We've been covering how companies that export liquefied natural gas are a good buy today - but investors can double their profits by also investing in the industry's shipping sector with Teekay LNG stock.
Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (NYSE: TGP) is a master limited partnership formed by Teekay Corp. (NYSE: TK) as part of its strategy to expand operations in the LNG sector.
Teekay LNG is the third-biggest independent owner of LNG carriers in the world. The company owns 67 vessels in total, 29 of which are LNG carriers.
Most of Teekay's contracts are fixed-rate, long-term contracts, about 10 to 25 years in length. This provides the company with stable long-term cash flows that let it avoid any future issues of overcapacity.
But Teekay is better positioned than its competitors to profit from LNG shipping, thanks to this development in the Panama Canal...
Panama Canal Expansion Bullish for LNG Shipping
A $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion began in 2007 and is now about two-thirds complete.
Currently, the Panama Canal can handle ships 965 feet long and 106 feet wide. The expanded canal will be able to accommodate ships as long as 1,200 feet and as wide as 160 feet.
Estimates are that, starting in 2016, the expanded Canal will handle 12 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas annually.
"The Panama Canal widening will improve the competitive position of LNG exports from the U.S. Gulf Coast," Cheniere's Diane Haggard told Bloomberg.
Silvia Marucci, liquid bulk specialist for the Panama Canal Authority, told a conference in Singapore that the trip times from the Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana owned by Cheniere Energy (NYSE MKT: LNG) to Japan will be cut to only 43.4 days from the current 63.6 days. Shorter transport times will make the final costs of LNG cheaper to Asian buyers.
Due to this perfectly timed planning, Teekay LNG Partners is the LNG transport operation in the best position to take advantage of the Panama Canal...
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