Natural gas prices in the United States reached a point they hadn't seen since 2002, dropping below $2 yesterday. This led to a drop in the share price of producers such as Chesapeake Energy
Producers are suffering
As natural gas prices continue to decrease, natural gas producers may cease production. The U.S. is using 12% less natural gas per day than usual. This has led many gas producers to take steps to hedge some of their reliance on natural gas. Calgary-based EnCana
Benefits for customers... and investors
Low natural gas prices could ultimately benefit customers in other ways as well. Utah gas utility Questar
Also benefiting from low natural gas prices are companies looking to use liquefied natural gas as an alternative fuel source. With gasoline prices remaining high, some people may consider converting to natural-gas-fueled vehicles. The long-haul trucking industry, with engines developed by Westport Innovations
Foolish bottom line
Natural gas won't be this cheap forever. While producers consider their options to make it through to an increase, other companies are taking advantage of the low cost by either refunding money to customers or developing new technologies that take advantage of the use as an alternative fuel. Either way, it's worth keeping an eye on, and you can do so by adding these companies to My Watchlist to keep track of the news out of the natural gas industry.
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Fool contributor Robert Eberhard owns shares of Westport Innovations, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Follow him on Twitter, or click here to see his holdings and a short bio. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Clean Energy Fuels, Chesapeake Energy, and Westport Innovations. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.