US gas producers' opportunity window limited

US natural gas producers don't have much to worry about in the near term. Even if gas prices soften in the months ahead in case a warm winter and ample storage combine to squelch any prospect of a tight market in 2004, no one is predicting a return to sub-$3/Mcf levels soon.Some have raised the spectre of rising service and supply costs putting a crimp in the US gas drilling surge. But even that prospect isn't likely to end the party soon, according to a recent research report by J. Marshall Adkins, the Houston-based analyst with Raymond James & Associates Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla.Service-supply costsAdkins notes that the average internal rate of return on a US gas drilling proje...

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