Why the incredible nat gas surge could continue
Natural gas has screamed higher this week, as cold weather has led the commodity to rise over 10 percent in three trading sessions, bringing it to the highest level since June 2011. And some energy traders say there's still more room to the upside.
"This is a classic supply-and-demand move," said Anthony Grisanti of GRZ Energy. "All the cold has boosted demand, but we're about 15 percent below last year's supply at this time. So I still expect these prices to rise because I expect the cold to continue through the rest of the month."
A weekly inventory report released on Thursday showed a 107 billion cubic foot withdrawal, about in line with market expectations. Still, inventories are still far below the five-year average for this time of year.
"Yes, we're going to have cold weather—but at the same time, we're going to have to replenish the inventories," Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "So I think there's going to be demand for longer, and therefore, natural gas will stay elevated."
Natural gas futures topped out on Thursday morning at $4.947 a million British thermal units, just pennies below the high made back in 2011. But Grisanti and Kilburg say that won't mark the top for this season.
"We saw $4.94 print this morning, and then it pulled back," Kilburg said. "I think it's just another opportunity to play this momentum trade. Five dollars is coming."
(Read more: Nat gas should stay cheap—for long time: Study)
Of course, natural gas could eventually fallen nearly as quickly as it's risen.
"While we're producing as much nat gas as we ever have, and we're going to store everything we have, we can still have significant volatility, simply because you can have short-term periods of extended demand outstripping supply," said Michael Khouw, primary strategist at Dash Financial and a former natural gas trader.
"You see sharp spikes, and those spikes will be short-lived," Khouw said. "But if you're in it, that's when all the money is made or lost."