Chesapeake Energy decides not to hedge 2012 production

Hedging has become an integral part of the oil and gas industry as companies try to stabilize their revenue in the face of ever-changing market conditions and fluctuating gas and crude oil prices.

But EconMatters notes that major U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy has adopted the unusual "naked" risk management approach, choosing not to hedge any of its production for 2012.

By comparison, the site notes that the other major players in the natural gas industry have all hedged at least 75 percent of their production, taking note of the fact that Henry Hub natural gas prices are currently sitting around a 10-year low of $2.11 per million British thermal units.

While Chesapeake's strategy offers it the opportunity to gain more from any rise in natural gas prices, EconMatters notes that the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects gas storage will hit a record high this year, and even near the country's maximum capacity in October.

With an uncertain economic outlook, The Wall Street Journal reports that it has reduced its projects for natural gas prices in the second quarter to as low as $2.20 per million Btu, potentially leaving Chesapeake in an uncertain position.

More on the U.S. natural gas market can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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