Between $4.00 - $4.50 the last batch of duel fuel generators will switch back over. Doesn't mean coal will be back to normal domestically but it will take a few more percentage points away from NG. But it has to hold.
The NG mantra of 'exploding ng production' and ' cheap and abundant ng' is about to run into a brick wall.
NG is an incredible energy source. For about a century we depended on ng from conventional ng plays. These plays are economical but unfortuneately are played out. NG from conventional plays, which still provide over 60% of total ng productionn in the usa, have been in a dealth spiral of declining production for several decades.
Now we have NG from fracking. Although fracking is cracked up to be the best thing since sliced bread, we would never be fracking for ng had the conventional ng plays not played out. Ng from fracking is an incredible energy source but there are problems. Number one, shale has the energy content of a bag of popcorn. Getting oil or gas out of shale is like getting blood out of a trunip. Can be done but is going to be expensive. Getting oil out of shale when oil is $100 a barrel is feasible. Getting ng out of shale when ng is $4 is a complete nonstarter.
NG will survive but not at $4. It would be possible if all our NG came from conventional plays. However, conventional plays are harder and harder to find. More and more ng is coming from fracking and ng from fracking is nieither cheap nor abundant.
The price of ng in the future? Who knows. Somewhere north of $4.50 The cost of ng from fracking is probably around $7. However, at $7 there might be a renaissance in conventional ng plays which are far more economical than fracking, have less environmental concerns than fracking and sound pretty good provided you can find gas using conventional plays.
By the way, sooner or later, Obama the Economy Slayer is going to get the message. NG is not the future. Don't mess with coal unless you want to be without power. Wind and solar energy are hoaxes. Hydroelectric power is maxed out. Nuclear has issues. Coal is the last man standing