A U.S. Energy Department study released Dec. 5 has intensified the debate on what America should do with its abundance of natural gas - which could lead to huge opportunities for natural gas companies.
But last week's NERA Economic Consulting study, done at the DOE's request, showed the United States would get a positive economic boost from exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG), even under all possible scenarios in which exports are envisioned.
"Across all these scenarios, the U.S. was projected to gain net economic benefits from allowing LNG exports. Moreover, for every one of the market scenarios examined, net economic benefits increased as the level of LNG exports increased," the study found. "In particular, scenarios with unlimited exports always had higher net economic benefits than corresponding cases with limited exports."
The study could increase the chances of the Energy Department approving permits for natural gas companies to build LNG export facilities. Only one company has ever been approved to build an LNG export terminal, and at least 15 more LNG export projects are waiting for the green light.
Here's why companies are vying for a piece of the LNG export market.
Natural Gas Companies to Watch
Some U.S. natural gas companies are ahead of competitors in setting up LNG-export facilities.
Investors who want to profit from LNG exports should keep an eye on these: