Oil and Gas

We are doing well: Chesapeake Utilities CEO

Chesapeake Util. CEO: Low nat gas prices a benefit

The energy market remains volatile, but utilities are apparently thriving despite pressure in the sector.

Michael McMasters, president and chief executive officer of Chesapeake Utilities, told CNBC on Wednesday that the company is "doing well."

Although Chesapeake Utilities' stock fell slightly on Wednesday, it's up more than 30 percent in the past 12 months.

"It's about making smart investments and then executing on those investments," McMasters said.

He also told "Closing Bell" that as a natural gas distributor and pipeline provider, low commodities prices have benefited the company.

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"We prefer lower," he said. Still, a low-price environment concerns market watchers.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that warmer winter weather has contributed to lower nat gas consumption. The agency also noted that nat gas production has remained high, pushing inventories above the seasonal norm.

For the week ended Feb. 26 the EIA reported that nat gas inventories were at 2,536 billion cubic feet, a number that exceeded the five-year average by 36 percent.

At the same time, it said that lower nat gas prices have influenced a rise in liquefied natural gas exports; exports in both pipeline and LNG are set to increase. The EIA forecasts that in 2017 nat gas prices will see a boost, and industrial demand will grow.

While energy investors worry about the market reaching a bottom, McMasters claims Chesapeake Utilities is not concerned.

"We don't really look too hard to try to figure out if we are near a bottom," he said. "We know that where prices are today we could be very profitable; we can grow."