Colder weather is here, in varying degrees around the country. Just as crude oil prices are rising, so are natural gas futures, giving a lift to the commodity’s related exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Higher prices for crude oil this morning are pushing the price of natural gas up as much as 2.31%. Christine Buurma for The Wall Street Journal explains that natural gas tends to trade in tandem with crude oil as they can be used  as substitutes for gas in power plants and heating systems.

Mother nature could be adding the next push to prices: cooler weather is expected to settle in over the next two weeks in the midwest and northeast, giving rising demand to natural gas for heating purposes. (Commodity ETFs have some changes in store; read the latest about them here).

The U.S. natural gas drilling rig count has gained in 11 of the last 12 weeks, but it’s still down sharply since peaking above 1,600 in September last year. 822 rigs are in use, accounting for 53%, reflecting declining industrial demand.

Joe Silha for Reuters reports that although production is lower, it hasn’t been enough to offset inventories that stand at a record high.

Related ETFs:

  • United States Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG): down 50% year-to-date

  • First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas (NYSEArca: FCG): up 49% year-to-date

For more stories about natural gas, visit our natural gas category.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.