Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014

Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI) was the Fund’s best performing position in the fourth quarter and for all of 2013. Over the past year the stock g ained over 240 percent and added 212 basis points of return. The fast-food chain has con tinued to restructure after spinning off Burger King restaurants and is now successfully ach ieving organic growth. We continue to believe the stock is undervalued and expect further growth ahead.

From John Keeley (Trades, Portfolio)’s Keeley All Cap Value Fund fourth quarter 2013 commentary.

Also check out: John Keeley Undervalued Stocks John Keeley Top Growth Companies John Keeley High Yield stocks, and Stocks that John Keeley keeps buying

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Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (SDT)

SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (The Trust) is a statutory trust. The Trust was created to acquire and hold the Royalty Interests for the benefit of Trust unitholders. SandRidge conveyed to the Trust the Royalty Interests in specified oil and natural gas properties in the Mississippian formation in Alfalfa, Garfield, Grant, Major and Woods counties in Oklahoma (the Underlying Properties). These Royalty Interests were derived from SandRidge’s interests in a 36 wells and the equivalent of 123 horizontal development wells to be drilled in the Mississippian formation (Trust Development Wells) within an area of mutual interest (AMI), consisting of approximately 49,600 gross acres (42,000 net acres) in the counties where the Underlying Properties are located.

Effective January 1, 2011, the Royalty Interests entitle the Trust to receive 90% of the proceeds from the sale of oil and natural gas production attributable to its net revenue interest in the Initial Wells and 50% of the proceeds from the sale of oil and natural gas production attributable to SandRidge’s net revenue interest in the Trust Development Wells. As of December 31, 2011, the Trust’s properties consisted of Royalty Interests in the Initial Wells, 48 wells (equivalent to approximately 53 Trust Development Wells under the development agreement) and the equivalent of approximately 70 Trust Development Wells to be drilled in the Mississippian formation.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Matt DiLallo]

    The problem here is that SandRidge has been dependent on asset sales and its running out of assets to sell. In addition to the Permian sale, SandRidge has now taken three royalty trusts public. One consisting of Permian Basin assets, SandRidge Permian Trust (NYSE: PER  ) and two consisting of Mississippian assets, SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (NYSE: SDT  ) and SandRidge Mississippian Trust II (NYSE: SDR  ) . While SandRidge still owns a portion of each trust, it likely will continue to sell off its ownership stake in each trust as well as other assets it still owns. At some point SandRidge will need to live within its oil and gas cash flows, otherwise, its not worth owning. 

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    SandRidge has made a huge bet on the Mississippian Lime shale play, especially after selling off its Permian Basin assets late last year. Unfortunately, that bet hasn’t paid off well for shareholders, as the company saw its spun-off royalty trusts SandRidge Mississippian Trust I (NYSE: SDT  ) and SandRidge Mississippian Trust II (NYSE: SDR  ) fail to meet their projections for distribution amounts during the first quarter. The main problem has been that wells in the Mississippian Lime have produced more natural gas than expected, and even with a slight rebound in gas prices, it still doesn’t produce adequate margins compared to oil and natural-gas liquids.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: CVR Energy Inc (CVI)

CVR Energy, Inc. (CVR Energy), incorporated September 2006, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, acts as an independent petroleum refiner and marketer of transportation fuels in the mid-continental United States. In addition, the Company, through its majority-owned subsidiaries, acts as an independent producer and marketer of nitrogen fertilizer products in North America. As of December 31, 2011, the Company owned the general partner and approximately 70% of CVR Partners, LP (the Partnership), a limited partnership which produces nitrogen fertilizers in the form of ammonia and an aqueous solution of urea and ammonium nitrate used as a fertilizer (UAN). The Company operates in two segments: the petroleum segment and the nitrogen fertilizer segment. On December 15, 2011, the Company acquired Gary-Williams Energy Corporation and its subsidiaries (GWEC).

Petroleum Business

The Company operates a 115,000 barrels per day complex full coking medium-sou r crude oil refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas and, as of December 15, 2011, a 70,000 barrels per day crude oil unit refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. Its combined production capacity represents approximately 15% of its region’s output during the year ended December 31, 2011. The Coffeyville facility is situated on approximately 440 acres in southeast Kansas, approximately 100 miles from Cushing, Oklahoma, a crude oil trading and storage hub. The Wynnewood facility is situated on approximately 400 acres located approximately 65 miles south of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and approximately 130 miles from Cushing, Oklahoma. During 2011, its Coffeyville refinery’s product yield included gasoline (mainly regular unleaded) (44%), diesel fuel (42%), and pet coke and other refined products, such as natural gas liquids (NGL) (propane and butane), slurry, sulfur and gas oil (14%). Its Wynnewood refinery’s product yield included gasoline (54%), diesel fuel (31%), asphalt (6%), jet fuel (3%) an d other products (6%) during 2011.

The Company! owns and operates a crude oil gathering system serving Kansas, Oklahoma, western Missouri and southwestern Nebraska. The system has field offices in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Plainville, Kansas and Winfield, Kansas. The system consists of approximately 350 miles of feeder and trunk pipelines, 100 trucks, and associated storage facilities for gathering sweet crude oils purchased from independent crude oil producers in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri. It also leases a section of a pipeline from Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (Magellan), which is incorporated into its crude oil gathering system. During 2011, the Company’s crude oil gathering system had a gathering capacity of approximately 38,000 barrels per day. During 2011, it gathered an average of approximately 35,000 barrels per day.

CVR Energy owns a pipeline system capable of transporting approximately 145,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Caney, Kansas to its refinery. Crude oils sourced out side of its gathering system are delivered by common carrier pipelines into various terminals in Cushing, Oklahoma, where they are blended and then delivered to Caney, Kansas via a pipeline owned by Plains Pipeline L.P. (Plains). The Company also owns associated crude oil storage tanks with a capacity of approximately 1.2 million barrels located outside its Coffeyville refinery, 0.5 million barrels of crude oil storage at Wynnewood, Oklahoma, and lease an additional 3.3 million barrels of storage capacity located at Cushing, Oklahoma and other locations. In addition to crude oil storage, it owns approximately 4.5 million barrels of combined refinery related storage capacity.

CVR Energy has access to foreign crude oil from Latin America, South America, West Africa, the Middle East, the North Sea and Canada. It purchases domestic crude oil from Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, North Dakota, Missouri, and offshore deepwater Gulf of Mexico production. During 2011 , its Coffeyville crude oil supply blend consisted of approx! imately 8! 0% light sweet crude oil, 2% light/medium sour crude oil and 18% heavy sour crude oil. During 2011, Wynnewood’s crude oil supply blend consisted of approximately 88% sweet crude oil and 12% light/medium sour crude oil.

During 2011, approximately 35% of the Coffeyville refinery’s products were sold through the rack system directly to retail and wholesale customers, while the remaining 65% was sold through pipelines via bulk spot and term contracts. The Company makes bulk sales (sales into third party pipelines) into the mid-continent markets via Magellan and into Colorado and other destinations utilizing the product pipeline networks owned by Magellan, Enterprise Products Operating, L.P. (Enterprise) and NuStar Energy, LP (NuStar). Approximately 60% of the Wynnewood refinery’s finished products sold are distributed in Oklahoma. Customers for its petroleum products include other refiners, convenience store companies, railroads and farm cooperatives.

The Company competes with BP, Conoco Phillips, HollyFrontier, NCRA, Valero, Flint Hills Resources, CHS and Shell.

Nitrogen Fertilizer Business

The nitrogen fertilizer business, operated by the Partnership, is the nitrogen fertilizer plant in North America. It utilizes a pet coke gasification process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. The nitrogen fertilizer facility’s primary input is pet coke. The nitrogen fertilizer facility includes a 1,225 ton-per-day ammonia unit, a 2,025 ton-per-day UAN unit and a gasifier complex having a capacity of 84 million standard cubic feet per day. Linde LLC (Linde) owns, operates, and maintains the air separation plant that provides contract volumes of oxygen, nitrogen and compressed dry air to the gasifier for a monthly fee.

The primary geographic markets for the nitrogen fertilizer business’ fertilizer products are Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado and Texas. The nitrogen fertilizer bu siness markets the ammonia products to industrial and agricu! ltural cu! stomers and the UAN products to agricultural customers. The nitrogen fertilizer business sells ammonia to agricultural and industrial customers. Agricultural customers include distributors such as MFA, United Suppliers, Inc., Brandt Consolidated Inc., Gavilon Fertilizer LLC, Transammonia, Inc., Agri Services of Brunswick, LLC, Interchem and CHS Inc. Industrial customers include Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc., National Cooperative Refinery Association, and Dyno Nobel, Inc. The nitrogen fertilizer business sells UAN products to retailers and distributors.

The Company competes with Agrium, Koch Nitrogen, Potash Corporation and CF Industries.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    The company, whose earnings have been blistered by low natural gas prices, has reworked its business model to focus more on boosting profitability in its regulated utility operations. That’s a solid strategy for FE, given the state of the energy market. Also, the bad news has been priced in, providing a potentially attractive entry point for investors.

    CVR Energy (CVI)

    CVR Energy (CVI) stock is down 9% since Jan. 2. CVI stock has a lofty dividend yield of 8%, and its valuation is attractive now with a puny forward P/E of 9.4. CVI shares soared by more than 3% on Thursday after the company reported fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.

  • [By Hibah Yousuf]

    Snyder also pointed out that Take-Two was not that big of a holding for Icahn. It represented less than 1% of Icahn Enterprise’s (IEP, Fortune 500) total portfolio. The firms’ largest holdings include CVR Energy (CVI), Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), Chesapeake Energy (CHK, Fortune 500) and Herbalife (HLF).

  • [By Robert Rapier] In last week’s issue I discussed the basics of the refining sector. Today I will provide an overview of four MLPs that hold refining assets.

    To review, the refining sector was very profitable in 2012 thanks to unusually high crack spreads, which for many US refiners are approximated by the price differential between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oils. For a more thorough explanation of this phenomenon, please refer to last week’s issue.

    After years of trading at a $1 to $3 per barrel discount to WTI, Brent began fetching a premium a few years ago as a glut of crude developed in the mid-continent area of the US. In 2011 the Brent-WTI price differential increased to more than $25/bbl, and it remained historically high in 2012.

    But pipeline capacity started to catch up this year, and the share prices of refiners retreated as the glut began to dissipate and the Brent-WTI differential shrank. In Q3 2012, the Brent-WTI differential a veraged $17.43/bbl, but by Q3 of this year, the differential had fallen to $4.43/bbl. This promises bad news for refiners about to report Q3 earnings.

    Many analysts downgraded the refining sector in Q3, but as the differential fell below $5/bbl it was hard to imagine that the news could get much worse. With poor Q3 results largely priced in, the differential subsequently rose back above $10/bbl, signaling better refining margins moving into Q4.

    Refiners began to post earnings this past week, and as expected they were weak. Valero (NYSE: VLO) reported slightly higher revenues year-over-year, but net earnings fell more than 50 percent from a year ago. Nevertheless, they beat the extremely pessimistic expectations of analysts, and Valero shares rose on the news.

    Phillips 66’s (NYSE: PSX) refining unit actually posted a loss, but its chemical business turned in a solid quarter which more than compensated for the disappointing refining results.

    T he rest of the refine

  • [By Igor Greenwald]

    He paid $30 a share for refiner and fertilizer maker CVR Energy (CVI) and that stock has appreciated 43% in 18 months, earning Icahn a total return of $2.9 billion through June.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Santos Ltd (STOSF)

Santos Limited is an oil and gas producer, supplying Australian and Asian customers. The Company is primarily engaged in the exploration for, and development, production, transportation and marketing of, hydrocarbons. The Company develops major oil and gas liquids businesses in Australia, and operates in all mainland states and the Northern Territory. The Company has exploration-led Asian portfolio, with a focus on three core countries: Indonesia, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea. The Company operates in four business units of Eastern Australia; Western Australia and Northern Territory; Asia Pacific, and Gladstone LNG (GLNG). The Asia Pacific operating segment includes operations in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks fell early Wednesday, tracking a weak lead from the U.S. but with a few blue-chip miners higher after gains for some commodities overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) retreated 0.4% to 5,237.80 after similar losses for the main Wall Street indexes, with the Australian benchmark trading around its lowest level since October. Among the major decliners, Qantas Airways Ltd. (AU:QAN) (QUBSF) lost 2.5%, Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd. (AU:HVN) (HNORY) gave up 1.3%, and Incitec Pivot Ltd. (AU:IPL) (ICPVY) fell 1.8%. Santos Ltd. (AU:STO) (STOSF) fell 2.6% on indication it will miss its lowered production guidance for 2013, according to the Australian Financial Review. On the upside, top miners BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) rose 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1% higher. Shares of global shopping-mall developer Westfield Group Australia (AU:WDC) (WEFIF) were on halt

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Halcon Resources Corp (HK)

Halcon Resources Corporation (Halcon Resources), incorporated on February 5, 2004, is an independent energy company focused on the acquisition, production, exploration and development of onshore liquids-rich oil and natural gas assets in the United States. The Company has oil and natural gas reserves located primarily in Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Montana. On August 1, 2012, the Company acquired GeoResources by merger. On December 6, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of entities owning approximately 81,000 net acres prospective for the Bakken / Three Forks formations primarily located in Williams, Mountrail, McKenzie and Dunn Counties, North Dakota (the Williston Basin Assets), from Petro-Hunt, L.L.C. and Pillar Energy, LLC (the Petro-Hunt parties). As of December 31, 2012, the Company has working interests in approximately 128,000 net acres prospective for the Bakken / Three Forks formations in North Dakota and Montana.

The Compan y’s Woodbine / Eagle Ford acreage is prospective for the Woodbine, Eagle Ford and other formations, with targeted depths ranging anywhere from 7,000 feet to 10,400 feet. As of December 31, 2012, The Company has approximately 198,000 net acres leased or under contract primarily in Leon, Madison, Grimes, Brazos, and Polk Counties, Texas. The Company is the operator and has a 100% working interest in more than 12,000 net acres in Wichita and Wilbarger Counties, Texas that it is actively water flooding in shallow Cisco aged Pennsylvania sandstone and limestone reservoirs. As of December 31, 2012, the Company produced 484 million barrels of oil equivalent from approximately 700 active producing wells and approximately 230 active water injection wells.

The Company’s position in the La Copita Field covers 3,720 gross acres and 2,829 net acres in Starr County, Texas. As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s average net daily production was 623 barrels of oil equiva lent per day. The Company operates 100% of this production a! nd its working interest ranges from 75% to 100%. The Company has various other oil and natural gas properties with varying working interests located across the United States, including the Austin Chalk Trend and Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the Fitts-Allen Fields in Central Oklahoma, and various other areas across South Louisiana, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, and West Virginia.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Q: What is your opinion on Halcon Resources?

    Halcon Resources (NYSE: HK) is an upstream oil and gas producer with operations focused in the Bakken in North Dakota, the Utica in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and in the Eagle Ford in Texas. Over the past two years shares of the company have been on a steady decline, falling 71 percent.

    A big knock on Halcon is that it significantly overpaid for its Utica acreage and that its relatively high level of debt will make it difficult to climb out of the hole they dug for themselves. I believe the share price will turn up this year, but I would wait on the sidelines for now as it still seems to be seeking a bottom. With this much downward momentum and bad news, it would be a really speculative play until it is clear that the company has turned the corner. At present, that isn’t the case.

    Q: Could you offer any insight/comment on Swift Energy, which seems to be moving towards oil from natgas?

  • [By Yiannis Mostrous]

    We expect the company to enjoy a solid 2014, thanks to a robust project pipeline in Hong Kong and steadily growing income from its rental units and hotels. The company will be launching three projects in 2014 in Hong Kong (HK), for a total of 4,715 units, and once they receive their presale consents from the HK authorities, it will be a positive catalyst for the company.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: ENSCO plc(ESV)

Ensco plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides offshore contract drilling services to the oil and gas industry. The company engages in the drilling of offshore oil and natural gas wells by providing its drilling rigs and crews under contracts with international, government-owned, and independent oil and gas companies. As of February 15, 2010, it owned and operated 42 jackup rigs, 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs, and 1 barge rig. The company also has 4 ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs under construction. It operates in Asia, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Africa, and North and South America. The company was formerly known as Ensco International plc and changed its name to Ensco plc in March 2010. Ensco plc was founded in 1975 and is based in London, the United Kingdom.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Transocean are unchanged at $40.47 today, while Ensco (ESV) has risen 0.7% to $52.43, Atwood Oceanics (ATW) is little changed at $49.47, Diamond Offshore (DO) has risen 0.4% to $47.02 and  Seadrill (SDRL), whose strategy Transocean may be following, has ticked up 0.2% to $34.30.

  • [By Lee Jackson]

    Ensco PLC (NYSE: ESV) last year took delivery of ENSCO 121, the second of four ultra-premium harsh environment jackup rigs in its ENSCO 120 Series. ENSCO 121 is an enhanced version of Keppel’s proprietary KFELS Super A Class design. The rig has been contracted in the North Sea at a day rate of approximately $230,000. Shareholders are paid an outstanding 6.2% dividend. The consensus target is $55.53. Ensco closed Thursday at $50.32. Trading close to a 52-week low, with poor sentiment toward drillers, this may be an outstanding stock to buy now with such an outstanding dividend cushion.

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    The most interesting news out of T stock recently is that it’s slashing prices — again — as its price war with T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS) heats up. AT&T customers can sign up for a 2-gigabyte data plan for $65 per month, down from $80. And adding a second phone lifts the total to $90, down from $105. As much as the price war might help T’s market share, it doesn’t help the share price. T stock is down 8% so far this year.

    #5: Ensco (ESV)

    ESV Dividend Yield: 5.78%

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    For investors looking to get a dose of energy sector dividend stocks to their portfolio, the deepwater drillers can’t be ignored. Here are five of the best.

    Dividend Stocks To Buy #1 — Ensco (ESV)

    ESV Dividend Yield: 5.8%

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Pacific Coast Oil Trust (ROYT)

Pacific Coast Oil Trust is a statutory trust formed by Pacific Coast Energy Company LP (PCEC) to own interests in the Underlying Properties. As of December 31, 2011, the Underlying Properties consisted of the proved developed reserves on the Underlying Properties, which it refers to as the Developed Properties, and all other development potential on the Underlying Properties, which it refers to as the Remaining Properties. The Underlying Properties are located in California in the Santa Maria and Los Angeles Basins. PCEC produces oil and natural gas from its Orcutt properties in the Santa Maria Basin. The production in the Orcutt oilfield is produced from formations utilizing conventional production methods.

PCEC is engaged in the production and development of oil and natural gas from properties located in California. As of December 31, 2011, PCEC held interests in approximately 276 gross (215 net) producing wells, and had proved reserves of approximately 34. 1 million barrels of oil equivalent. The Underlying Properties consist of producing and non-producing interests in oil units, wells and lands located onshore in California in the Santa Maria Basin, which contains PCEC’s Orcutt properties, and the Los Angeles Basin, which contains PCEC’s West Pico, East Coyote and Sawtelle properties. As of December 31, 2011, there were 37 producing wells and six waterflood injection wells in the West Pico Unit. West Pico also includes three wells held by the Stocker JV, a joint venture between PCEC and PXP.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Perpetual royalty trust Pacific Coast Oil Trust (NYSE: ROYT  ) announced yesterday its July distribution of $0.15721 per unit. The amount of the trust’s monthly distributions will fluctuate depending on the proceeds it receives from its owner, Pacific Coast Energy, as a result of actual production volumes, oil and gas prices, and development expenses.  The current distribution relates to net profits and overriding royalties generated during May 2013.

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Pacific Coast Oil Trust (NYSE: ROYT) down, falling 7.13 percent to $16.70 after the company priced a public offering by Pacific Coast Energy Company LP and other selling unitholders of 13,500,000 trust units at a price of $17.10 per unit.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS)

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Denmark-based company active within the wind power industry. The Company operates within four business areas: Finance, Sales, Manufacturing & Global Sourcing, and Technology & Service Solutions. The Finance business area focuses on business support services. The Sales business area is divided into six geographical units: Americas, Asia Pacific & China, Central Europe, Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Offshore. The Manufacturing & Global Sourcing business area is engaged in the manufacturing of assembly, blades, components, controls and generators. The Technology & Service Solutions business area is responsible for the engineering solutions, platform and product management, as well as service engineering, among others. As of December 31, 2012, the Company operated globally through a network of subsidiaries located in Denmark, Germany, Italy, China, the United States, Spain, Estonia, Sweden and Norway. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Pato Kehoe]

    Within the power infrastructure segment, GE is especially keen on advancing in clean-energy products, such as gas and wind turbines. Wind turbines have contributed significantly to generating a solid competitive advantage, even allowing the firm to surpass the Danish industry giant Vestas Wind Systems (VWS), thanks to superior customer care and manufacturing expertise. Hence, the road seems paved for continued success in this new industry sector, which is bound to continue growing as clean energy becomes more popular.

  • [By Tom Stoukas]

    Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) surged 11 percent to 66.30 kroner, its highest price since February 2012. Credit Suisse Group AG raised the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker to neutral from underperform, citing benefits from cost cuts.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: QEP Resources Inc (QEP)

QEP Resources, Inc. (QEP), incorporated on May 17, 2010, is a holding company. The Company operates in three lines of business: gas and oil exploration and production, midstream field services, and energy marketing. It conducted through three principal subsidiaries: QEP Energy Company (QEP Energy) acquires, explores for, develops and produces natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids (NGL); QEP Field Services Company (QEP Field Services) provides midstream field services, including natural gas gathering, processing, compression and treating services for affiliates and third parties; andQEP Marketing Company (QEP Marketing) markets affiliate and third-party natural gas and oil, provides risk-management services, and owns and operates an underground gas-storage reservoir. QEP operates in the Northern and Southern Regions of the United States and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Principal offices are located in Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklah oma, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

QEP’s exploration and production business is conducted through QEP Energy in two core regions, the Northern Region (including the states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and North Dakota) and the Southern Region (including the states of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana). QEP Energy has approximately 50,800 net acres of Haynesville Shale lease rights in northwest Louisiana and additional lease rights that cover the Hosston and Cotton Valley formations. The depth of the top of the Haynesville Shale ranges from approximately 10,500 feet to 12,500 feet across QEP Energy’s leasehold and is below the Hosston and Cotton Valley formations that QEP Energy has been developing in northwest Louisiana for over a decade. As of December 31, 2011, QEP Energy had three operated rigs drilling in the project area. QEP Energy’s Midcontinent properties cover all properties in the Southern Region except the Haynesville/Cotton Valley area of northwes t Louisiana and are distributed over an area, including the ! Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. QEP Energy has approximately 77,000 net acres of Woodford Shale lease rights in western Oklahoma. QEP Energy has approximately 38,700 net acres of Granite Wash/Atoka Wash lease rights in the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma and has been drilling vertical Granite Wash/Atoka Wash wells. The Company estimates that up to 1,100 additional wells will be required to fully develop its Pinedale acreage on a combination of 5 and 10-acre density. In addition to QEP Energy’s gross producing wells, QEP Energy had an overriding royalty interest in an additional 21 wells at Pinedale. QEP Energy owns interests in approximately 255,200 net leasehold acres in the Uinta Basin. The remainder of QEP Energy Northern Region leasehold interests, productive wells and proved reserves are distributed over a number of fields and properties managed as the Rockies Legacy division. Exploration and development activity during the year ended December 31, 2011, includes wells in the Powder River and Greater Green River Basins in Wyoming and the Williston Basin in North Dakota. QEP Energy has approximately 90,000 net acres of lease rights in the Williston Basin in western North Dakota, where the Company is targeting the Bakken and Three Forks formations.

QEP Energy Company

QEP Energy is actively involved in several of North America’s hydrocarbon resource plays. QEP’s exploration and production activities are conducted through QEP Energy. P Energy operates in two core regions: the Northern Region (including the states of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and North Dakota) and the Southern Region (including the states of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana). The Southern Region contributed approximately 56% of 2011 production while the Northern Region contributed the remaining 44%. QEP Energy reported 3,614 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent of estimated proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. Of those estimated proved reserves, approximately 64%! , or 2,31! 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent, were located in the Northern Region at December 31, 2011. The remaining 36%, or 1,302 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent at December 31, 2011, were located in the Southern Region. QEP Energy has an inventory of identified development drilling locations, primarily on the Pinedale Anticline in western Wyoming; the Haynesville/Cotton Valley area in northwestern Louisiana; the Midcontinent area with properties primarily in Oklahoma and Texas; the Uinta Basin in eastern Utah, and the Rockies Legacy, which includes the Bakken/Three Forks area in western North Dakota and other properties in Wyoming.

QEP Field Services Company

QEP invests in midstream (gathering, processing and treating) systems to complement its natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) operations in regions where QEP Energy has production. In addition, QEP’s midstream business also provides midstream services to third-party customers, including independent producers. QEP Field Services owns various natural gas gathering, treating and processing facilities in the Northern and Southern Regions as well as 78% of Rendezvous Gas Services, LLC, (RGS), a partnership that operates gas gathering facilities in western Wyoming. The FERC-regulated Rendezvous Pipeline Co., LLC (Rendezvous Pipeline), a wholly owned subsidiary of QEP Field Services, operates a 21-mile, 20-inch-diameter pipeline between QEP Field Services’ Blacks Fork gas-processing plant and the Muddy Creek compressor station owned by Kern River Gas Transmission Co. (Kern River Pipeline). RGS gathers natural gas for Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field producers for delivery to various interstate pipelines. QEP Field Services also owns 38% of Uintah Basin Field Services, LLC (UBFS) and 50% of Three Rivers Gathering, LLC (Three Rivers). These two partnerships operate natural gas gathering facilities in eastern Utah.

QEP Marketing Company

QEP Marketing provides wholesale market! ing and s! ales of affiliate and third-party natural gas, oil and NGL. As a wholesale marketing entity, QEP Marketing concentrates on markets in the Rocky Mountains, Pacific Northwest and Midcontinent that are either close to affiliate reserves and production or accessible by pipelines. QEP Marketing contracts for firm-transportation capacity on pipelines and firm-storage capacity at Clay Basin, a baseload-storage facility. QEP Marketing, through its subsidiary Clear Creek Storage Company, LLC, owns and operates an underground gas-storage reservoir in southwestern Wyoming. QEP Marketing uses owned and leased storage capacity together with firm-transportation capacity.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Daniel Gibbs]

    Strong forward growth prospects
    Towards the end of 2013, Vanguard announced that it is spending $581 million to acquire a stake in two of the most prolific natural gas fields in the United States. These two fields are the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah fields located in southwestern Wyoming. The fields currently contain 2,000 producing wells between them, but Ultra Petroleum (NYSE: UPL  ) and QEP Resources (NYSE: QEP  ) , the operators for the fields and Vanguard’s partners in the development of these fields, plan to drill another 970 wells, which will obviously substantially increase Vanguard’s production from the fields going forward.

  • [By Lauren Pollock]

    QEP Resources Inc.(QEP) plans to separate its midstream business, QEP Field Services Co., into a separate entity, including its interest in QEP Midstream Partners LP(QEPM).

  • [By Aimee Duffy]

    QEP Midstream Partners is about to become a real, live master limited partnership. Parent company QEP Resources (NYSE: QEP  ) has filed the appropriate paperwork with the SEC, and while we don’t know specifics regarding the number of shares, or how the offering will be priced, the S-1 is chock-full of information for prospective investors.

Best Energy Companies To Invest In 2014: Geospace Technologies Corp (GEOS)

Geospace Technologies Corporation, formerly OYO Geospace Corporation, incorporated on September 13, 1997, designs and manufactures instruments and equipment used in the acquisition and processing of seismic data, as well as in the characterization and monitoring of producing oil and gas reservoirs. The Company also manufactures and distributes thermal imaging equipment and dry thermal film products to a variety of markets including the screenprint, point of sale, signage and textile markets. As of September 30, 2011, OYO Corporation U.S.A. (OYO USA) owned approximately 20.3% of the Company’s common stock. The Company operates in two segments: Seismic and Thermal Solutions. The seismic segment of its business accounts for the majority of its sales. Its thermal solutions product technologies were developed for seismic data processing applications.

Seismic Products

Geoscientists use seismic data primarily in connection with the exploration, develop ment and production of oil and gas reserves to map hydrocarbon bearing formations and the geologic structures that surround them. The Company provides many of the components of seismic data recording systems, including data acquisition systems, geophones, hydrophones, multi-component sensors, seismic leader wire, geophone strings, connectors, seismic telemetry cables and other seismic related products. Its marine seismic products help steer streamers while being towed and help recover streamers if they become disconnected from the vessel.

The Company has developed permanently installed high-definition reservoir characterization products for ocean-bottom applications in producing oil and gas fields. It also produces a retrievable version of this ocean-bottom system for use on fields where permanently installed systems are not appropriate or economical. Seismic surveys repeated over selected time intervals show dynamic changes within the reservoir and can be used to monitor the effects of production. In addition, it produc! es seismic borehole acquisition systems which employ a fiber optic augmented wireline capable of high data transmission rates. These systems are used for several reservoir characterization applications, including an application pioneered by it allowing operators and service companies to monitor and measure the results of fracturing operations.

The Company designs and manufactures power and communication transmission cable products for offshore applications and market these products to the offshore oil and gas and offshore construction industries. These products include a variety of specialized cables, primarily used in deepwater applications, such as remotely operated vehicle (ROV) tethers, umbilicals and electrical control cables. These products also include specially designed and manufactured cables, including armored cables, engineered to withstand harsh offshore operating environments. In addition, it designs and manufactures industrial sensors for the vibra tion monitoring, security and earthquake detection markets. The Company also design and manufacture other specialty cable and connector products, such as those used in connection with global positioning products and water meter applications.

Its seismic product lines consists of land and marine nodal seismic data acquisition systems, high-definition reservoir characterization products and services, geophones and hydrophones, including multi-component geophones and hydrophones, seismic leader wire, geophone string and acquisition system connectors, seismic telemetry cables, marine seismic cable retrieval and steering devices and specialized data acquisition systems targeted at conventional and niche markets.

The Company’s high-definition reservoir characterization products include the HDSeis product line and a suite of borehole and reservoir characterization products and services. Its HDSeis System is a high-definition seismic data acquisition syst em with architecture that allows it to be configured as a bo! rehole se! ismic system or as a subsurface system for both land and marine reservoir-monitoring projects. Its multi-component seismic product developments include an omni-directional geophone for use in reservoir monitoring, a compact marine three-component or four-component gimbaled sensor and special-purpose connectors, connector arrays and cases. Its products used in marine seismic data acquisition include its marine seismic streamer retrieval devices (SRDs). Its SRDs, which are attached to the streamer cables, contain air bags which are designed to inflate automatically at a given depth, bringing the severed streamer cables to the surface. It also produces seismic streamer steering devices, or birds, which are finlike devices that attach to the streamer cable. These birds help maintain the streamer cable at a certain desired depth as it is being towed through the water.

The Company competes with CGGVeritas, ION Geophysical, INOVA, Amphenol Corporation, Fairfield Indus tries, Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Avalon, Mitcham Industries, Inc. and Seismic Equipment Solutions.

Thermal Solutions Products

The Company thermal printers include both thermal imagesetters for graphics applications and thermal plotters for seismic applications. In addition, its thermal solutions products include direct-to-screen systems, thermal printheads, dry thermal film, thermal transfer ribbons and other thermal media. Its thermal imaging solutions produce images ranging in size from 12 to 54 inches wide and in resolution from 400 to 1,200 dots per inch. It markets its thermal imaging solutions to a variety of industries, including the screen printing, point-of-sale, signage, flexographic and textile markets. It also distributes private label dry thermal media for use in its thermal printers and direct-to-screen systems. In addition, the Company is engaged in efforts to develop new lines of dry thermal film and ribbon in order to improve the image quality of its media for use with printheads.

The! Company thermal solutions products include thermal imagesetters for graphics applications and thermal plotters for seismic applications. In addition, its thermal solution products include thermal printheads and thermal media products. It markets these products to a variety of industries, including the screen print, point of sale, signage and textile markets. It also sells these products to seismic customers.

The Company competes with KIWO USA, Inc., Colour Scanned Technology and iSys Group.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Geospace Technologies (Nasdaq: GEOS  ) reported earnings on May 2. Here are the numbers you need to know.

    The 10-second takeaway
    For the quarter ended March 31 (Q2), Geospace Technologies whiffed on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.