As readers of these comments know, while we think crude is pretty extended in the short-term, we have become increasingly constructive on natural gas over the past number of weeks even though that goes against the opinion of our energy analysts. Coincidentally, our friend and Director of Research for Investment Management Associates, Inc., Vitaliy Katsenelson, sent me this email on Friday:
Six reasons why natural gas is a better investment than oil:Obviously we agree.
- Reserves deplete faster than oil (in general).
- Oil / natural gas ratio: the price of oil divided by the price of natural gas is at an all-time high (or close). This ratio stands at 17 (historically it has been at about an 8 or so). Natural gas prices will go up, oil will decline, or both. Also, natural gas is not a good hedge against the declining dollar (it is for the most part a domestic commodity) and storage capacity is more limited, thus not as admired by speculators as oil. This explains in part why it lagged the spectacular performance of oil of late.
- At $4 natural gas, it is uneconomical to develop and look for new reserves.
- No OPEC competition, LNG (liquefied natural gas) imports are uneconomical at these prices.
- Politically more favorable than coal.
- After emission caps are implemented natural gas will become a cheaper alternative than politically and environmentally unfriendly coal.