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Natural gas futures remain

May 17th, 2013

Natural gas futures will trade below $4 per million British thermal units for the rest of the year, according to a KPMG LLP Global Energy Institute survey of U.S. energy executives.

The survey showed 73 percent forecast that the price will range from $3 to $4 in 2013. Gas for June delivery settled at $3.932 yesterday, down 12 percent from the 2013 high of $4.444 in intraday trading on May 1.

“Greater assurance of supply appears to be stabilizing commodity price environments and enabling large investments,” said Regina Mayor, Houston-based oil and gas sector leader for KPMG. “At the same time, marginal production remains shut in which could quickly be reinstated.”

Natural gas stockpiles rose 99 billion cubic feet last week to 1.964 trillion, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said yesterday. A deficit to the five-year average narrowed to 4.1 percent from 5 percent the previous week.

About 62 percent of the executives surveyed said the U.S. can attain energy independence by 2030, up from 52 percent last year. About a quarter said independence is possible by 2020.

The U.S. produced 84 percent of its own energy last year, the most since 1991, according to data from the EIA. U.S. oil production reached a 23-year high of 7.37 million barrels a day in the week ended May 3.

- Dan Murtaugh in Houston at Bloomberg.

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