Tough 2012 for This Natural Gas Pure Play

With so many diversified oil and gas producers out there, paying attention to companies like Ultra Petroleum (NASDAQOTH: UPLMQ  ) can be valuable because it gives you direct insight into the performance and expectations of the natural gas market. Fortunately for Ultra Petroleum, 2012 is over. Unfortunately for the company, 2013 has just begun. Despite record production on the year, writedowns due to suppressed natural gas prices led to poor financial performance. With expectations for production to drag through 2013, Ultra will need to maintain its focus on being the lowest-cost producer until 2014, when it expects production to begin picking up again. For more details, tune into the video below.

Unlike Ultra Petroleum, Chesapeake Energy has tried diversifying away some of the natural gas risk. However, it is ripe with its own set of troubling circumstances: negative news concerning the company's management and its 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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Taylor Muckerman

Taylor is an Associate GM in our Fool International operations. Prior to that he covered all things Energy + Materials as an analyst. Over the years, he has built an investing skill set to rely on when evaluating companies inside and out. While at the Fool, he has made appearances on CNBC and Fox Business. In addition, he completed his MBA at the University of Maryland and will sit for the Level II CFA Exam.

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