A $10,000 investment in Chevron (NYSE: CVX) 25 years ago would be worth $275,000 today. Plus the dividend payout would have grown at an 8% annual rate over the same period, according to investment site the Motley Fool.

Another Chevron is unlikely to appear — the company now has a $235 billion market capitalization. But the Motley Fool has scouted the oil and gas sector and identified three growth-story candidates.

Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR ), based on “some absolutely incredible results out of the North Dakota Bakken. . . . since the start of the year, Continental has increased its booked reserves by 17%,” the Motley Fool said Monday.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the Three Forks formation under the Bakken shale formation where Continental operates could contain 3.7 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable barrels of oil. That’s more than Bakken itself.

Continental has developed technology to drill four wells from a single drilling pad, reducing costs by 10% and environmental impact. It’s using the technique to drill for oil in the Three Forks and Middle Bakken formations of the North Dakota Bakken.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD ) operates in the West Texas field called the Spraberry Wolfcamp. The company thinks the field could hold 50 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil. “To put that into perspective, that’s second in size only to the infamous Ghawar oilfield in Saudi Arabia,” the Motley Fool said. Pioneer is the largest leaseholder in the field  with more than 900,000 gross acres.

EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG ) “The company is sitting on a triple play of great American shale assets including the North Dakota Bakken, the South Texas Eagle Ford, and the West Texas Wolfcamp. This trinity has propelled EOG’s production growth at a 38% annual clip over the past seven years,” according to the Motley Fool.

And EOG’s average well completion costs in Eagle Ford are down 17% to $5.8 million per well.  Multiplied by 460 wells planned for next year produces $460 million in annual cost savings.


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