Third-quarter profits to sparkle for shale producers without hedges

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By Liz Hampton (Reuters) -With oil and gas prices at multi-year highs, U.S. shale producers are poised to deliver the strongest earnings since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, so long as they didn’t lock in sales tied to much lower prices. Sky-high oil and gas prices will fill energy companies’ bottom line, rewarding investors who hung on through the pandemic. U.S. crude averaged roughly $71 a barrel, almost 80% higher than year-ago levels, and natural gas sold for over $5 per million British Thermal Units (mmBTU), a price not seen since 2014. The biggest oil and gas producers kick off r…

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