Where Are Natural Gas Prices Headed?

In this edition, energy analyst Joel South talks about natural gas and gives his reasons why it could reach $4.50-$5.00 in 2013. While high prices led to overproduction causing 10-year lows in 2012, Joel looks to high oil margins as the reason natural gas production will not increase as prices creep toward the $5 range. 

In a recent presentation, Chesapeake Energy's (NYSE: CHK  ) senior vice president of research, Jeff Mobley, stated that his company would need an average price of $6.50 per thousand cubic feet to compete with the rate of return the company gains from oil production in the Eagle Ford. 

In fact, Chesapeake expects the natural gas rig count to remain depressed, even with $4 natural gas. Large natural gas producers are leaving their production unhedged going forward, as they believe analysts are overestimating the number of producers looking to move back into natural gas production once prices edge past $4. With an increasing number of companies focusing their 2013 capital expenditures to target the projects with the highest return on revenue, natural gas producers with no hedges in place could be in for a good 2013. 

Energy investors would be hard-pressed to find another company trading at a deeper discount than Chesapeake Energy, and with no gas hedges in place for 2013, the company looks even more valuable. However, its share price depreciated after negative news surfaced concerning the company's management and spiraling debt picture. While these issues still persist, giant steps have been taken to help mitigate the problems. To learn more about Chesapeake and its enormous potential, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand-new premium report on the company. Simply click here now to access your copy, and as an added bonus, you'll receive a full year of key updates and expert guidance as news continues to develop.

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