NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 05/17/12 -- Natural gas prices have surged recently after being in a long slump. Recent advances in technology have unlocked new reserves and seen production skyrocket as a result. The United States Natural Gas Fund is up nearly 20 percent over the last month, showing signs of a long awaited recovery for the industry. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Natural Gas Industry and provides equity research on SandRidge Energy Inc. (NYSE: SD) and United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (NYSE: UNG).
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Natural gas futures on Tuesday rose 2.8 percent to $2.50 /mmBtu. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is set to release weekly gas inventory date Thursday. According a recent article in the Wall Street Journal it is anticipated that the data will show inventories rose significantly less than the year-ago level of 86 billion cubic feet and the five-year average of 91 bcf, on increased demand from electrical utilities, who have recently switched from coal to gas.
"Narrowing in the surplus ... [is] a more important driver of natural gas pricing than the huge absolute supply level," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch & Associates. As a result of this mentality, he said, "We are leaving open the possibility of a further price advance to around the $2.61 area."
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SandRidge averaged 36 rigs operating during the first quarter of 2012 and drilled 250 wells. A total of 240 gross (213 net) operated wells were completed and brought on production during the first quarter of 2012. Currently, the company has 42 rigs operating (including five drilling saltwater disposal wells), of which 20 are SandRidge-owned Lariat rigs.
The United States Natural Gas Fund LP is an exchange-traded security that is designed to track in percentage terms the movements of natural gas prices. Natural Gas is one of the most important physical commodities in the global economy. Natural Gas futures are one of the most actively traded futures contracts and represent the primary US benchmark for natural gas.
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