The U.S. shale oil boom has encouraged power plants and industrial consumers to use cheap natural gas, but energy producers, discouraged by the low prices, have yet to switch back to drilling for natural gas. The government forecaster estimates that given current gas production levels, inventories will hit 3.4 trillion cubic feet by the end of October, the lowest level since 2005. [Low Production Outlook is Supporting Natural Gas ETFs]
As of April 25, natural gas inventories were 980 billion cubic feet, or half the average for this time of year. Consumers dug deep into gas reserves over the unexpectedly frigid winter months. [Summer Shortfall Could Bolster Natural Gas ETFs]
United States Natural Gas Fund
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Max Chen contributed to this article.