The US price for natural gas has risen faster than crude so far this year. It is already up almost 65%. Rising coal and oil prices have encouraged power generators to switch to gas, whilst lower Canadian exports and a tight global LNG market have helped to push prices higher. Increasing demand for ethanol will also require 1bn cu ft of extra gas supply, between 2008/9, according to Merrill Lynch. US producers can be forgiven for feeling battered, with their costs rising and the domestic market hit by lack of demand from the housing and auto sectors.