At Bentek Energy's Benposium 2013, Motley Fool Special Ops lead advisor Tom Jacobs asked analyst Eason Jostad the question on every energy investor's mind: At what natural gas prices does a power producer want to run its coal or natural gas plants -- and drive up demand and investing profits in each? Jostad, the reputed second best Rubik's Cube player at Bentek (but the best on this issue), explains that the floor for natural gas is probably $2.50 per thousand cubic feet, where gas beats coal hands down. But it's more complex than that. 

All coal is not created equal. Powder River Basin low sulphur coal has an upper hand regardless of pricing, especially with EPA regulations on scrubbers at high sulphur coal burning power plants. So there are three companies -- two coal producers big in the Powder River Basin and one large power producer -- that may be undervalued when coal is unpopular with investors today.

The latter especially was smart because the power producer didn't offload its coal plants. It has an advantage over its competitors because it can move nimbly from coal to gas and back as situations warrant.

Find out how the coal and natural gas game works and learn about three companies that could well blow your investing smokestack!

These three companies and Bentek Energy's views are important for those obsessed, as Tom is, with the natural gas and coal trade-off. But there are many different ways to play the energy sector, and The Motley Fool's analysts have uncovered an under-the-radar company that's dominating its industry. This company is a leading provider of equipment and components used in drilling and production operations, and poised to profit in a big way from it. To get the name and detailed analysis of this company that will prosper for years to come, check out the special free report: "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need." Don't miss out on this limited-time offer and your opportunity to discover this under-the-radar company before the market does. Click here to access your report -- it's totally free.

 

Motley Fool Special Ops lead advisor, and co-author of "What's Behind the Numbers?", Tom Jacobs has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.