While rock-bottom oil prices wreak havoc across the U.S. energy sector, there are some drillers for whom the historic bust has proven a share price boon: specialists in natural gas.

Some gas futures prices are up almost 10% since the end of February over the same period that U.S. crude oil has more than halved.

The reason: billions of dollars of capital spending cuts announced by U.S. shale oil companies are likely to lead to lower output of so-called associated gas, natural gas produced as a byproduct of wells drilled mainly for their oil.

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