Natural gas prices have gone from $1.85 per million British thermal units in April to $3.14 Tuesday - a seven-month high - for a 70% increase in three months.
Natural gas prices declined to a decade-low in 2012 thanks to oversupply. But with unusually mild winter weather followed by scorching summer heat, natural gas has seen a slight resurgence in prices over the last few weeks.
This gives investors hope natural gas has broken out of its rut.
The price change started last month. On June 14, natural gas futures saw a 12% jump, hitting $2.46 per million British thermal units (BTUs) after a surprising bullish storage report, according to CNBC.
At that time, CitiFutures energy analyst Tim Evans told CNBC that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) natural gas weekly storage report meant "there's not much reduction in coal-to-gas switching as had been anticipated or that production may have declined a bit in the latest period."
Regardless, Evans said, "it's a bullish surprise, and supportive" of prices.
Indeed, prices have continued rising as July has delivered record-breaking hot temperatures.
In its July Short-Term Energy Outlook on July 10, the EIA reported Henry Hub natural gas prices (NG-W-HH) in 2012 will have an average of $2.58 per million BTU; this comes in a little higher than June's $2.55 estimate, although still well below 2011's $4 estimated average.
But this is pushing natural gas toward a slight improvement in 2013 as the EIA has forecast prices increasing $0.64 (25%), to $3.22 per mm BTU.