Natural Gas Prices Jump with Blizzard

Canadian stock markets climbed yesterday as a massive blizzard swept across the U.S. Midwest, sending natural gas prices soaring.

In Toronto, the S&P/TSX energy group was the strongest performer, of the ten Canadian market sectors rising 1.8 percent, on the rising demand for natural gas and despite weaker prices for crude oil.

The January natural gas contract jumped, about 40 cents, or 8.4 percent to slightly above $5.30 cents US, per million Btu.

That’s its biggest one-day move in three months, and gas prices have now risen 20 percent, in the past week.

Meantime, crude oil is on its longest losing streak in a year, after falling seven sessions in a row and dipping below 70 dollars US yesterday.

With the BC government forecasting a 2.8 billion dollar budget deficit for 2010, the sudden move in natural gas couldn’t come at a better time.

Now, it remains to be seen how much of an impact the rising price will have on next week’s December sale of oil and gas land rights here in the Northeast.