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Bears rule the gas patch

Low natural gas prices will add to US producers' pain in the year ahead

Production is too high. Demand isn't keeping up. Inventories are brimming. Prices are crashing. The US natural gas market looks a lot like the global oil market these days.  It has been more than a year since the Henry Hub spot price has peeked above $3 per million British thermal units (/m Btu) and stayed for an entire week. A late winter helped push the benchmark to a 16-year low of $1.66/m Btu in mid-December. An early January cold spell across the northeast helped lift prices by nearly 40% to around $2.30/m Btu in the middle of the month, but prices remain depressingly low. And there is little prospect of a sustained price rally any time soon - inventory levels are simply too high. In

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