NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 27, 2013) - Natural gas prices have been trending upwards recently on improved heating demand. It is estimated that approximately 50 percent of households in the U.S. use natural gas for heating according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (UNG) has spiked nearly 7 percent in the past week. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Natural Gas Industry and provides equity research on Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK) and SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD).
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A prediction for colder-than-average weather from the National Weather Service over weekend sent natural gas futures surging 3.7 percent Monday. Futures settled at $3.414 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) Monday, which was the highest since February 6th. According to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook Henry Hub natural gas spot price is expected to average $3.53 per MMBtu in 2013 and $3.84 per MMBtu in 2014, natural gas averaged $2.75 per MMBtu.
Natural gas working inventories ended January 2013 at an estimated 2.7 trillion cubic feet, approximately 0.2 trillion cubic feet lower than a year ago; inventories reached a record high in early November 2012.
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Chesapeake Energy is the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. The company recently announced it has agreed to sell a 50% undivided interest in 850,000 of the company's net oil and natural gas leasehold acres in the Mississippi Lime play to Sinopec for $1.02 billion. Shares of Chesapeake have gained over 18 percent year-to-date.
SandRidge is the leading operator in the Mississippian Oil Play of northern Oklahoma and western Kansas. The company believes this area generates the highest rate of return for horizontal drilling in the U.S. today. SandRidge has recently closed the sale of its Permian Basin assets to Sheridan Holding Company II, LLC for total cash proceeds of $2.6 billion.
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