Natural gas in US below $2 for first time in 10 years

The price of natural gas has fallen below $2 per 1,000 cubic feet in the US, for the first time in over a decade, which comes as remarkable decline for a commodity that was not long ago believed to be in short supply.

The US supply of natural gas is growing at such a fast pace as to cause analysts to worry over the prospect that country's underground storage facilities could be full by fall, leading to prices declining further.

Yesterday, the futures price of natural gas was down to $1.984 per 1,000 cubic feet, its lowest level since 28 January 2002, when it hit $1.91. If the price were to slide to $1.75, it would be the lowest since 23 March 1999.

Natural gas production is booming across the country as energy companies employ new drilling techniques to tap reserves previously untapped. The process has raised concerns about water safety and is under a temporary ban in New York and New Jersey but in places where been allowed, it has led to increases in drilling, job growth and production.

The falling price of natural gas has come as a boon to homes and businesses that use it for heat and for appliances, and for manufacturers using it to power factories and makers of chemicals, plastics and other materials.

Another benefit is the lower electricity costs with natural gas being used to generate about a quarter of the nation's electric power.