Is natural gas the answer to the United States’ energy woes? Sure, it has a lot going for it, but some still aren’t buying the idea. If it does catch on with full force, exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track futures and producers could be well-placed to benefit.

Natural gas is becoming a darling of the energy market and it has much going for it: it’s easy to use, easy to transport and burns cleaner. The greatest plus is recent reports suggesting that gas shale fields in the United States contain more natural gas than originally thought. In fact, those resources are enough to end our foreign oil dependence, reports Jared Killeen for Heating Oil. (Read about UNG’s strategy changes here).

Some analysts are skeptical that there is enough yields from wells to be high enough or last long enough to make the gas shales very profitable, even if prices go up.

Meanwhile, Venezuela has confirmed the discovery of an estimated 8 trillion cubic feet of gas recently announced by Spain’s Repsol YPF SA (REP). Dan Molinski for The Wall Street Journal reports that President Hugo Chavez is seeking to set up “Venezuela to be one of the tops in the planet in terms of proven natural gas reserves.” (Read about the differences in commodity ETFs).

For more stories about natural gas, visit our natural gas category.

  • United States Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG): down 51.6% year-to-date

  • First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (NYSEArca: FCG): up 58.7% year-to-date

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.