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Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio


The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is a financial metric that compares the prices of crude oil and natural gas. This ratio helps investors and traders evaluate the relative value and market dynamics of these two energy commodities. The ratio is calculated by dividing the price of one barrel of oil by the price of one million British Thermal Units (mmbtu) of natural gas.


The phonetics of the keyword “Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio” can be represented as:O – Oil: /ɔɪl/ P – Price: /praɪs/ t – to: /tu/, /tə/ or /tʊ/ (depending on the accent) N – Natural: /ˈnætʃərəl/ G – Gas: /ɡæs/ R – Ratio: /ˈreɪʃi.oʊ/, /ˈreɪʃiəʊ/ or /ˈræʃi.oʊ/ (depending on the accent)

Key Takeaways

  1. The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is an important metric that measures the relative energy value of oil and natural gas traded on financial markets. This ratio indicates how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) of natural gas can be purchased for the BTUs of oil at their respective market prices.
  2. Historically, the ratio has fluctuated due to various factors such as economic conditions, geopolitical tensions, demand for the resources, and changing production levels. When oil is more expensive relative to natural gas, the ratio will be higher, while a lower ratio indicates that natural gas is relatively more expensive compared to oil.
  3. Investors and energy industry professionals use the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio to make informed decisions about investment opportunities, resource allocation, and potential trends in the market. This ratio can help guide decisions about investing in oil and gas stocks, commodities, or ETFs, as well as inform the development of energy policies and strategies.


The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is an important business/finance term as it serves as a crucial indicator of the relative value and market trends of these two vital energy commodities. It helps investors, analysts, policymakers, and businesses compare the prices of crude oil and natural gas to make informed decisions and form insights about the overall energy market. Additionally, this ratio enables organizations to identify potential investment opportunities, manage risk, and allocate resources effectively by understanding price dynamics and market fluctuations. In turn, this contributes to more efficient energy production, consumption, and distribution, supporting economic growth and environmental stability.


The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is a vital financial metric utilized to gauge the comparative market value between these two core energy commodities: crude oil and natural gas. Its purpose is to provide investors, economists, and energy planners with a quantitative tool to efficiently allocate resources, and make informed decisions regarding investments, acquisitions, and long-term energy policies. This ratio has essential implications on the overall energy sector, consequently impacting multinational corporations reliant on these commodities as primary sources of energy, as well as on governments striving for a balanced energy mix between multiple sources.

In the context of the financial markets, this ratio is useful for determining the relative appeal associated with investing in oil or natural gas-based businesses. When the ratio deviates considerably from its historical average, it signals potential trading or arbitrage opportunities between the two commodities. For instance, if the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio were to rise significantly above its mean, it could indicate that oil is relatively overpriced compared to natural gas or vice versa. As a result, policies might be adjusted to more heavily incorporate natural gas as a go-to energy source as it becomes more cost-effective. Additionally, the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio plays a pivotal role in shaping regional and global energy dynamics, impacting the decisions behind the extraction of certain resources, establishing new drilling sites, and shifting the infrastructural priorities for long-term energy security.


The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is a ratio used by investors to compare the prices of crude oil (measured in barrels) and natural gas (measured in million British thermal units, or MMBtu). By analyzing the ratio, investors can identify the relative value and potential investment opportunities in the two commodities. Here are three real-world examples that relate to the term:

1. The U.S. Shale Boom: During the period between 2006 to 2012, the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio surged, primarily due to the increase in production of shale gas in the United States. This led to an increase in the supply of natural gas and a decrease in its price, while crude oil prices remained relatively high. As a result, the ratio widened, creating investment opportunities for those who were aware of the price disparities.

2. The Polar Vortex of 2014:In January 2014, North America experienced a polar vortex, resulting in extremely cold weather across the continent. Due to the high demand for heating, natural gas prices spiked. Conversely, crude oil prices remained relatively stable. The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio narrowed during this period, indicating that natural gas was becoming temporarily more expensive relative to crude oil.

3. Post-2014 Oil Glut: Following 2014, the global crude oil markets witnessed an oversupply of oil due to factors like increased production from non-OPEC countries and a slowdown in the global economy. This oversupply led to a significant decline in oil prices. During the same period, natural gas prices were less affected, resulting in a lower Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio. This signaled that crude oil was relatively cheaper compared to natural gas, presenting an investment opportunity for those tracking this ratio as a trading indicator.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio?

The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is a financial metric that compares the price of crude oil (usually measured in barrels) to the price of natural gas (usually measured in MMBtu, or million British Thermal Units). It is a useful indicator in determining the relative value and demand for both oil and natural gas in the energy market.

How is the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio calculated?

The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio is calculated by dividing the current price of a barrel of crude oil by the price of one MMBtu of natural gas. For example, if the price of oil is $60 per barrel and the price of natural gas is $3 per MMBtu, the ratio would be 60 / 3 = 20.

Why is the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio important?

The Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio can be used to gauge the relative cost and demand for each energy source. Investors and analysts use this ratio to assess the price movements and trends in each sector, as well as to identify potential investment opportunities or risks.

How can the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio be used in investing?

Investors can use this ratio to guide them in making investment decisions in the energy market. For instance, if the ratio is high, it could indicate that oil is overpriced relative to natural gas, potentially signaling an opportunity to invest in natural gas or shift assets away from oil. Similarly, a low ratio may indicate that natural gas is overpriced relative to oil, providing an opportunity to invest in oil or move away from natural gas investments.

What factors can impact the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio?

There are several factors that can potentially impact the Oil Price to Natural Gas Ratio, including changes in global oil and natural gas supply and demand, geopolitical events, technological advances, seasonal fluctuations, and governmental policies and regulations.

What is considered a high or low ratio?

A high ratio (e.g., above 20) indicates that oil is relatively more expensive than natural gas, while a low ratio (e.g., below 10) signifies that natural gas is relatively more expensive than oil. Historically, the ratio has ranged from around 6 to 50, but these values can vary depending on the time frame and market conditions.

Related Finance Terms

  • Energy Commodity Markets
  • Crude Oil and Natural Gas Prices
  • Energy Demand and Supply
  • Oil and Gas Production
  • Commodity Futures Contracts

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