Investors Versus Traders: A Battle for Oil & Gas Profits

The Energy Report: Looking back to your last interview with The Energy Report in November, you seem to have called the bottom in gas prices correctly. What's your view of where things are headed now?

Robert Cooper: We expect a reasonably robust pricing scenario ahead. Here's why: In 2013, we will likely see flat natural gas supply growth; this will be the first year in the last several that this will be the case. The natural gas rig count is at 350, the lowest since 1995. The declining rig count has taken its toll on almost every U.S. shale basin; the only basin that's growing is the Marcellus, and it is growing partly because infrastructure constraints are being alleviated. Unless productivity undergoes another massive step higher, or drilling time is cut in half again, rig count matters as a predictor of natural gas production levels. Natural gas liquids (NGL) prices are weak, and this impacts the ability of explorers and producers (EPs) to reinvest at the same level as even a year ago. This further reduces the probability that capital will be redeployed to dry gas plays.

TER: Your May 9 report shows gas storage 28% lower year over year and 5% below the five-year average. What are the implications of that? Continue reading "Investors Versus Traders: A Battle for Oil & Gas Profits"