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Why Disrupted Ukraine Gas Pipelines Won't Send Gas Prices Skyrocketing

Oil and gas prices shot up this week on fears that the Ukraine gas pipelines will be disrupted during Ukraine's conflict with Russia.

Yesterday (Monday), gas futures climbed up 10% in early trading - the biggest rise in two years. The benchmark price for oil rose more than 2%.

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How to Invest in Natural Gas Today

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 Best Stocks to Buy Now to Play the Booming Marcellus Shale 

The shale gas revolution in the United States just keeps getting better - especially if you know the best energy stocks to buy now.

This past spring the research group Potential Gas Committee raised its estimate of potential recoverable U.S. natural gas reserves significantly.

The group increased its 2010 estimate by 25.6% to 2,384 trillion cubic feet of gas. That is double the estimate of just 10 years ago.

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For the Best Natural Gas Stocks, Look Deep in the Heart of Texas

To pick the best natural gas stocks to play the natgas price rise, you need to look not just at company fundamentals, but one crucial factor: Where these companies' assets lie...

That's because companies with assets in Texas are booming, and will deliver some of the best gains ever seen by energy investors.

Texas is the historical center of the U.S. energy industry. Today it's a major producer of natural gas.

Joel D. Moxley, president of the Gas Processors Association, told the Houston Business Journal, "Booming is the only way to describe the natural gas industry in Texas."

Texas holds about 23% of the U.S. natural gas reserves and accounts for approximately 30% of current U.S. output.

Its present output is roughly 19.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. That means if ranked globally, Texas would rank third for natural gas production - behind Russia and the other 49 U.S. states.

One main area of focus for natural gas in the Lone Star state is the Eagle Ford Shale Formation. Production there nearly tripled between 2009 and 2012.

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How to Invest in Natural Gas Stocks as Prices Swing Back

There are staggering numbers coming out of the energy world - numbers that explain how to invest in natural gas now...

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in the United States alone is parked over roughly 862 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves. That's over a century's worth of domestic supply.

Better yet, there's plenty of domestic demand for that supply -and it's growing.

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It's Time to Climb Aboard the Oil-by-Rail Boom

Rail transit is about to make you some big oil.

That's why I'll be headed to Dallas in late August and Calgary mid-September for extensive meetings with all of the key players.

I can promise you, that in a hurry this is going to get a lot bigger.

As it happens, I'll be providing all of the details for average investors to profit from this monumental change.

Let me explain to you how all of this has suddenly come about...

Why this Country is a Huge Profit Opportunity for Natural Gas Companies

Natural gas companies have a huge opportunity with LNG, but there’s another huge export boom already happening, that you can invest in now. Read More...

Natural Gas Stocks are About to Reprise an All-Star Performance

Natural gas prices are on the rise, but natural gas stocks have failed to respond. Wait, if we look at what happened about 10 years ago… oh, wow… Read more...

A Huge LNG Energy Boom Has Begun

If you can sell something for $4 here and $16 somewhere else, where would you sell it?
Well, the shale gas we're producing in North America has buyers in Asia willing to pay 4x the going price here. That spells a lot of opportunity for companies helping to get liquefied natural gas (LNG) across the Pacific.
See our top choices for this nascent boom here...

How to Invest in the U.S. Natural Gas Revolution

It's no secret America has been in the midst of a natural gas revolution.

The technological advancement of fracking is causing nothing less than a full on shale boom, opening up amazing new profit opportunities if you know how to invest in natural gas - which I'll get to later.

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These Gas Tax Hikes Will Make Driving A Lot More Expensive

Americans worried about how rising oil prices might affect prices at the pump are about to get blindsided by looming gas tax hikes that almost guarantee higher gasoline prices.

And it's not just state governments looking to shake down American motorists.

Alarmingly, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the U.S. government to increase the current federal gasoline tax of $0.184 per gallon by a whopping $1.40.

In a March 26 speech, IMF Deputy Director David Lipton said the gas tax hike would pay for social programs around the world as well as to save the environment.

"The time has come for subsidy reform and carbon taxation," Lipton said.

This federal gas tax hike, if imposed, would add $14 to a typical 10-gallon fill-up and hundreds of dollars to the annual cost of driving.

Fortunately for U.S. drivers, few in Washington support the IMF proposal.

"Higher gas prices hit those who can least afford it the most as American families are forced to pay a larger percentage of their income on higher energy prices," Rep. Fred Upton, R-MI, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox Business. "Drivers across the country are already struggling to pay up to $4.00 a gallon for gas, and further price increases at the pump could be devastating to low- and middle-class families and disastrous to our economic recovery."

Now if only state legislatures felt the same way...

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Why Oil Prices Aren't Coming Down Despite Big U.S. Oil Boom

The dual promise of the U.S. shale oil boom was that it would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower oil prices that would benefit U.S. consumers via cheaper gasoline.

But while U.S. oil production continues to rise, and gasoline consumption continues to fall, gas prices have remained stubbornly high: The national average was about $3.65 last week.

And that trend is expected to continue, with the United States surging past Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of crude oil as soon as 2020. Meanwhile, U.S. gasoline demand is at its lowest in more than a decade - down to 8.7 million barrels a day.

Facts like that have led some pundits to predict falling oil prices. Last year, some politicians were promising that stepped-up U.S. oil production could lower gasoline prices to $2.50 a gallon.

Frustrated U.S. drivers struggling to cope with high gas prices were eager to believe such promises, no matter how unlikely.

Unfortunately, all that new U.S. oil, while helpful in some ways, will not have much effect on gas prices - either now or in the foreseeable future.

"The problem is that prices are not just reflective of new supplies, either too much or too little," explained Money Morning Global Energy Strategist Dr. Kent Moors. "By focusing only on how much is there, these analysts provide a fundamentally distorted view of the oil market."

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Why Gas Prices Will Continue to Climb

The average price of gas in the United States is still below the 2012 average of $3.63 for a gallon of regular, but that won't be true for long.

Gas prices have risen every day for three weeks, and motorists are starting to wonder when the surge will end.

Nationwide, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is up 26.3 cents, or about 8%, this year to $3.55, the highest level since the end of October.

And the 17.4-cent spike in the average price of gas between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 was the largest weekly increase in almost two years.

Unfortunately, it's unlikely gas prices will drop anytime soon.

Here's why.

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Higher Gas Prices a Sure Bet Due to Hurricane Isaac, Fire

Production halts due to Hurricane Isaac and a deadly explosion at a Venezuelan refinery have pushed U.S. gas prices to a near four-month high.

As the hurricane hit land yesterday (Tuesday), oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico had virtually shut down. Oil companies now must wait out the storm before they can assess any damages.

Energy firms in the region have suspended 93% of the typical U.S. oil production and 67% of natural gas in the gulf, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Companies have evacuated 503 platforms and 49 rigs in the region.

In addition, gasoline refiners have shut down approximately 6.7% of total U.S. refining capacity, a move that will lead to reductions in gasoline inventories and short-term price increases. Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM),Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX)and Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO)all reported yesterday that they have temporarily shuttered Gulf Coast refining operations.

But Hurricane Isaac's disruptive presence isn't the only strain on the U.S. refining network. There's another major catalyst triggering higher gas prices.

Over the weekend, tragedy struck the second-largest refinery in Venezuela.

An explosion and fire on Saturday at the Amuay refinery in Venezuela killed 48 people, wounded hundreds, and destroyed hundreds of nearby homes. It is the deadliest refining accident in more than a decade.

The government-run Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) owns the plant, which can process 645,000 barrels of oil a day but has been forced to suspend operations.

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Higher Gas Prices Ahead as Hurricane Isaac Takes Aim at Gulf

Hurricane Isaac continues to build strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and is now moving west, toward the heart of U.S. oil and gas production.

Hurricane Isaac already has forced several energy giants to shut down major Gulf oil and gas projects until the storm passes. That's going to spell higher gas prices for U.S. consumers.

The emergency response will be the largest challenge to the U.S. energy sector since 2008, when Hurricane Gustav and Ike struck the region. Both hurricanes caused month-long disruptions at off-shore facilities and damaged a number of midstream operations in processing, pipeline, and storage along the coast.

By Monday, the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported that daily oil production in the Gulf was down 78% and natural gas production down 48%. Energy producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE ADR: RDS.A, RDS.B), Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and British Petroleum (NYSE ADR: BP) have evacuated more than 346 platforms and 41 rigs.

More shutdowns are expected on Monday and Tuesday as the storm gains strength.

"There's panic right now that this could stage a direct hit on New Orleans or the Chevron refinery in Pascagoula [Mississippi]," Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst for the Oil Price Information Service, told ABC 15 News in Arizona. "The refineries, once they're within 24 hours of either tropical storm or hurricane force winds, they have to start a shutdown.

British Petroleum shut down four oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and evacuated all of its workers. The shutdown includes the evacuation of Thunder Horse, the world's largest production semi-submersible with a production capacity of 250,000 barrels of oil a day and 200 million cubic feet a day of natural gas.

The company is still under obvious scrutiny of its offshore projects given the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 which killed 11 workers and gushed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

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