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Celtic Exploration Ltd. and Nuvista Energy Ltd. (OTC:NUVSF) have risen to the top of Blackmont Capital’s picks for Canadian junior and intermediate oil and gas producers after rolling forward and revising its commodity price assumptions for this year and next.

Blackmont has reduced its New York Mercantile Exchange assumptions for natural gas in 2009 to $4.50/mmBtu from $5.10, according to analyst Alexander Klein.

It also raised its WTI oil forecast to $55 a barrel, from $53 in 2009, and left its 2010 estimate at $75 a barrel, he said.

Its long-term price assumptions remain unchanged for natural gas at $7.50/mmBtu and $80 a barrel for WTI oil, he added, but he noted as 2009 unfolds, balance sheet prudence will continue to be at the forefront of oil exploration and production investing strategies.

He said:

In the current volatile commodity environment, we continue to recommend investors favour larger capitalization producers with strong balance sheets; Celtic Exploration Ltd. (CLT-TSX) and Nuvista Energy Ltd. remain our preferred picks in our coverage universe.

Source: NuVista Energy at the Top of Blackmont's Picks