Lofty energy prices, driven by steady demand and global supply shocks imposed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, present U.S. exploration and production (E&P) companies both profit opportunity and potential hazard.


As the first quarter E&P earning season gets in full swing over the coming weeks, markets are expected to focus on whether companies are able to ramp up natural gas and oil production to capitalize on surging prices without overshooting and bringing on excess supply.

Natural gas futures eclipsed the $8 threshold earlier this month, marking a 13-year high. That is particularly notable given that prices often moderate during the spring, when neither domestic heating nor cooling demand is exceptionally strong.

At the same time, oil prices have soared this year. West...