Gas in the US—1 Attention to supply

Stratospheric prices of natural gas in the US summon new attention to an important and officially favored source of energy. They recently provoked calls from industrial consumers for a reorientation of the US government's approach to energy policy. And they raise questions about long-term evolution of the gas market.Cold weather in major gas markets has stimulated demand enough to seriously strain supply. Inventories are low. The March gas contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange reached a record-high $11.89/MMbtu during overnight trading Feb. 24. Spot prices have reached levels three times that high. Although easing back at the beginning of last week, the NYMEX price remained abo...

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