US shale boom poses challenge to Henry Hub benchmark

Disconnect with eastern US prices generates enthusiasm for regional hubs

Natural gas outlook
Last year, 1.64 million physical fixed price contracts were traded at Dominion South

For a quarter of a century, an unassuming pipeline junction in Erath, Louisiana, known as the Henry Hub has been the lodestar for US natural gas traders, sending out pricing cues for a vast array of financial products.

But over the past half-decade, the new technologies of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have redrawn the map of North American gas production. In particular, output has surged in the Marcellus Shale, the gas-rich geological formation spreading across New York, Ohio, Pe

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