Natural gas exploration and production companies continue to face considerable headwinds because of low natural gas prices. To stay solvent, natural gas producers such as Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) were forced to move into liquids production in addition to creating joint ventures or selling assets to foreign national oil companies.

Oil and gas producers are now looking to the federal government to allow more LNG exportation permits so companies can sell natural gas to the highest bidder. Uncle Sam continues to drag its feet on making a decision for or against LNG exportation, forcing some natural gas producers to sell valuable assets and technology to foreign government-owned oil and gas companies. With record worldwide price disparities, the United States could profit handsomely from selling low-cost natural gas into high-end markets, but time is of the essence.

Joel South and Taylor Muckerman have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron, owns shares of Devon Energy, and has options on Chesapeake Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.