America’s Next Big Export?
The US, a veritable Saudi Arabia of natural gas, will become a huge exporter of the commodity with this decade, Cramer said Tuesday, as more oil-based countries switch to this alternative energy source.
"I think the largest in the world," he said.
For some time, Cramer has been touting natural gas as the best way to cut carbon emissions, create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Unlike wind or solar, a working distribution network makes also natural gas viable in the near-term, he said.
"And while our government has turned a deaf ear to arguments for natural gas, the rest of the world hasn’t," Cramer said. "We may not want all this natural gas goodness, but just about every other country on earth seems to be seeing things my way."
Strong demand in China is driving the price up, Cramer said. Argentina has a natural gas orientated auto system with 1.8 million nat gas-powered cars on the road. In Europe, spot prices are already $1.50 higher than in the US and $2.75 higher in Asia. That means with nat gas at $6 in the US, it can be exported to Europe for $9 or to Asia for $10.
At the moment, there is only one liquefied natural gas terminal for exporting gas in the US, and it's located in Alaska. But for the first time in 40 years, another nat gas liquefaction plant is being built. With support from Chesapeake Energy , Cheniere Energy Partners is working with Bechtel to build the plant at its Sabine Pass LNG terminal in Louisiana. As things stand, the plant could start exporting LNG by 2015.
Once the plant is complete, Cramer said US producers won't need the backing of the government to make nat gas work. It seems several big energy names have already figured that out with Exxon Mobil , Total , Royal Dutch Shell and Mitsui aggressively buying domestic properties. Soon the domestic price will be irrelevant, Cramer said, as producers are able to safely ship LNG around the globe with ease.
"As we crave dirty oil and import tens of billions of dollars worth of it annually," Cramer said. "We will most likely shortly become the world’s largest exporter of a cleaner and better fuel."
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