Shares of natural gas producers and liquefied natural gas exporters climbed strongly today as prices for liquefied natural gas in Asia rose to s seven-month high in reaction to the damaged inflicted on Gulf Coast terminals by Hurricane Harvey. It didn’t hurt prices either that Chevron’s huge Gorgon liquefaction plant in Australia is shut and that other Australian plants expected to be in operation now face delays. Natural gas itself rose just 0.21% today to $3.07 per million BTUs. But shares of Chesapeake Energy (CHK), the second largest U.S. natural gas producer, and of Cheniere Energy (LNG), the first company to secure a completely unrestricted license to export liquefied natural gas, climbed 4.19% and 3.07% , respectively.
Cheniere Energy is a member of my Jubak Picks portfolio. Chesapeake Energy is a member of my long-term 50 Stocks portfolio.
On Tuesday the East Asian spot LNG index for Japan and Korea, moved up to $6.55 per million British Thermal units. That’s 6% higher than a week ago. LNG derivative products for delivery in January 2018 closed at $7.95 per million BTUs, up 7% in a week.
Cheniere Energy told the Financial Times that exports had suffered some delays and had required some rescheduling but that the company is quickly catching up with the backlog.
North Asia buyers of LNG are now filling inventories to meet demand for the peak winter months.
It’s not clear to me that the price increase will last very long. More supply from Australia is in the pipeline (so to speak.) Energy consultant Wood MacKenzie is predicting a 12% increase in global LNG supply in 2017.
Full disclosure: I own shares of Chesapeake Energy and call options on Cheniere Energy in my personal portfolios.