Drilling ban boosts gas prices

06/14/2010
US President Barack Obama's May 30 ban against drilling in US waters deeper than 500 ft because of the Macondo blowout in the Gulf of Mexico helped drive up natural gas prices in the first days of June, industry analysts reported.The July gas contract advanced 10.7¢ to $4.80/MMbtu June 4 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, posting "the biggest weekly gain of 11% since the week ended Dec. 18" due to increased summer cooling demand and reduced drilling for gas, said Anuj Sharma, research analyst at Pritchard Capital Partners LLC, Houston.In the week ended June 4, Baker Hughes Inc. reported US drilling activity dropped for the first time in 6 weeks, down 29 rotary rigs to 1,5...
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