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    Venesuela - Natural Gas

    Facing rampant inflation and a shortage of dollars, Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), is looking to sell its Citgo assets for $10 billion.

    But the deal may be undervalued, and the PDVSA's financial problems may be the work of the Venezuelan government.

    Here's why...

Natural Gas

Natural Gas Market Faces Disruption from Russia-China Deal

natural gas market

Russia and China made waves in the global natural gas market today (Wednesday) by finally closing a 30-year deal after nearly a decade of negotiations.

Beginning in 2018, Russia will provide China with 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from its huge fields in Siberia worth about $400 billion over the 30-year life of the contract.

The deal will require the construction of a vast new natural gas infrastructure, with Russia expected to spend $55 billion and China $20 billion.

"This is the biggest contract in the history of the gas sector of the former USSR," declared Russian President Vladimir Putin after the agreement was signed in Shanghai between Gazprom OAO (OTCMKTS ADR: OGZPY) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

The announcement comes amid recent shifts in the European natural gas market away from Gazprom in favor of more imported LNG (liquefied natural gas) and political tensions between Russia and other European countries over the annexation of Crimea and other threatening moves toward Ukraine.

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Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors said Russia had two objectives in becoming a much bigger player in China's natural gas market.

"They wanted to move Gazprom revenues, essential to Russia's central budget, from a politically insecure European direction to a more amenable Chinese one," Dr. Moors said. "And they wanted to outflank U.S. intentions to use LNG exports as a weapon in lessening Moscow's influence over both the European and Asian markets."

One part of the deal that was not disclosed was how much China will pay, although President Putin did say the natural gas price would be tied to the price of oil, which is how Gazprom's deals with Europe are structured.

The haggling over price was why the negotiations had dragged on for years. In the accompanying video, Dr. Moors discusses why the time was finally right for this deal to happen, which country had the upper hand, and how it will affect the natural gas market in Europe.

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Five Natural Gas Stocks Drinking Profits from the Utica Shale "Sweet Spot"

natural gas stocks

The Utica shale formation hasn't gotten as much attention as some of the others, but that may be about to change as drillers home in on a "sweet spot" in southeastern Ohio that is producing staggering amounts of natural gas.

Wells drilled in the Utica "sweet spot" were the main reason Ohio natural gas production more than doubled from 89.4 billion cubic feet in 2012 to 203 billion cubic feet in 2013.

This stunning development will pay off handsomely for these five natural gas stocks in particular...

The Irresistible Future of Natural Gas Investing

Today, I'm flying back from Houston... again.

It seems I've been spending quite a bit of time in Texas these days - and for good reason. The rollout of our exciting 25-well oil and natural gas investing project is just one.

But another revolves around the tremendous changes in the industry itself, especially when it comes to natural gas.

In fact, I just presented the keynote address before the annual meeting of the Gas Compressor Association at the Moody Gardens Convention Center in Galveston.

It dealt with the inescapable and irresistible future of natural gas.

Alert: These Energy Stocks Are Most at Risk in the Ukraine Crisis

The Ukraine crisis has taken another turn.

A referendum is now set to take place on Sunday (March 16) to decide if the Crimean peninsula will become part of Russia, and the outcome is hardly in doubt.

The overwhelming majority of the population there is Russian ethnic, speaks Russian, and will almost certainly vote in huge numbers to become part of Russia.

Two of Today's Best Investments in the Growing Trend of Energy Security

We've seen how the U.S. shale oil and gas boom has created a lot of new investing opportunities in the energy sector. As U.S. production soars, however, so do the risks to the infrastructure required to get the oil and gas out of the ground and into people's homes and autos.

Now energy security is growing into a handsome profit opportunity of its own...

One LNG Stock to Buy in 2014

cheniere

Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors first told Money Morning readers about liquefied natural gas in 2010 - when our favorite LNG stock was trading around $6 a share.

Then in April 2012, this company received federal approval to build the first major LNG export facility in the United States.

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How to Invest in Natural Gas Today

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There's a new global capital shift that's affecting how to invest in natural gas today for maximum profit.

You see, there was a time when U.S. manufacturing companies invested heavily in the Middle East because of the region's low-cost energy sources.

Today, that money is coming back home.

International companies have noticed that the United States is a cheap source of natural gas. That's because the rise of hydraulic fracturing triggered a boom in U.S. natural gas production.

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The Most Unlikely Beneficiary of the Natural Gas Boom

An array of energy's sub-industries are making a fortune from America's natural gas boom.

Rigs, pipelines, rail, wastewater treatment, trucking, seismic imaging, well-site security... And a lot more opportunity is on the way, like the deal Kent just uncovered.

But perhaps the most unlikely beneficiary of the shale revolution is the coal industry.

After all, "King Coal" has been dethroned in recent years by the swelling supply - and bargain prices - of clean-burning natural gas. Indeed, thermal coal at the Australian port of Newcastle, the Asian benchmark price, is currently near lows not seen since November 2009.

Australian producers have especially been struggling. They've been cutting costs and paring back production because U.S. and large project financiers like the World Bank are pulling away from coal projects.

And overall, ever-increasing environmental regulation is discouraging coal-powered electricity.

But the dynamic is suddenly changing.

That's why these $19 coal shares could jump to $26...

How to Invest in the Global Race to Export LNG

Natural Gas Q

As Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors told us yesterday, the United States on Aug. 7 finally approved its third application to export LNG (liquefied natural gas).

The delays in the U.S. LNG export approval process have been frustrating an industry that's ready to capitalize on the price differences between North American and Asian natural gas prices. Asia LNG sells for about $16 per million BTU versus less than $4 per million BTU in the United States.

While the U.S. Department of Energy streamlines this lengthy approval process, our neighbor to the north is also using its abundance of shale gas to race into LNG exports.

You see, Canada has a lot of natural gas.

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