Thanks to the shale gas boom in North America, natural gas has hovered around $3.50 per MMBtu over the last year. But Asian and European nations haven’t been that lucky with the production bonanza, which is why natural gas costs 3-4 times more in these regions than in North America. This pricing differential presents an bullish case for at least three different industries, and here are a few handpicked companies that seem poised for a tremendous upside.
Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:LNG) has almost become synonymous with LNG exports from the U.S. The company received the first approval to setup an LNG export terminal over the last 50 years, and Cheniere Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:LNG) was quick to take advantage of the opportunity. It is currently expanding its Sabine Pass terminal, which is expected to be operational by 2017. But, the company is already enjoying a near monopoly in the industry.
It has already secured willing buyers from the Middle East, which are ready to import LNG as soon as the development work is complete. Talking about its existing exports, the U.S. government recently made an exception by allowing LNG exports to India. Normally, the U.S allows exports to countries that have signed the Free Trade Agreement, but the recent permission to export 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per annum could be the start of a greater and deeper relationship with India.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) has been generally known as an oil E&P company, but it has shifted its focus to natural gas lately. In 2010, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) and Eni jointly discovered the world’s second largest natural gas reserves in Mozambique, Africa, with reserves of over 150 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Being geographically closer to Asia, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) would not only save transportation costs, but would also incur fewer risks involved in overseas transportation.
But, the development costs of the project are estimated to be around $50 billion, with absolutely no returns on investment until 2018. Since Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) has cash and cash equivalents of $2.47 billion and generated $1.75 billion in free cash flows last year, it isn’t financially capable to undertake such high risks. As a result, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) is in talks with Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell to sell 10% of its stake for around $2.5 billion.
But that doesn’t take away all its potential rewards. The company is in talks with 20 willing buyers of LNG in 10 different nations, and it’s quite possible that it would secure long term contracts by the end of this year. With willing buyers and blockbuster proven reserves, it’s only a matter of time before Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) starts getting the massive influx of cash from LNG exports.