Gas traders fear US winter price spike

Shale’s ability to step up production rapidly is being relied upon to shore-up under-supply

Market participants are starting to fear that over-confidence in the calming power of the shale market may be setting the stage for a sudden supply crisis in the US in the coming winter.

Shale production can be rapidly and cheaply expanded compared with conventional gas production, and this has been reflected in a calmer natural gas market, with fewer of the wild seasonal swings in storage and price that characterised the pre-shale era.

But levels of gas in storage are currently below seasonal

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