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Natural Gas Stocks in a Slump as Prices for the Commodity Fall Sharply on Lower Heating Demand

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 14, 2012) - Natural gas stocks have been in a slump recently as forecasts for warmer temperatures and weaker demand for gas-fired heating have caused prices for the commodity to fall sharply. The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG), which is designed to track the changes in the price of natural gas, has fallen over 11 percent in the past week. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Natural Gas Industry and provides equity research on Exxon Mobil Corporation ( NYSE : XOM ) and Ultra Petroleum Corp. ( NYSE : UPL ).

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Weather forecasts have called for above average temperatures in the coming weeks. Approximately 50 percent of households in the United States are heated with natural gas. Recent data from Weather Derivatives show that heating demand will be 34 percent below average for the 48 contiguous states from Dec. 4 through Dec. 8. The forecast for lower demand has seen prices for natural gas fall 5.2 percent in the past week.

"The earlier seasonal rally clearly expressed overly optimistic expectations for initial heating demand. Good demand may still materialize, but the enthusiastic aspirations of participants need to be worked off," wrote Mike Fitzpatrick, editor of the Energy OverView newsletter.

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ExxonMobil in their annual forecast predicts global energy demand in 2040 will be approximately 35 percent higher than in 2010. By, 2025 natural gas is expected to overtake coal as the second most used fuel. Global demand for natural gas will increase by 65 percent through 2040. Shares of ExxonMobil have gained 4.5 percent year-to-date.

Ultra Petroleum is focused on developing its long-life natural gas reserves in the Green River Basin of Wyoming and is in the ongoing exploration and early development stage in the Appalachian Basin of Pennsylvania. The company produced 63.1 billion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas and crude oil in the third quarter of 2012.

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