NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I love natural gas and energy in general. I follow natural gas and oil using U.S. Natural Gas Fund (UNG) and United States Oil Fund (USO) exchange-traded funds because of their ease in trading.
Add in the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) and PowerShares 100 (QQQ) and you can ascertain the entire economy as quickly as any other method. [Read: 5 Breakout Trades to Take Ahead of the Fed]
For example, if you want to budget for heating your home this winter compared to last year, reviewing the weekly natural gas chart will paint a picture accurate as anywhere else. You may not know it but natural gas can do much more than heat our homes, it has the potential to end our dependence on foreign energy imports.
Best Oil Companies To Watch In Right Now: Abraxas Petroleum Corp (AXAS)
Abraxas Petroleum Corporation is an independent energy company primarily engaged in the acquisition, exploitation, development and production of oil and gas in the United States and Canada. As of December 31, 2011, the Company�� estimated net proved reserves were 29.0 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBoe), (including reserves attributable to its 34.7% equity interest in the proved reserves of Blue Eagle), of which 53% were classified as proved developed, 54% were oil and natural gas liquids (NGL��) and 94% by PV-10 were operated. Its daily net production during the year ended December 31, 2011, was 3,484 barrels of oil equivalent per day, of which 45% was oil or liquids. Its oil and gas assets are located in four operating regions in the United States, the Rocky Mountain, Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and onshore Gulf Coast, and in the province of Alberta, Canada.
The Company�� properties in the Rocky Mountain region are located in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana and in the Green River, Powder River and Unita Basins of Wyoming and Utah. In this region, its wells produce oil and gas from various reservoirs, including the Niobrara, Turner, Bakken and Three Forks formations. Well depths range from 7,000 feet down to 14,000 feet. The Company�� properties in the Mid-Continent region are primarily located in the Arkoma Basin and principally produce gas from the Hartshorne coals at 3,000 feet. Its properties in the Permian Basin region are primarily located in two sub-basins, the Delaware Basin and the Eastern Shelf. In the Delaware Basin, its wells are located in Pecos, Reeves, and Ward Counties, Texas and produce oil and gas from multiple stacked formations from the Bell Canyon at 5,000 feet down to the Ellenburger at 16,000 feet.
In the Eastern Shelf, its wells are principally located in Coke, Scurry, Midland, Mitchell and Nolan Counties, Texas and produce oil and gas from the Strawn Reef formation at 5,000 to 7,500 feet and oil from the shallower Clea! rfork formation at depths ranging from 2,300 to 3,300 feet. The Company�� properties in the onshore Gulf Coast region are located along the Edwards trend in DeWitt and Lavaca Counties, Texas and in the Portilla field in San Patricio County, Texas. In the Edwards trend, its wells produce gas from the Edwards formation at a depth of 14,000 feet and in the Portilla field, its wells produce oil and gas from the Frio sands and the deeper Vicksburg from depths of approximately 7,000 to 9,000 feet. In addition, the Company also owns a 34.7% equity interest in a joint venture targeting the Eagle Ford in South Texas. Its properties in the province of Alberta, Canada are located in the Pekisko fairway and the Nordegg/Tomahawk area of Central Alberta.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company leased approximately 20,835 net acres, primarily in counties located on the Nesson Anticline and in areas west, including Rough Rider and Lewis & Clark in North Dakota and in Sheridan County, Montana, which are prospective for the Bakken and Three Forks formations. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company drilled two operated wells and participated in an additional 19 gross (1.0 net) non-operated wells. In July 2011, Abraxas purchased a used Oilwell 2000 horsepower diesel electric drilling rig. In August 2010, the Company formed a joint venture, Blue Eagle, with Rock Oil to develop its acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale play. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned a 34.7% interest in Blue Eagle. During 2011, Blue Eagle drilled, completed or participated in three gross (2.4 net) wells and added approximately 3,800 net acres to its holdings, principally in McMullen County, Texas.
As of December 31, 2011, the Company leased a total of approximately 20,720 gross (17,800 net) acres in the southern Powder River Basin, of which 17,800 gross (15,700 net) acres were located in the Brooks Draw field of Converse and Niobrara Counties, Wyoming. In addition, it owns approximately 2,100 net acres in sout! hern Camp! bell County, Wyoming which are held by production and are near the Crossbow field operated by EOG Resources, Inc. and other recent horizontal activity. As of December 31, 2011, the Company leased 6,880 net acres in western Alberta. In 2011, it drilled or completed six gross (6 net) wells in the Twining area. In the emerging southern Alberta Basin Bakken play of Toole and Glacier Counties, Montana, the Company leased approximately 10,000 gross/net acres under long-term leases or direct mineral ownership. As of December 31, 2011, it leased approximately 5,600 gross/net acres in Nolan County, Texas. In 2011, the Company drilled three wells in the Spires Ranch offsetting the prolific Nena Lucia field.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rick Munarriz]
The market is typically quiet on Friday, but that's certainly not the case during earnings season. Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ: AXAS ) checks in with its latest quarterly results on Friday morning. The San Antonio-based crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company is expected to post breakeven results.
- [By Tyler Crowe]
In the energy world, it's never much of a surprise when an oil company picks up natural gas assets or vice versa. But a coal company getting into the oil business? Now that's a rarity. This week, Natural Resources Partners (NYSE: NRP ) �did just that. The company announced that it's taking a working interest in some of Abraxas Petroleums (NASDAQ: AXAS ) assets in the Bakken. While the $35 million purchase was not that large, it's a rare case where a coal company branches out into other natural resources.�
- [By Rich Duprey]
With steam coal prices continuing to be weak due to the inroads made by natural gas, Natural Resource Partners (NYSE: NRP ) has decided if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It announced Monday it is buying producing�oil and gas�properties located in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana from�Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ: AXAS ) for $35.3 million in cash.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Penn Virginia has gained 6.9% to $7.15 at 11:56 p.m. today, while Sanchez Energy (SN) has advanced 5.2% to $29.10, Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) has risen 2.4% to $2.97 and Gulfport Energy (GPOR) is up 1.3% at $67.31.
Best Oil Companies To Watch In Right Now: Linn Energy LLC (LINE)
Linn Energy, LLC (LINN Energy) is an independent oil and natural gas company. The Company�� properties are located in the United States, primarily in the Mid-Continent, the Permian Basin, Michigan, California and the Williston Basin. Mid-Continent Deep includes the Texas Panhandle Deep Granite Wash formation and deep formations in Oklahoma and Kansas. Mid-Continent Shallow includes the Texas Panhandle Brown Dolomite formation and shallow formations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Illinois. Permian Basin includes areas in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico. Michigan includes the Antrim Shale formation in the northern part of the state. California includes the Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin. Williston Basin includes the Bakken formation in North Dakota. On December 15, 2011, the Company acquired certain oil and natural gas properties located primarily in the Granite Wash of Texas and Oklahoma from Plains Exploration & Production Company (Plains).
On November 1, 2011, and November 18, 2011, it completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Permian Basin. On June 1, 2011, it acquired certain oil and natural gas properties in the Cleveland play, located in the Texas Panhandle, from Panther Energy Company, LLC and Red Willow Mid-Continent, LLC (collectively Panther). On May 2, 2011, and May 11, 2011, it completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Williston Basin. On April 1, 2011, and April 5, 2011, the Company completed two acquisitions of certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Permian Basin. On March 31, 2011, it acquired certain oil and natural gas properties located in the Williston Basin from an affiliate of Concho Resources Inc. (Concho). During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company completed other smaller acquisitions of oil and natural gas properties located in its various operating regions. As of December 31, 2011, the Company operated 7,759 or 69% of its 11,230 gross productiv! e wells.
The Mid-Continent Deep region includes properties in the Deep Granite Wash formation in the Texas Panhandle, which produces at depths ranging from 10,000 feet to 16,000 feet, as well as properties in Oklahoma and Kansas, which produce at depths of more than 8,000 feet. Mid-Continent Deep proved reserves represented approximately 47% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 49% were classified as proved developed reserves. The Company owns and operates a network of natural gas gathering systems consisting of approximately 285 miles of pipeline and associated compression and metering facilities that connect to numerous sales outlets in the Texas Panhandle.
The Mid-Continent Shallow region includes properties producing from the Brown Dolomite formation in the Texas Panhandle, which produces at depths of approximately 3,200 feet, as well as properties in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Illinois, which produce at depths of less than 8,000 feet. Mid-Continent Shallow proved reserves represented approximately 20% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 70% were classified as proved developed reserves. The Company owns and operates a network of natural gas gathering systems consisting of approximately 665 miles of pipeline and associated compression and metering facilities that connect to numerous sales outlets in the Texas Panhandle.
The Permian Basin is an oil and natural gas basins in the United States. The Company�� properties are located in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico and produce at depths ranging from 2,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Permian Basin proved reserves represented approximately 16% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 56% were classified as proved developed reserves.
The Michigan region includes properties producing from the Antrim Shale formation in the northern ! part of t! he state, which produces at depths ranging from 600 feet to 2,200 feet. Michigan proved reserves represented approximately 9% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 90% were classified as proved developed reserves.
The California region consists of the Brea Olinda Field of the Los Angeles Basin. California proved reserves represented approximately 6% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 93% were classified as proved developed reserves.
The Williston Basin is one of the premier oil basins in the United States. The Company�� properties are located in North Dakota and produce at depths ranging from 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet. Williston Basin proved reserves represented approximately 2% of total proved reserves, as of December 31, 2011, of which 48% were classified as proved developed reserves.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Oil and gas MLP�LINN Energy (NASDAQ: LINE ) announced yesterday its monthly distribution of $0.2416 per unit, the same rate it's paid for the past two months after switching to a monthly payout scheme.�The distribution is payable Sept. 13 to unitholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 10.
- [By Selena Maranjian]
Renaissance Technologies reduced its stake in lots of companies, including Houston-based oil and natural gas company Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE ) . Linn offers a whopping 8.8% dividend yield, and has been making some income-generating acquisitions. The company specializes in buying mature, productive energy assets -- and is poised to eventually profit from the rich Bakken fields. It's also admired for its successful long-term hedging and organic growth, and is seen by some as a solid investment.
- [By Matt DiLallo]
First-quarter earnings for LINN Energy (NASDAQ: LINE ) �-- and by extension, its affiliate LinnCo (NASDAQ: LNCO ) �-- have just been released. At first look, the numbers came in a little light; however, the long-term story still remains very much intact. Let's drill down to see what happened in the quarter and what investors can expect going forward.
Top High Tech Companies To Watch In Right Now: American Petro-Hunter Inc (AAPH)
American Petro-Hunter Inc., incorporated on January 24, 1996, is an oil and natural gases exploration and production company with projects in Kansas and Oklahoma. As of March 15, 2012, the Company has two producing wells in Kansas and six producing wells in Oklahoma. The Company also has rights for the exploration and production of oil and gas on an aggregate of approximately 6,230 acres in those states. On January 4, 2011, the Company announced plans to drill the NOS227 Well as a direct offset to the NOJ26 Well.
On March 25, 2011, the Company announced that the Company had acquired a working interest in an additional 2,000 acres located in Payne County in northern Oklahoma, near the Company�� Yale Prospect. The project has been named North Oklahoma Mississippi Lime Project. On May 16, 2011, the Company announced that drilling operations had commenced at the Company�� first horizontal well, NOM1H. The Company owns a 25% Working Interest in the lease. On June 29, 2011, the Company announced that NOM1H had begun commercial production. On July 18, 2011, the Company announced drilling plans for a total of 11 horizontal wells at the North Oklahoma Project. On July 20, 2011, the Company announced the acquisition of a 40% working interest in the South Oklahoma Project on 3,000 acres of land in south-central Oklahoma.
On February 6, 2012, the Company announced that the Company had drilled a total of 1,988 feet in the horizontal well segment penetrating into the 100 plus foot thick Mississippi pay zone. As of March 2012, there are nine locations left to drill on the acreage. The Company's crude oil production is sold to N.C.R.A. in MacPherson Kansas and Sunoco in Oklahoma. The Company sells natural gas through such pipeline to DCP Midstream, LP of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Best Oil Companies To Watch In Right Now: Williams Partners L.P.(WPZ)
Williams Partners L.P. focuses on natural gas transportation, gathering, treating and processing, storage, natural gas liquid fractionation, and oil transportation activities in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Gas Pipeline, and Midstream Gas and Liquids. The Gas Pipeline segment owns and operates approximately 13,900 miles of pipelines with annual throughput of approximately 2,700 trillion British thermal units of natural gas and delivery capacity of approximately 13 million dekatherms of gas. This segment also owns interests in joint venture interstate and intrastate natural gas pipeline systems. The Midstream Gas and Liquids segment includes natural gas gathering, processing, and treating facilities; and crude oil gathering and transportation facilities that serve the producing basins in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, the Gulf of Mexico, and Pennsylvania. Williams Partners GP LLC serves as the general partner of the company. Williams Partners L.P . was founded in 2005 and is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Duprey]
Natural gas transportation and storage MLP�Williams Partners (NYSE: WPZ ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.8625 per unit, a 9% increase from the payout it made to investors last quarter of $0.8475 per unit.
Best Oil Companies To Watch In Right Now: Alon USA Energy Inc. (ALJ)
Alon USA Energy, Inc. engages in refining and marketing petroleum products primarily in the South Central, Southwestern, and Western regions of the United States. The company operates in three segments: Refining and Marketing, Asphalt, and Retail. The Refining and Marketing segment refines crude oil into petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals, feed stocks, asphalts, and other petroleum products. It markets finished products and blend stocks through sales and exchanges with other oil companies, state and federal governmental entities, unbranded wholesale distributors, and various other third parties. This segment also markets motor fuels to distributors under the Alon brand; and licenses Alon brand name and provides payment card processing services, advertising programs, and loyalty and other marketing programs to licensed locations. The Asphalt segment is involved in the marketing of patented tire rubber modified asphalt products; and production of paving and roofing grades of asphalt comprising performance-graded asphalts, emulsions, and cutbacks. This segment sells paving asphalt to road and materials manufacturers and highway construction/maintenance contractors; polymer modified or emulsion asphalt to highway maintenance contractors; and roofing asphalt to roofing shingle manufacturers or other industrial users. The Retail segment operates retail convenience stores that offer various grades of gasoline, diesel fuel, food products, tobacco products, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, and general merchandise primarily under the 7-Eleven and Alon brands. As of December 31, 2012, it had 298 retail convenience stores located in Central and West Texas, and New Mexico. The company was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Alon USA Energy, Inc. is a subsidiary of Alon Israel Oil Company, Ltd.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Smith]
The Department of Defense issued $1.3 billion worth of new contract awards Friday. However, a single, $950 million award for engineering services accounted for the bulk of the spending -- and that one went to a series of privately held companies. Publicly traded names fared less well. Among the few winners:
- [By Dan Dzombak]
Among companies with over a $1 billion market cap, today's oil and gas stocks leader was Alon USA Energy (NYSE: ALJ ) , up 4.95% to $17.16. During the refiners' drop on Tuesday and Wednesday, Alon dropped 12.89%. Despite the comeback today, the stock is still down 8.6% from where it was before the plunge. Alon USA owns refineries in Louisiana and California, 11 asphalt terminals, as well as 300 7-11 retail locations. The company has been profiting heavily from the massive price difference between WTI and Brent crude. In November of 2012, the company IPO'd its Big Springs refinery as a master limited partnership, Alon USA Partners LP,�the proceeds of which Alon used to pay down debt.