NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Feb 28, 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 EnCana Corporation (NYSE: ECA) (TSX: ECA) and WPX Energy Inc. (NYSE: WPX).
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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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Encana is a leading North American energy producer that is focused on growing its strong portfolio of diverse resource plays producing natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids. The company reported average natural gas production volumes for the full year 2012 were 3.0 Bcf/d. Encana ended 2012 with $3.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents, exceeding the $2.5 billion it had targeted in 2012.
WPX Energy specializes in producing natural gas, natural gas liquids and oil from non-conventional resources such as tight-sands and shale formations, as well as from coal bed methane reserves. The company is the nation's 10th largest natural gas producer, producing more than 1 billion cubic feet per day. WPX Energy recently forecasted production to be in the range of 1,261 MMcfe/d to 1,295 MMcfe/d for 2013.
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