I was thinking since NG hit a 10 year low today and w/ all the new NG wells drilled and operational (note: NG drilling Rigs are now at one of the lowest levels in years), there could be storage constraints for all of this new NG coming online. GAS, ATO & MDU operate the largest NG storage networks in the US, so that is a net positive for these companies.
Do you think it is economical for any of these coal companies to convert their mines into below ground NG storage reservoirs? Generally they convert old salt mines and that is what MDU and GAS own. Perhaps there is another hidden value in these old coal mines.
Sergio- thanks for the article. It was an entertaining read.
I found some numbers really fascinating- Taibbi suggests that the FDIC will insure $55 trillion in "irresponsible gambles" of BofA. Did anybody get what those are made of? If he is suggesting that those are derivatives, does this mean that BofA is liable for 1/10th of the entire derivatives market?
Later he talks about "$350 trillion worth of financial products globally reference LIBOR" - I don't understand what constitutes that number? By itself this number would be greater than the entire interest rate swap market.
I understand his point, but I feel that some of the facts get watered down by the polarizing language.
The good thing about coal is that it can be exported when consumption is low locally. China for example is the largest producer with over 3 Billion tons, which is 3 times larger than US. It also is the largest imported of coal of ~500million tons. The energy intensity of china's growth( energy needed per extra unit of GDP) should provide BTU with sales going forward. China GDP 7.5 2012. Also India is right behind China in its need for coal imports as it grows it economy. India's demand for coal is not being met by local production.
btu had sales of 251 million ton and 8 Billion in revenues in 2011.
On coal & Nat gas- EKS, i did not realize they are converting part of mines as storage facilities! thats something new I learned today. However, you are correct that with current storage capacities relatively full there is not much room for storage and hence there is a fear that costs are going to fall futher.
However, Paul is correct - fed. govt. favors natural gas and its also much more eco friendly. I was reading somewhere that the use of coal in energy production is going down and getting replaced with Nat gas -however its a slow process.
On China - China contains 3rd or 4th largest Nat. gas reserves in the world, however they don;t have the technology. Instead of trying to buy coal producers, supply coal into china ( which is not that bad in short term), you guys are better off investing in companies that are going to go into china with their natural gas technology and produce it. They will be making tonnes of money in the coming year or two. The process has already started!
Refiners - There are lot of divestitures happening in this space. Lot of companies are shedding their refining business because apparently the margins are not working out that great. one of the main reasons - demand is going down because of high prices.
However, many of those who actively look into this sector will find some new IPO'ed refiners as value plays into the near term future...They are indeed good businesses and i am sure margins will not stay low for ever -more economically driven i believe.
Stock selling near it's all time low. The one hidden value that keeps me in this trade is their 50% interest in TGGT LLC a Midstream NG gathering operation.
Based on this article, it appears that their 50% ownership interest could be worth $2.80/share.
UPDATE 1-Exco may shed one-third TGGT stake Fri Feb 3, 2012 9:33am EST reuters.com From the article:"...Exco Resources Inc said it is looking to shed a one-third equity interest in TGGT Holding LLC -- a 50:50 joint venture between the oil and gas producer and BG Group Plc -- for about $400 million.
The Dallas-based company said it has entered into an agreement granting a forty-five day exclusivity period to an unaffiliated private infrastructure fund to negotiate the sale...."
The country’s biggest banks look much as they did before the 2008 financial crisis — only bigger. They have “increased oligopoly power” and “remain difficult to control because they have the lawyers and the money to resist the pressures of federal regulation,” Harvey Rosenblum, the head of the Dallas Fed’s research department, wrote in the essay.
It’s one thing for the Occupy movement to point out how bailing out the biggest banks — with little cost to their executives or shareholders and creditors — has demolished credibility. It’s quite another for top officials in the Federal Reserve system to put it in an annual report.