As a natural gas price rally fuelled by the harshest winter in decades threatens to stretch beyond this spring, North American drillers face a conundrum.
In theory, the return to nearly
Yet so far, North American drillers are reluctant to buy into the first bull market they have seen in years, fearful that the weather-induced rally will not last and betting that oil output still offers a more certain return.
"We won't be leaders in getting out there and drilling natural gas," he said.
Call it the shale bind: with abundant supplies from shale fields such as the Marcellus in the US Northeast or the
The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the US fell by seven over the past week to 351, the lowest since 1995, according to data from oil services firm
Yet market analysts are also starting to look for signs of additional drilling that would help replenish stocks, without which prices may remain elevated for months longer. After languishing below
This year's bitingly cold winter was initially written off as a short-term anomaly, causing isolated but dramatic price spikes in markets such as
But as the cold persists and expands, supplies are starting to strain across the country, forcing states including
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