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Natural gas prices should be falling, but they are slowly rising. The winter of 2006–2007 was one of the mildest on record. At the end of the heating season, working gas in storage was 20% above the five-year average. Storage at the end of the heating seasons in both 2006 and 2007 were the highest for that time since 1991. Gas futures settlement prices and spot prices have been almost the same since January 2006. All of these factors usually mean that gas prices should fall, but at the beginning of May 2007, spot gas prices were at the upper end of their five-year average, near $8 per million BTUs and rising.
The explanation for these apparent contradictions is found in some disturbing trends in gas production and consumption, underlying the superficial appearance of abundance. Simply put, the US is at or very near the limit of its capacity . . .
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