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The Huge Chinese Energy Bet You're Not Hearing About

By Matt Badiali, editor, S&A Resource Report
Friday, February 11, 2011

Either the Chinese government reads DailyWealth... or it already understands the secret to making huge gains over the next few years.
I'm talking about "hoarding"... in this case, hoarding proven, undeveloped natural gas reserves, or "PUDs." These are reserves of gas in the ground that haven't yet been tapped with a well.
Those reserves could shoot up hundreds of percent in value as natural gas prices rise. The market hates natural gas right now. It's so cheap, it hardly makes sense for the companies that own these reserves to tap them and bring them to market.
But as natural gas prices rise, those reserves will start to look a lot more attractive... And the companies that own them will see their value soar. (For an example of the leverage here: A 22% rise in natural gas prices from October pushed shares of giant natural gas producer Chesapeake up 43%.)
That's just a fraction of what I expect. When natural gas prices go from today's $4 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) to $6 or $8, which I expect we'll see sometime in the next three or four years, shares of Chesapeake and its peers will go up hundreds of percent.
That's what the Chinese are banking on. They're buying massive hoards of natural gas.
Back in October 2010, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) paid $2.16 billion for a 33% stake of Chesapeake's 600,000 acres of the Eagle Ford Shale – a huge, gas-rich swath of Texas land.
Then last month, CNOOC put up another $1.3 billion for 33% of Chesapeake's 800,000 acres of the Niobrara Shale. The Niobrara is similar to the Eagle Ford, but located up in Northeastern Colorado and Southeastern Wyoming.
Finally, this week, China's big dog, PetroChina, paid $5.4 billion for a 50% stake of natural gas producer EnCana's 1.27 million acres in Canada's Montney Shale.
The Montney is underdeveloped, so we don't know much about it yet. But it's clear PetroChina thinks highly of it: The price amounts to about $5.40 per mcf.
The engineers at PetroChina know that there are trillions of cubic feet of natural gas under that ground. And it won't be produced for three or four years. In other words, the folks at PetroChina are buying cheap, undeveloped, North American natural gas reserves... and betting the natural gas price is heading up over the long run. That's smart... And we should be doing exactly the same thing.
Fortunately, we can get a better price than PetroChina paid. Take a look:
PUDs per Share
$/mcf Nov 2010
$/mcf Today
Galleon Energy
8 mcf
ATP Oil and Gas
14 mcf
Penn Virginia
11 mcf
Petroleum Development
22 mcf
Goodrich Petroleum
7 mcf
Berry Petroleum
15 mcf
Sandridge Energy
2 mcf
Chesapeake Energy
9 mcf
EQT Corporation
15 mcf
Energy XXI Bermuda
9 mcf
We first published this table in November last year. Natural gas is up 17% since then. And that little jump in the price of natural gas pushed these PUDs higher.
I expect natural gas to ease back over the next few months, which will likely bring these prices back down a bit and give you a good chance to pick up some cheap PUDs. It's a great long-term bet.
You see, Chinese companies like PetroChina and CNOOC understand something fundamental: The world will be hungry for more and more energy over the coming years. That's why they're gobbling up coal, uranium... and natural gas.
One of the best ways to play this decades-long trend is to get in ahead of China. Buy cheap natural gas in the ground. And be patient.
Good investing,
Matt Badiali

Further Reading:

"The best resource investors I know are slowly building up a portfolio of the best undeveloped reserves they can find," Matt says. "With a little patience, your investment will double or triple over the next few years." See how it works here: North America's Greatest Natural Gas Hoards.
"Owning an old, beat-up, decrepit oil field is lucrative," Matt writes. "Fortunately, you don't have to be an oilman or industry insider to do it." Get the details here: Safe, Easy 7.4% Income from Decrepit Oil Fields.

Market Notes


Today, we present a stock you should place on your watch list and keep there for 20 years. Why?
Because it's a world leader in what will be a huge trend for the rest of our lives. That trend is... robotics.
We're not tech experts at DailyWealth. But we do know how to safely invest in giant tech trends (like we discussed Wednesday with Intel). We also know which experts to listen to when it comes to tech. We know Alex Daley of Casey's Extraordinary Technology advisory. For folks who want to stay up on tech... and invest there, Alex's work is a must-read.
Alex notes how one of the biggest tech trends is the increasing use of robots to manufacture cars, perform lab work, and do heavy military duties. The robotics market is expected to mushroom in size over the coming decades as the machines get smaller, lighter, faster, and smarter.
Alex has also led his subscribers to more than 50% gains in a few months with blue-chip robot maker iRobot (IRBT)... a company some call "the General Motors of robotics." As you can see, Alex is spot-on with his analysis. iRobot just surged to a new 52-week high... and boasts one of the biggest uptrends in the market right now.

The trend in robots is up!

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