Go West, Natgas

Source:

Bentek Energy's Rusty Braziel sees a great divide developing in U.S. natural gas.

Bentek Energy managing director Rusty Braziel sees a great divide developing in U.S. natural gas.

Bentek are one of the leaders in tracking and analyzing American gas pipeline flows. Where gas is flowing, who's using it, and at what price.

Speaking at the LDC Gas Forum Northeast in Boston this week, Braziel told industry professionals that America may have made some mistakes in designing its gas pipeline network over the past several years.

He notes that the boom in shale gas has created a price disparity between east and west. Shale gas plays are located mostly in the east, and carry lower breakeven prices. Between $3.10 and $4.00 per mcf, according to Bentek estimates.

By contrast, conventional gas plays are more concentrated in the west. And come with higher price tags, beginning in the $4.50 per mcf range.

Cheaper gas in the east, expensive in the west. And yet, over the past years pipeline companies have been busy building new pipe like the Rockies Express to take gas from western producing areas to markets in the northeast. As Braziel summed up, "About $15 billion has been spent on taking gas from where it's more expensive to where it is cheap. It was a mistake."

That's a pricey mistake. And one that's not easy to fix. Several pipeline companies are now looking at reversing directions on pipelines initially intended to run west-to-east. This "backhaul shipping" may become more prominent as shale gas development continues in the east.

Yet another sign of the severe dislocation shale gas has caused in U.S. (and global) gas markets. Dislocations create mis-pricing, and mis-pricing creates investment opportunities.

Here's to the beast in the east,

Dave Forest
[email protected]

Copyright 2009 Resource Publishers Inc.

Note:
The information provided in this newsletter is based on the independent research of Dave Forest and Notela Resource Advisors Ltd. and is intended solely for informative purposes and is not to be construed, under any circumstances, by implication or otherwise, as an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy or trade any securities or commodities named herein. Information contained in this newsletter is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is in no way assured. All materials and related graphics provided in this newsletter and any other materials which are referenced herein are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. No assurance of any kind is implied or possible where projections of future conditions are attempted. Readers using the information contained herein are solely responsible for verifying the accuracy thereof and for their own actions and investment decisions. Neither Dave Forest nor Notela Resource Advisors Ltd., make any representations about the suitability of the information delivered in this newsletter or any other materials that are referenced herein for any purpose whatsoever. The information contained in this newsletter does not constitute investment advice and neither Dave Forest nor Notela Resource Advisors Ltd. are registered with any securities regulatory authority to provide investment advice. Readers are cautioned to consult with a qualified registered securities adviser prior to making any investment decisions. The information contained in this newsletter has not been reviewed or authorized by any of the companies mentioned herein.

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