Published February 05, 2013

Lights Out: How the Superdome Incident Affects Your Portfolio

It was the most important NFL game of the year, with over 100 million watching on television, consuming an estimated 1.2 billion chicken wings and 50 million cases of beer. The game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens drew the highest ratings ever for a Super Bowl Game.

But what people will remember the most is not the performance handed in by Joe Flacco, nor the sudden disappearance of Randy Moss on football's biggest stage.

It was that the lights went out in the Superdome. For 35 minutes.

The reason? According to Entergy and SMG, the company that manages the Superdome, "a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue."

To put it simply, something went wrong. Very wrong.

The reality is, when the infrastructure gets more and more complex and you are interconnecting old systems and new, things often don't go the way you want them to.

This problem is not just in the Superdome, but everywhere in North America and Europe. More than half of America's gas transmission and gathering systems were built more than 50 years ago.

Let us put things in perspective: how many cars do you see on the road that are from the '60s? How much time and effort do you think goes into maintaining a 50-year-old car to make sure it is roadworthy?

The reality is that the pipelines, power lines, and other energy infrastructure is getting older every day and becoming more prone to shutdowns, security breaches, and accidents. Yet, in Western nations, it is becoming more difficult to upgrade their facilities due to regulations, bureaucracy, and protests from environmentalists. Clearly, this will lead to a downward spiral that is difficult to reverse…

Unless both the industry and the governments begin adopting the "Sensible Solution" (watch Marin Katusa discussing it), a plan which will balance the urgent need to update our aging systems with the need to protect the environment. Though we are sure that this will eventually be the path for all pipeline and utility companies moving forward, it is the first companies that will benefit the most.

The first companies to look at the problem from both sides will surely score points with regulators, which will not only pave the way for permit approvals, but help these companies gain consistent access to cash flows.

The trick for investors, of course, is to identify these firms early in the game, and we believe we have done just that. We'll be alerting subscribers to our Casey Energy Dividends and Casey Energy Report services of our findings, giving them the opportunity to maneuver ahead of the Wall Street herd.

So don't fumble around in the dark – let us help you quarterback your portfolio to touchdowns in the energy sector today.

Additional Reads and Links

Energy Department Hacked, Personal Data of Employees Stolen (Huffington Post)

The US, along with its allies, is already facing energy infrastructure issues. To make matters worse, the entire system is vulnerable to attack. Even though this current hack did not compromise any classified data (or so the government says), is it only a matter of time before hackers begin shutting down US power plants and other facilities that are vital to the United States?

Egypt Opposition in Muddle over Call to Oust Mursi (Reuters)

Egypt is facing its most serious crisis since the Arab Spring, with protestors flagrantly ignoring curfews and beginning to show open rebellion against the government. The opposition currently seems to be confused about what it seeks to gain from this confrontation with the government, simultaneously demanding and not demanding the removal of Mohamed Mursi. The showdown within Egypt continues to have a destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East region – an area that was already rife with unrest.

Watch Iran's $40 Million Oil Rig Collapse into the Sea (Business Insider)

Offshore oil and gas exploration is a difficult task, even in relatively shallow water. The video in the above link shows an oil rig collapsing in Iran's South Pars gas field. Fortunately, no one was injured – but it does go to show that these are the risks that companies take every time they send their ships out on a drilling expedition.