Winter Chill Causes Natural-Gas Price to Rise

Trees covered by snow are pictured on March 12, 2013 after a heavy snow storm in Godewaersvelde, northern France. Overnight on March 12 nearly 500 cars were blocked near Cherbourg where snowdrifts piled up 60 centimetres (almost two feet) as winds reached 100 kilometres (more than 60 miles) an hour. Twenty-six regions in northwest and northern France were put on orange alert because of heavy snowfalls, which Meteo France said were 'remarkable for the season because of the expected quantity and length of time'.  (National Journal)

Although proponents of natural gas often tout its relatively low cost compared with other sources of fuel, prices are on the rise as Americans turn up their thermostats to fend off the winter chill.

According to Bloomberg, the price of natural gas to be shipped out for delivery next month came in at just above $4.20 per million Btus in futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday. Natural-gas futures haven't been that high since May of this past summer.

What's behind the projected price increase? Cold, of course. "All of this cold and snow is helping to push the gas market higher," said Tom Saal, senior vice president of energy trading at FCStone Latin America in Miami.