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Natural gas -- a free market rebalancing is underway [ClearOnMoney]
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Natural gas -- a free market rebalancing is underway

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Commentary

Natural gas -- a free market rebalancing is underway

13 Mar 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Electric power generators have been switching from coal to natural gas for a long time. Recently the trend has accelerated somewhat, due to the cost of environmental regulations on coal burning, combined with the very cheap price for natural gas. The Energy Information Administration has data for the US:

This is part of a larger trend, where increased production of gas (much in the headlines) has been balanced by increased consumption and lower net imports (less often mentioned):

The above is only through 2010; the adjustment for net imports was even more stark in 2011:

The result is that the amount of gas in storage, relative to demand, is right about where it was in 2005 when the shale gas boom got underway:

In other words, the “gas glut” is greatly exaggerated, the natural rebalancing of the market is underway, and natural gas prices will return to more normal levels.