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  • Lower February Imports Bullish For U.S. Fertilizer Producers  [View article]
    Thanks very much Chris ...
    I just want to point out to people that almost all nitrogen fertilizer is manufactured using natural gas as feedstock ... the low low prices for natural gas on the continent of N. America for the last several years are primarily responsible for the recent upsurge in US nitrogen fertilizer manufacturing and the concomitant decline in imports....
    Jul 14, 2014. 06:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CONSOL Energy Preparing To Spin-Off?  [View article]
    I have been enjoying all of the negative commentary coming from investor luminaries all year piling on against guys are just so smart must be green weenies making the stock price just go up and up and up,eh? maybe the commies are doing it, or maybe its those crazy muslims in the me? How could you all be so wrong?
    Jun 29, 2014. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: A Meltdown Behind The Revival  [View article]
    Sliskit -- the most exciting E&P company to me is Console Energy, since very few traders and WallStreet types have even woken up to the fact that this 150-year old coal company is very, very serious about re-engineering itself into a Marcellus gas company ... EQT is not too far behind them; both are operating at full-speed-ahead growth ... the pipelines are seriously UNinteresting because their tariffs and their costs are well-known and not much impacted with changes in supply and demand BUT their profits will be seriously degraded in a rising interest rate environment ... heretofore I haven't dabbled in the futures market but after over a year in correctly calling the spot price movements and still failing to have anything significant to show for it in E&P price movements,
    the 2015 and 2016 contracts are starting to look very, very tempting to me ...
    Feb 26, 2014. 09:13 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: A Meltdown Behind The Revival  [View article]
    The CME does not show me the number of open contracts for each month but it sure does show volume figures, and I think that's what a bunch of analysts are missing ....for example yesterday the volumes were 13,000 for march, 5,000 for april, 2,800 for may, and then the next 5 months the volume is in the hundreds, the next five months the volume is in the tens, and further than that the volume is zero, zero, zero ...I'm in full agreement with Steve Bass' statements here ... the gas producing companies sell their gas (through futures contracts) gradually, as a percentage of what they expect to produce, selling more and more as the month approaches. They don't go out and sell their full production expectation a year or two or five in advance.

    My impression is that there are a lot of traders who don't know squat about gas or fracking or pipelines but who look at the charts and see a hyperbola and so their knee-jerk reaction, all winter, has been to sell short ... and each month, the last few days before expiration, they have been caught with their pants down unable to cover and having to jack the price up enormously ...

    But the gas drillers have not been all that excited about the price increases until maybe this past week, a little bit. Fracking is frightfully expensive, much more so than conventional drilling, and the wells fall off much more quickly. New pipelines through the northeast US are extremely difficult to initiate, the land is very expensive and owned in small parcels and the NIMBYs are well-organized and shrill.

    I believe we have hit a paradigm change. Gas demand continues to climb. The coal plants will never be reopened. But most of the drillers want to see higher prices sustained over longer periods before they expand their efforts. Current inventories are the lowest in ten years and we still have a month to go in the season. A hot summer, placing unusual demands upon air conditioning, could prevent a normal recovery and we could start next winter without enough to make it through.

    Incredible long term opportunities for the small investors willing to take risks ...
    Feb 21, 2014. 08:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How The U.S. Shale Gas Boom Threatens Oil-Indexation  [View article]
    You might benefit from spending some research time investigating the actual costs of shipping natural gas across the pacific.... and not just the cost in terms of $ or yen, but the amount of energy required ... hint: its not trivial ...
    Feb 20, 2014. 11:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Only Thing That Matters Now  [View article]
    "cost-push inflation" . ... good term....
    Have a look at what natural gas is doing ... not only does it impact residential heating, it also impacts retail (during the coldest days in January, many people who could not afford to heat their own homes headed out to the malls just to keep warm ...)...and industrial, and electric generation, and also grain prices because most nitrogen fertilizer is manufactured using natural gas as a component ....
    Feb 19, 2014. 11:31 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • A Brief History Of Gold And Why It's Overvalued By A Factor Of 2  [View article]
    using inflation as a model really doesn't get it at all.
    The main reason that people buy gold is as insurance against the total collapse of their government. That's a somewhat subjective judgement, but it works a lot like the way the VIX works, if that helps you any.... and it might help you to remember that there are plenty of folk outside the US who are more concerned about their own government collapsing than the USA ...right now, I can think of quite a few places where any sober person might be taking such steps. Do you know that the proposals are being made in european capitals this week to confiscate private wealth in order to pay government debts? Would you not consider it reasonable for wealthy people in those countries to start buying more gold with at least some of their assets?And that is just one example of the stuff going on today ....
    Feb 13, 2014. 02:35 PM | 14 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Thinking About Buying Japanese Stocks? Let Me Get You A Duffel Bag, Some Gasoline, And A Lighter  [View article]
    can we just distill this all down to

    "Japan is too big to fail" .....

    with all implications fully intended?
    Feb 6, 2014. 05:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: Will Low Inventory And Low Rig Counts Balance The Market?  [View article]
    painstaking, nitty gritty numbers. very much appreciated.
    I tend to suspect that this time around, drillers are not going to rush right out and overwhelm the new demand with an overkill of new drilling. Fracking is extremely expensive, much more so than conventional wells. Drillers and their creditors are tired of losing money and would like the current prices to hold for awhile. Besides, the infrastructure, new pipelines to carry new gas and new storage facilities to warehouse it, are not keeping up. And unless someone successfully razes the metropolitan area of Pittsburgh, most of the sweet spots have already been drilled. $4.50 per mcf strikes a good balance ...maybe it will stay around here for a little while ....
    Feb 6, 2014. 07:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • VIX: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Fear  [View article]
    I tried something like this for about two years.
    Unfortunately, the superintendents of the VXX fund skim off a huge percentage of the profits for themselves, leaving nothing for the investors.
    When the VIX drops, the VXX drops by the same amount or more. However, when the VIX rises, the VXX only rises by 50% or less.
    A much more successful strategy is to buy calls on the VIX ... you can get a handful of calls for a couple of months out for a strike price several points above the current value, for quite cheap. If things start to drop, like they are now, suddenly those calls can blossom into 5, 10, or even 20 times what you paid for them ....
    Feb 3, 2014. 10:31 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • CONSOL Energy Preparing To Spin-Off?  [View article]
    Lou you are new to this, aren't you ....
    Folks at CNX first began to sell their coalbed methane 15 or 20 years ago, when it first occurred to them that it was better to sell it than just let it blow them up all the time. By the way, they have land and mineral rights on the books, a lot of it, which was bought for pennies to the acre back in the 1800's but they carry it on their books for the price they paid for it ...
    You guys are so funny thinking that spinning off the gas assets is a new brainchild of yours ... but Harvey spun off CNX Gas in 2006 ... I used to own some of both ... that situation went on for a couple of years but CNX gas started fracking the Marcellus and Harvey began to realize what a great asset it was, and bought it all back ..I wouldn't think Harvey would try that again, that sort of transaction makes too much money for the leeches ....
    Jan 21, 2014. 07:11 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What If Total U.S. Oil Production Peaks In 2016?  [View article]
    One other issue not usually discussed in energy analysis ... the "boom" in oil and gas discoveries and production in the continental US has been largely made possible by the artificially low cost of capital ... thanks to the extreme actions of the Federal Reserve .... there have been serious rumblings and grumblings that this policy has benefited the large banks and investment houses and the very rich at the expense of everyone else. both political parties have acted as paid lackeys of the moneyed class. What happens if a new popular party arises, or more serious rebellion?
    Jan 9, 2014. 10:27 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What If Total U.S. Oil Production Peaks In 2016?  [View article]
    You are "guessing" that further technological improvements will result in an increase in projections. Possibly the law of diminishing returns may impact that guess? Other writers and prognosticators have suggested that many of the localities within the shale regions where drilling has already taken place were the "sweet spots" of the fields and that further drilling will result in less production than anticipated, instead of more. Just points to ponder, I really do not know, myself ....
    Jan 9, 2014. 09:57 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodities Today: Storms Brewing In Bakken, Marcellus And Utica?  [View article]
    here, does this help any?

    (This kind of weather is actually expected this time of year, and does not normally have much impact on actual production ....)
    Jan 3, 2014. 11:57 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Commodities Today: Oil And Alternative Fuels In The News  [View article]
    I'm finding it only too typical that you and nearly everyone else have missed the really big story of the day ... even though you have "Natural Gas" in one of your subtitles you seemed to have missed the huge "unexpected" draw down in natty inventories this morning .... this is already the second surprise like that in three weeks and November always embeds the peak of the seasonal cycle ... if we continue to have average to colder-than-average temperatures across the northeast, the continuing draws over the next few months could get downright scary, at least for those folks who need electricity (now that we have shut down critical coal-burning generation capability and replaced it with new natty generators)....
    Dec 5, 2013. 01:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment