Yesterday, the Italian oil and gas titan stumbled upon a "supergiant" natural gas field named Zohr about 120 miles from the Egyptian coast. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Zohr could hold up to 30 trillion cubic feet of gas. That makes it one of the largest natural gas deposits ever discovered.
"Zohr is the largest gas discovery ever made in Egypt and in the Mediterranean Sea and could become one of the world's largest natural gas finds," Eni said in a press release.
The new gas field will become a game changer for Egypt's energy industry. The country's oil and natural gas shortages are one of the many problems that have sparked unrest in the last few years. Zohr could provide Egypt with economic stability and energy independence.
"The discovery, after its full development, will be able to ensure satisfying Egypt's natural gas demand for decades," the company said.
The news pushed the natural gas stock higher this morning. At 11:45 a.m., shares of Eni were up 2.6% and trading at $33.09. Yahoo! Finance gives Eni stock a one-year target estimate of $42.64 a share. That's 31.7% higher than Friday's closing price of $32.37.
These prospects make Eni a solid long-term buy as natural gas prices climb over the next 10 years…
According to Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors, reduced coal production and increased U.S. liquefied natural gas production will send natural gas prices higher.
Coal production has been drastically decreasing for years now. By 2020, about one-third of the United States' coal-generating capacity from 2012 will have been retired.
That's because the U.S. government is dedicated to limiting harmful carbon emissions. Many power companies have been switching from coal usage to natural gas usage since natural gas releases fewer carbon emissions.
Second, the United States will become a major player in the burgeoning liquefied natural gas market. The International Energy Agency (IEA) says global LNG demand will double by 2025. The United States is expected to provide 8% to 12% of all global LNG exports over the next five years as the Department of Energy approves more export projects.
"The combination of these factors means we now have the makings of a nice pricing foundation moving forward," Moors noted. "That will translate into opportunities in several places in the natural gas production sequence."