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NatGas Oversupply to Trigger Mergers: RCH Founder

Thursday, 13 Jan 2011 | 1:40 PM ET

The natural gas firm EXCO Resources is considering alternatives, including a possible sale.

Natural Gas
Natural Gas

One of the proposals under review is a $4 billion offer made by its Chairman and CEO, Douglas H. Miller, two months ago, to take the company private.

"EXCO to some degree is sort of a proxy for what's really happening out there, where management teams that are very rich in acres and reserves, but don't necessarily have the cash flows and rates of return, are being forced to think about 'how do I manage my capital structure and my business going forward,'" Rob Raymond, founder of the hedge fund RCH Energy, told CNBC's "The Strategy Session" on Thursday.

"The rules of the game changed in really 2007, 2008 and 2009, and everybody is trying to figure out how they adapt to that environment," Raymond said.

Nat Gas Oversupplied?
Why the nat gas market is "structurally oversupplied," with Rob Raymond, RCH Energy founder.

"Our fundamental belief here is that we're still in a structurally over-supplied market," he said.

"You've seen a rapid change in technology, defined as horizontal drilling and completion technology, which has really created a massive amount of new supply," Raymond said.

As a result, the supply curve has shifted dramatically, while the demand curve hasn't moved, he said.

"If one goes back and looks at other commodities as a precedent, whether that's gold, whether its oil in the 1980s, it's not uncommon to see a significant period of dislocation, where a sort of disruptive technology has been applied to a commodity market," Raymond said.

"As it's related to natural gas, what we are really looking at here is probably a 5- to- 10-year issue," he said.

For this reason, oil may potentially go higher and natural gas may go lower for quite some time, causing some natural gas companies to restructure.

"You'll see some bankruptcies, I think you'll see a lot of consolidations in an effort to basically cut corporate costs and try to create efficiencies," Raymond said.


Watch CNBC's "The Strategy Session" weekdays at Noon ET.

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