Bad for consumers but good for investors. Let’s assume just about all investors are also natural gas consumers so this is a double edged sword. According to the Wall Street Journal, in lieu of producing more natural gas U.S. producers are instead shoring up their bottom lines, buying back shares, and providing dividends.
The pursuit of stock-boosting financial maneuvers has helped shares of Antero Resources Corp., EQT Corp. and others shine in a down market. It also adds to concerns about low supplies and suggests higher prices ahead for the heating and power-generation fuel, which has already contributed to the sharpest inflation in four decades.
Natural-gas prices have more than doubled so far in 2022, rising at a time of year when they normally decline into mild spring weather. Futures for June delivery rose 6.4% on Tuesday to end at $7.95 per British thermal units, the highest price since frackers flooded the market with shale gas more than a decade ago.Why Surging Natural-Gas Prices Haven’t Sparked a Drilling Boom – WSJ
The story doesn’t give a real reason for this behavior. But my novice take is the regulatory environment is hostile and natural gas producers are preparing for the worst should there be a significant downturn in the economy.