High US gas prices expected to persist

US natural gas spot prices, which have recently risen past $9/Mcf on the New York Mercantile Exchange, are unlikely to fall significantly in the short term.That was the prevailing view in testimony by natural gas industry representatives and a US Department of Energy official last week at a US Senate energy committee hearing.AGA view"For this winter, our options are limited," said Roger B. Cooper, executive vice-president for policy and planning of the American Gas Association. "The market is temporarily out of balance."Cooper pointed to a decline in US production beginning in 1998, when natural gas wellhead prices fell below $2/Mcf for extended periods, leading producers to cut drilling ...

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