The long-anticipated rise in natural gas prices has finally taken shape in 2013. The first three months of the year have witnessed the spot price climb north of $4 per MMBtu, and investors in low-cost producers of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale have seen that portion of their portfolios climb accordingly.

Choosing not to switch proves wise
Throughout 2012, many companies chose to defer portions of their capital budgets away from natural gas and into more liquids-heavy wells. Take Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) and Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) for example: Both of these companies shied away from gas toward liquids in 2012 and are missing out on the run-up in natural gas prices. 

Compare the paths they have charted to begin 2013 with peers that stuck to their guns, like Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) and others mentioned in the video below, and it's clear to see that staying the course has paid off thus far. Cabot Oil & Gas will continue to target growth in the Marcellus Shale in 2013, and if the gas pricing trend continues it could be a very wise move.

Joel South owns shares of Devon Energy. Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Range Resources. The Motley Fool owns shares of Devon Energy and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $20 Calls on Chesapeake Energy, Long Jan 2014 $30 Calls on Chesapeake Energy, and Short Jan 2014 $15 Puts on Chesapeake Energy. 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.