Analyst sees sharply higher US gas prices this winter

US natural gas prices should jump sharply in the first quarter as demand jumps in the face of limited supply.Marshall Adkins, managing director of Raymond James & Associates Inc., Houston, made that prediction at an International Association of Drilling Contractors conference in Houston earlier this month.Supply concernsAdkins and other speakers warned of industry's limits in meeting US natural gas demand, both from onshore and Gulf of Mexico fields. "We may need $4/Mcf or higher gas prices to even stabilize Gulf of Mexico production," he said.Adkins said gulf production will decline because new prospects are smaller than before. Meanwhile, he said industry is drilling deeper—40%...

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