March has been a tremendous month for natural gas prices. Up almost 30% since the beginning of the month, it's time to start wondering if producers will begin to turn the rigs back on that were idled during 2012. Natural gas rig counts in the United States have decreased by 232 from a year ago according to the Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) rig count, which the company produced on March 15.
Are expectations being reached?
Earlier this week Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) guided for a weaker than expected first quarter based on a slower uptick in rig utilization than it had predicted. That dragged the energy services sector down for a couple of days, but Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman feels strongly about Halliburton's (NYSE:HAL) fracking expertise and exposure to the North American market. If natural gas' selling price continues to rise, then this could be the lowest you see Halliburton trading for quite some time.
Joel South owns shares of Schlumberger. Taylor Muckerman owns shares of Halliburton. The Motley Fool recommends Halliburton, Range Resources, and Ultra Petroleum. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ultra Petroleum and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $30 Calls on Ultra Petroleum, Long Jan 2014 $40 Calls on Ultra Petroleum, and Long Jan 2014 $50 Calls on Ultra Petroleum. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.