By TOM REIDAssociated PressThe price of natural gas is expected to drop again next year and the market for its use in rural communities is expected continue to expand.
Natural gas prices are expected to decline by about 20 cents a month, according to a Reuters survey of analysts.
The price of Brent crude oil is expected by analysts to decline 0.5 percent in December and stay lower for the rest of the year.
Natural gas prices fell by about 2 cents a barrel in January.
The natural gas market is expected be about $2.60 per million British thermal units, down from about $3.40 a year ago.
The oil market is about $30 per barrel, down slightly from about a year earlier.
In rural areas, there are more natural gas producers than any other region.
The industry is growing and in the last five years, there have been more gas-fired power plants built than in any previous five-year period.
The number of gas-burning power plants has more than doubled since 2010, and about 7 million people have access to electricity.