Royal Dutch Shell sees higher natural gas prices Officials at a major global oil company reckon natural gas prices will rise over the next few years.

The Financial Times reports Royal Dutch Shell projects natural gas prices in the U.S. will roughly double by 2015. The price of the hydrocarbon has fallen precipitously over the past year, thanks in large part to a surge in hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking. A jump in the number of fracking wells throughout the nation has fueled supplies, driving down prices.

However, Royal Dutch Shell officials are betting demand for natural gas will surge over the course of the decade, especially as the fossil fuel replaces coal as the primary U.S. energy source. What's more, Royal Dutch Shell chief executive Peter Voser asserted that producers would likely curtail production because of the historically low prices. Such a move would support cost savings plans and bolster demand.

Voser said Shell is eyeing a price of between $4 and $6 per million British thermal units for 2014-2015, according to the news provider. Natural gas prices currently hover around $2.50.

The surge in fracking has quickly allowed the U.S. to become the world's largest producer of natural gas.

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