Nat Gas Prices 'Close to a Bottom': Boone Pickens

Natural gas prices, which earlier Wednesday broke below $2, are as low as they'll get, T. Boone Pickens told CNBC.

Boone T. Pickens
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Boone T. Pickens

"I have to think you're close to a bottom," the oil and gas driller and head of BP Capital Management told Street Signs before natural gas settled at $1.984. "You’ve got the rig count going down. That’s what you want to watch."

Ten to 15 rigs were closed last week, he said, and more will be closed this week.

"As the rig count goes off it’s gonna cause supply to shorten up. It’ll take a little while for it to happen," he said.

Pickens has pushed for federal legislation that would put natural gas into commercial vehicles, so he said he was encouraged after hearing Energy Secretary Steven Chu speak at a conference Wednesday about putting natural gas in heavy-duty trucks.

"What a great time to do it," he said, especially when natural gas prices are about half the national average of gasoline at the pump.

As the for the "millionaires tax" the president wants to impose, "I don't like someone telling me I'm not paying my fair share of taxes," Pickens said.

"I’ve got to be identified as an expert. I’m 83. After the age of 70 I’ve paid $650 million in taxes."

He joked that he'd rather see the president back legislation that "after 80 you don’t have to pay anymore taxes."