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Encana aims to grow cash flow by 10 per cent a year, thanks to the shift away from natural gas and toward higher-margin liquids. EnCana's Doug Shea (R) goes over drilling reports with driller Ron Webster at an EnCana gas drilling well east of Calgary, Alberta, February 15, 2007. EnCana announced a record profit for a Canadian company of US$5.6 billion. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA)
Encana aims to grow cash flow by 10 per cent a year, thanks to the shift away from natural gas and toward higher-margin liquids. EnCana's Doug Shea (R) goes over drilling reports with driller Ron Webster at an EnCana gas drilling well east of Calgary, Alberta, February 15, 2007. EnCana announced a record profit for a Canadian company of US$5.6 billion. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA)
(TODD KOROL/REUTERS)

Futures market signals spike in natural gas prices has staying power

Natural gas prices have been on a tear lately but investors are justifiably skittish that the strength is weather dependent and temporary. The next quarterly profit report for gas providers will be determined by current prices but longer term returns will rely on demand long after the unseasonably cold winter is over.