Skip to main content

Blizzard Triggers 60-Fold Surge in Prices for natural gas

Naureen Malik
A flash freeze on the shore of Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The air temperature quickly dropped far below freezing while the lake was still not frozen. The wind blew the water from the lake to the shore where because of very cold temperatures, the water froze instantly.

Bloomberg, Naureen Malik: Natural gas surged to 60 times the going rate as howling blizzard conditions stoked demand for the furnace fuel across the U.S. Northeast. The gas squeeze underscores the lack of adequate pipeline capacity to haul enough gas from Appalachia and points farther afield to Northeast metropolises where households have been scrapping heating-oil tanks for gas-fired furnaces. As a result, gas in the region is the world’s priciest, commanding 14 times more than U.K. futures price and about nine times more than Asian imports of the liquefied version of the fuel.