Natural gas among best investments of 2013

Energy stocks were among the best and worst investments of 2013.
by Adam Wilmoth Modified: December 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on the year's profits and losses.

Bloomberg recently compiled a list of the best and worst investments of 2013. Among the list are a few investments notable for their Oklahoma connections.

The best performing commodity of the year has been natural gas, which closed Thursday at $4.44 per thousand cubic feet, up $1.01, or 29 percent, on the year.

While oil production has increased throughout the region, Oklahoma still is a predominantly natural gas state with many local producers and counties dependent on its production.

The current price is still considered too low for local producers to search only for natural gas, but the higher prices can increase the returns on wells that produce both natural gas and oil.

Much of the price jump this year is because of the challenging low prices the industry faced over the previous three years.

As natural gas prices plummeted to less than $2 per thousand cubic feet, the cost of the relatively clean-burning fuel dropped below that of coal, the dirtier low-cost staple that has fueled most of the country's electricity needs for more than a century.

The price of natural gas also has been boosted by the growing effort to increase the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel.

While natural gas prices have rallied, the feed stock for another alternative fuel has slumped.

Corn prices have tumbled 39 percent as a record domestic harvest combined with a Chinese ban on some U.S. corn because of genetic modifications. Corn closed at $4.26 a bushel on Thursday, down from $6.98 at the end of 2012.

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by Adam Wilmoth
Energy Editor
Adam Wilmoth returned to The Oklahoman as energy editor in 2012 after working for four years in public relations. He previously spent seven years as a business reporter at The Oklahoman, including five years covering the state's energy sector....
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