At this time, there is no pipeline in place to transport the oil and gas extracted from this region. In the interim, producers have increasingly relied on railroads to move their goods. The report notes that Burlington is one of only two transporters with rail currently laid in this region, the other being Canadian Pacific Railway (CP).
Washington lawmakers, including President Obama, have increasingly begun to warm up to the idea that our nation has the potential to become major global player in the natural gas realm. With the government's support and ongoing improvements in alternative extraction methods like hydraulic fracking, the environment appears primed for increased production. As yields head skyward, demand for transportation will grow in tandem. Buffett's personal railroad is currently in an attractive position to benefit here.
I still feel that funds like the First Trust ISE Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (FCG) offer the best pure-play bet on natural gas proliferation. However, the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT) may also be an interesting product to watch here.
In addition to boasting ample exposure to the railroad industry, IYT also sets aside a portion of its portfolio for truckers. We are already witnessing a number of companies in this subsector express interest in this energy source. Widespread adoption here could thrust natural gas into the mainstream.Buffett has taken his lumps with natural gas. However, given BNSF's exposure to the industry, it is likely that the investor is still a fan. What are your feelings on natural gas? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below. Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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