Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Natural Gas Analyst Smackdown: Phil Flynn/Ross Strachan vs.Stephen Schork

It's not an actual smackdown, just some analysts quoted by different parts of the Dow Jones Empire.
First up MarketWatch's The Tell blog:
Natural gas may still be headed below $2 this year
Natural gas futures prices are on the rise Tuesday, even after jumping a whopping 7.8% on Monday, but some economists don’t expect this rally to last.

“This season’s mild winter weather, especially in the Northeast and Upper Midwest, has crimped demand and led to a glut,” said Phil Flynn, a vice president at PFG Best, in a note.

Natural gas futures recently fell to their lowest levels since 2002 and they’re down around 14% year to date.
Then on Monday, Chesapeake Energy Corp.  CHK -0.53% said it will reduce drilling and curb production this year in response to low natural gas prices. The company is the second-largest U.S. natural-gas producer after Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM -0.57% .

But Chesapeake’s output cut won’t likely stop the price of U.S. natural gas from dropping below $2 per million British thermal units later this year, said Ross Strachan, commodities economist at Capital Economics, in a note....MORE
And from MarketBeat:
Will the Natural-Gas Bulls Finally Have Their Day?
As everyone wonders whether natural-gas prices have finally put in a bottom, Stephen Schork of the Schork Report says maybe.

“We’re dusting the mothballs off our bullish hat in anticipation,” he says....MORE
Or you can just watch the weather at the NYMEX. From our week-ago post, "Natural Gas: Hedge Funds Betting on ’Catastrophic’ Surplus":
The forecast for 10282 (the NYMEX) is much warmer tomorrow, with cooling Wednesday into Friday.*

*As I mentioned last month:
When options on the futures were introduced in 1992 a buddy of mine eschewed all weather reports from the Midwest and Great Lakes figuring that the only temp that mattered was whether or not the traders felt cold at the exchange.

He retired rich, I don't know if there's a correlation.
The rally started three days later, on Friday the 20th:
Natural gas climbs from 10-year low as snowstorm moves East
Natural gas futures posted their first gain in two weeks after falling to a 10-year low as snow and freezing rain moved over the central and northeastern U.S.

Gas rose 0.9 percent. Chicago and New York will get snow Friday and into Saturday before higher temperatures spread across the U.S. next week, the National Weather Service said....