analysts believe the price jump is temporary and that natural gas prices will likely return to recent 10-year lows.
But price is only one part of the story. We may well be witnessing a revolution in the domestic natural gas market. And investors need to know where to look in order to profit.
The revolution is that the United States is on the precipice of becoming a net exporter of natural gas, as opposed to being the net importer we seemingly always have been.
One of the key components of the natural gas story has been the improved technology and the unnecessarily controversial method of extracting gas from the ground called "fracking." This has been a driving force behind the increasing large stores of gas in the United States and the historically low prices.
Without getting to deep in the mud, it logically follows that producers will have to cut back production because the cost to produce each unit of natural gas compared with the market price makes it unprofitable to manufacture. They must either do that or find more potential buyers... These buyers have already been identified, but the producers do not have total control over the decision to sell or not to sell to overseas buyers. This must come from the Department of Energy.