Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now

The media's fascination with round numbers on the major indices – especially the Dow Jones Industrials (NYSE: DIA) – is one of the great mysteries of the investing game.

When the Dow breaks through an important milestone, there tend to be celebrations (remember Dow 10,000?). But whenever the venerable index fails to surmount a big, round number, there is usually disappointment.

The difference may be as little as twenty-five or thirty Dow points – or less than one quarter of a percent. But for some reason, breaking above what amounts to a line in the sand is good while failing to do so is bad.

Milestones Aren't What They Used To Be

Back in the old days, the big, round numbers meant more for at least a couple of reasons. First, the absolute levels of the indices were much lower. Thus, the Dow moving the 100 points from 4,900 to above 5,000 was a bigger deal than the 100 points needed to overtake 16,000.

In addition, investing in an index used to be tough. Back in the early 1980's mutual funds had barely taken root as an investment tool for the public. So, there was no passive vs. aggressive discussion (because there wasn't much in the way of index funds). And to be sure, there wasn't an ETF to replicate every index known to man. No, index investing wasn't a thing yet.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: CVR Refining LP (CVRR)

CVR Refining, LP, incorporated on September 17, 2012, is an energy limited partnership with refining and related logistics assets that operates in the mid-continent region. As of January 8, 2013, the Company owned two of only seven refineries in the underserved Group 3 of the PADD II region of the United States. It owns and operates a 115,000 barrels per day (bpd) coking medium-sour crude oil refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas and a 70,000 bpd medium complexity crude oil refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma capable of processing 20,000 bpd of light sour crude oils (within its 70,000 bpd capacity). In addition, it also controls and operates supporting logistics assets, including approximately 350 miles of owned pipelines, over 125 owned crude oil transports, a network of strategically located crude oil gathering tank farms, and over six million barrels of owned and leased crude oil storage capacity. On December 15, 2011, the Company’s subsidiary Coffeyville Resources, LLC (Coffey ville Resources) acquired Wynnewood Energy Company, LLC, formerly Gary-Williams Energy Corporation.

The Company’s Coffeyville and Wynnewood refineries are located approximately 100 miles and 130 miles from the crude oil hub at Cushing, Oklahoma. As of January 8, 2013, the Company gathered approximately 50,000 bpd of price-advantaged crudes from its gathering area, which includes Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. The Company also has 35,000 bpd of contracted capacity on the Keystone and Spearhead pipelines that allows it to supply price-advantaged Canadian and Bakken crudes to its refineries. As of January 8, 2013, the Company had 145,000 bpd pipeline system that transports crude oil from its Broome Station tank farm to its Coffeyville refinery, as well as a total of 6 million barrels of owned and leased crude oil storage capacity, including approximately 6% of the total crude oil storage capacity at Cushing.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Susan J. Aluise]

    CVI is structured into two Managed Limited Partnerships (MLPs): CVR Refining (CVRR) and the nitrogen fertilizer unit CVR Partners (UAN). CVR Energy owns 71% of CVR Refining and 53% of CVR Partners. This is an interesting play in the energy sector, given UAN’s lower cost of ammonia and urea ammonium nitrate and CVRR’s edge as an MLP refiner.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Icahn Enterprises (NASDAQ: IEP) led all MLPs in 2013 with a capital gain of 136 percent. IEP is an unconventional MLP involved in nine primary business segments: Investment, Automotive, Energy, Gaming, Railcar, Food Packaging, Metals, Real Estate and Home Fashion. IEP invests in energy-related companies such as CVR Refining (NYSE: CVRR) and American Railcar Industries (Nasdaq: ARII), but nearly 60 percent of its assets are invested in the automotive sector and in investment funds. Since 2000, IEP has achieved an average annual return of 23.8 percent, and units currently yield 4.4 percent. MLP Profits subscribers had a chance at a 58 percent capital gain between the Sept. 9 Buy recommendation for IEP and its Dec. 16 liquidation from the Aggressive Portfolio.

  • [By alicet236]

    CVR Refining LP (CVRR) Reached the Five-Year Low of $22.11

    The prices of CVR Refining LP (CVRR) shares have declined to close to the five-year low of $22.11, which is 42.2% off the five-year high of $35.98. CVR Refining LP is owned by two Gurus we are tracking. Among them, zero have added to their positions during the past quarter. Zero reduced their positions. CVR Refining LP is an independent downstream energy limited partnership with refining and related logistics assets that operates in the mid-continent region. CVR Refining LP has a market cap of $3.25 billion; its shares were traded at around $22.11 with a P/E ratio of 5.20 and P/S ratio of 0.52. The dividend yield of CVR Refining LP stocks is 14.65%.

  • [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

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: SM Energy Co (SM)

SM Energy Company (SM Energy), incorporated in 1915, is an independent energy company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (referred to as oil, gas, and NGLs) in onshore North America. The Company’s operations are focused on five operating areas in the onshore United States. In December 2011, the Company closed on its acquisition and development agreement with Mitsui E&P Texas LP (Mitsui), an indirect subsidiary of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., which transferred 12.5% of its working interest in certain non-operated oil and gas assets in South Texas. In August 2011, the Company sold approximately 15,400 net operated acres in LaSalle and Dimmit Counties, Texas to Talisman Energy USA Inc. and Statoil Texas Onshore Properties LLC (collectively, Talisman/Statoil). In June 2011, the Company completed the divestiture of certain assets located in its Mid-Continent region. In January 2011, it completed the divestiture of certain assets located in its Rocky Mountain region. In December 2013, SM Energy Co announced that it had closed its previously announced Anadarko Basin divestiture package.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had working interests in 1,353 gross (741 net) productive oil wells and 2,928 gross (1,060 net) productive gas wells. All of its drilling activities are conducted using independent drilling contractors. As of December 31, 2011, it had 415.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent of proved undeveloped reserves.

South Texas & Gulf Coast Region

Operations for the South Texas & Gulf Coast region are managed from its office in Houston, Texas. The Company’s operations in South Texas & Gulf Coast Region focus primarily on its Eagle Ford shale program. Its acreage position covers a portion of the western Eagle Ford shale play, including acreage in the oil, the NGL-gas, and the dry gas windows of the play. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it had approx! imately 250,000 net acres in the play, which consisted of an approximate 165,000 net acre operated position in Webb, Dimmit, and LaSalle Counties, Texas and an approximate 85,000 net acre non-operated position in Maverick, Dimmit, LaSalle, and Webb Counties, Texas. As of December 31, 2011, it had approximately 196,000 net acres in the play. During 2011, the production was 69.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Rocky Mountain Region

Operations for the Company’s Rocky Mountain region are managed from its office in Billings, Montana. During 2011, the Company focused on Bakken/Three Forks formations in the North Dakota portion of the Williston Basin, where it had approximately 87,000 net acres.

Mid-Continent Region

Operations for the Company’s Mid-Continent region are managed from its office in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Company’s operations in the Mid-Continent region are primarily focused on the horizontal develo pment of the Granite Wash formation in western Oklahoma. Its Mid-Continent region also manages its Woodford shale assets. In 2011, its Mid-Continent region’s production was 31.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. Proved reserves during 2011 were 234.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

ArkLaTex Region

The Company’s focus on the ArkLaTex region has been the horizontal development of its Haynesville shale acreage. In 2011, production in its ArkLaTex region was 30.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Permian Region

Operations for the Company’s Permian region are managed from its office in Midland, Texas. The Company’s Permian region covers western Texas and eastern New Mexico. Its primary area of development focus in this region is the Wolfberry tight oil play. During 2011, the region’s production was 11.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Grace L. Williams]

    A pair of insiders at SM Energy (SM) also caught our eye. General Counsel David Copeland bought 3,500 shares for $252,400 and President and COO Javan Ottoson conducted his first transaction and bought 1,000 shares for $71,900. InsiderScore notes:

  • [By Jake L’Ecuyer]

    Shares of SM Energy Company (NYSE: SM) were down 17.47 percent to $73.93 after the company reported downbeat quarterly earnings. KeyBanc downgraded the stock from Buy to Hold.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Competitors such as Sandridge Energy Inc. (SD), Penn Virginia Corp. (PVA), Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX) also have a negative ROE. An alternative could be Cabot Oil &Gas Corp. (COG), Range Resources Corp. (RRC), SM Energy Co. (SM), Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) or Whiting Petroleum Corp (WLL), Berry Petroleum Co. (BRY), but for investors searching for a higher ratio, Continental Resources Inc. (CLR) will be the best option.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Midstates Petroleum Company Inc (MPO)

Midstates Petroleum Company, Inc. is an independent exploration and production company. The Company’s areas of operation include Pine Prairie, South Bearhead Creek/Oretta, West Gordon and North Cowards Gully. Its Upper Gulf Coast Tertiary trend extends from south Texas to Mississippi across its operating areas in central Louisiana. As of December 31, 2011, it had accumulated approximately 77,100 net acres in the trend. As of December 31, 2011, its development operations are focused in the Wilcox interval of the trend. The Company’s business is conducted through Midstates Petroleum Company LLC, as a direct, wholly owned subsidiary. In September 2012, the Company and its subsidiary acquired all of Eagle Energy Production, LLC’s producing properties as well as their developed and undeveloped acreage primarily in the Mississippian Lime oil play in Oklahoma and Kansas.

As of December 31, 2011, it drilled 57 gross wells in the trend, approximately 93% of. Duri ng the year ended December 31, 2011, its average daily production were 7,499 barrels of oil equivalent per day. As of December 31, 2011, it had a total of 974 gross vertical drilling locations, including 115 related to acreage under option, in the trend. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s properties included approximately 92 gross active producing wells, 95% of, which it operate, and in which it held an average working interest of approximately 99% across its 77,100 net acre leasehold. During March 31, 2012, the Company continued its drilling program, spudding 14 wells, of which nine are producing, three are being drilled and two are waiting to be completed. As of December 331, 2011, it averaged daily production is approximately 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Pine Prairie

The Company’s properties in the Pine Prairie area represented 46% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company’s average produ ction from these properties was 3,793 net barrels of oil equ! ivalent per day, consisting of 2,143 barrels of oil, 565 barrels of natural gas liquidations (NGLs) and 6,508 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 92.2% and 68.9%, respectively, on its acreage in Pine Prairie area. The Company has an additional 194 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 10-acre spacing.

South Bearhead Creek/Oretta

The Company’s properties in the South Bearhead Creek/Oretta area represented 20.3% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company’s average production from these properties was 4,367 net barrels of oil equivalent per day, consisting of 2,196 barrels of oil, 438 barrels of NGLs and 10,396 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. During 2011, these wells produced at an average daily rate of 2,413 net barrels of oil equivalent per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 100% and 78.5%, respectively, on its acreage in South Bearhead Creek/Oretta area. The Company has an additional 43 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

West Gordon

The Company’s properties in the West Gordon area represented 21% of its total proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company’s average production from these properties was 1,002 net barrels of oil equivalent per day, consisting of 617 barrels of oil, 68 barrels of NGLs and 1,901 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 95.9% and 71.2%, respectively, on its acreage in West Gordon area. The Company has an additional 74 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

North Cowards Gully

The Company’s prop erties in the North Cowards Gully area represented 11.5% of ! its total! proved reserves as of December 31, 2011. During 2011, the Company’s average production from these properties was 149 net barrels of oil equivalent per day consisting of 103 barrels of oil, 11 barrels of NGLs, and 211 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. As of December 31, 2011, it held an average working interest and average net revenue interest of 94.3% and 71.2%, respectively, on its acreage in North Cowards Gully area. The Company has an additional 95 identified drilling locations in this area based primarily on 40-acre spacing.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By The Energy Report]

    Onshore, my favorite play is the Utica Shale, in which my top plays are Gulfport Energy Corp. (GPOR) and Rex Energy Corp. (REXX). Both companies have highly economic acreage, solid balance sheets and industry-leading production growth. I also like Rex Energy for its likely production upside. Another one of my favorite plays is the Eagle Ford Shale, in which my top plays are Penn Virginia Corp. (PVA) and Sanchez Energy Corp. (SN). Both have core acreage in the region, improving operating results and experienced management. Another favorite name of mine is Midstates Petroleum Co. Inc. (MPO). The company has assets in three solid plays and a management team with a long successful track record. Those are my favorite names at this time.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    One energy player that’s starting to move within range of triggering a major breakout trade is Midstates Petroleum (MPO), an independent exploration and production company focused on the application of modern drilling and completion techniques to oil-prone resources. This stock is off to a rough start in 2013, with shares off by 30%.

    If you look at the chart for Midstates Petroleum, you’ll notice that this stock has recently come out of a nasty downtrend that took shares from over $8 to its low of $4.26 a share. Shares of MPO have started to find some buying interest over the last month at $4.44, 4.26 and $4.48 a share, as the stock has held those levels on recent pullbacks. This could be signaling that a bottom is forming for MPO, since the downside volatility looks over. Shares of MPO are now rebounding strong off those support levels and are quickly moving within range of triggering a major breakout trade.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in MPO if it manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $4.82 a share and then once it takes out its 50-day moving average at $5.30 a share with high volume. Look for a sustained move or close above those levels with volume that hits near or above its three-month average action of 542,939 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then MPO will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6 to its 200-day moving average of $6.54 a share.

    Traders can look to buy MPO off any weakness to anticipate that breakout and simply use a stop that sits right below some key near-term support levels at $4.48 or $4.26 a share. One can also buy MPO off strength once it takes out those breakout levels with volume and then simply use a stop that sits a comfortable percentage from your entry point.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Pioneer Exploration Inc (PIEX)

Pioneer Exploration Inc. (Pioneer) is an exploration-stage company. The Company is primarily engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mining properties.

As of August 31, 2012, the Company has not generated any revenue. As of August 31, 2012, the Company does not have any manufacturing facilities, operations, suppliers, products, or customers.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Metrospaces Inc (OTCMKTS: MSPC), LEEP INC (OTCMKTS: LPPI) and Pioneer Exploration Inc (OTCMKTS: PIEX) have been getting some attention lately due to either promotions or share trading activity. Unfortunately, there are still unanswered questions about these three “dark horse” stocks which make it more difficult for investors and traders alike to evaluate. With that in mind, let’s try to shine the light on what we know about all three small caps:

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Karoon Gas Australia Ltd (KRNGF)

Karoon Gas Australia Ltd (Karoon Gas) is an Australia-based exploration company. The Company is principally engaged in the hydrocarbon exploration and evaluation in Australia, Brazil and Peru. The Company operates in three segments: Australia, Brazil and Peru exploration. The Company’s Australia segment is involved in the exploration and evaluation of hydrocarbons in four offshore permit areas: WA-314-P, WA-315-P, WA-398-P and WA-482-P; The Company in its Brazil segment is involved in the exploration and evaluation of hydrocarbons in five offshore blocks including Block S-M-1037, Block S-M-1101, Block S-M-1102, Block S-M-1165 and Block S-M-1166. The Company under its Peru exploration segment is involved in the exploration and evaluation of hydrocarbons in two blocks in Peru, including Block 144 (onshore) and Block Z-38 (offshore). Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks gave ground in early Friday trading, with banks broadly lower after overnight losses in the U.S., where investors worried that better-than-expected data would prompt the Federal Reserve to roll back stimulus soon. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) lost 0.4% to 5,178.30, as National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) fell 1.8%, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) lost 0.8%, and Macquarie Group Ltd. (AU:MQG) (MCQEF) retreated 1.3%. Among the resource shares, losses for gold both in New York and in early Asian electronic trade helped send Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) down 1.9% and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) off 4.5%, though Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) held the drop to 0.4%. Oil prices managed a modest gain, however, resulting in a 0.2% rise for Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) and Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR) (KRNGF) , while Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (AU:WPL)

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks seesawed in early Monday trade, with gains for miners and energy names helping support the market, as the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) sat 0.1% higher at 5,325.90 after changing direction several times. Official Chinese data showing manufacturing holding its growth rate in October appeared to help some miners, as did gains for some commodity prices. Shares of Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) rose 0.5%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) added 0.7%, Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) advanced 1%, and Whitehaven Coal Ltd. (AU:WHC) improved by 1.9%. Likewise, an advance for gold futures sent Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) rallying 3.4%, and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) up 2.9%. Energy shares also traded higher, with Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) up 1.3%, and Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (AU:KAR) (KRNGF) adding 1.7%. On the downside, retailers were mostly lower, with David Jones Ltd. (AU:DJS) (DVDJF)

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A)

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell), incorporated on February 5, 2002, is an independent oil and gas company. The Company owns, directly or indirectly, investments in the numerous companies constituting Shell. Shell is engaged worldwide in the principal aspects of the oil and gas industry and also has interests in chemicals and other energy-related businesses. The Company operates in three segments: Upstream, Downstream and Corporate. Upstream combines the operating segments Upstream International and Upstream Americas, which are engaged in searching for and recovering crude oil and natural gas; the liquefaction and transportation of gas; the extraction of bitumen from oil sands that is converted into synthetic crude oil, and wind energy. Downstream is engaged in manufacturing; distribution and marketing activities for oil products and chemicals, in alternative energy (excluding wind), and carbon dioxide (CO2) management. Corporate represents the key support functions, comprisin g holdings and treasury, headquarters, central functions and Shell’s self-insurance activities. In October 2011, the Company bought a marine terminal on Canada’s Pacific Coast as a possible site for a liquefied natural gas export terminal. In January 2012, the Company’s 50% owned, Australia Arrow Energy Holdings Pty Ltd acquired all of the shares in Bow Energy Ltd. In January 2014, Royal Dutch Shell plc completed the acquisition of Repsol S.A.’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) portfolio outside North America.

Upstream International manages the Upstream businesses outside the Americas. It searches for and recovers crude oil and natural gas, liquefies and transports gas, and operates the upstream and midstream infrastructure necessary to deliver oil and gas to market. Upstream International also manages Shell’s entire liquefied petroleum gas (LNG) business, gas to liquids (GTL) and the wind business in Europe. Its activities are organized primarily within geograph ical units, although there are some activities that are mana! ged across the businesses or provided through support units.

Upstream Americas manages the Upstream businesses in North and South America. It searches for and recovers crude oil and natural gas, transports gas and operates the upstream and midstream infrastructure necessary to deliver oil and gas to market. Upstream Americas also extracts bitumen from oil sands that is converted into synthetic crude oil. Additionally, it manages the United States-based wind business. It comprises operations organized into business-wide managed activities and supporting activities.

Downstream manages Shell’s manufacturing, distribution and marketing activities for oil products and chemicals. These activities are organized into globally managed classes of business, although some are managed regionally or provided through support units. Manufacturing and supply includes refining, supply and shipping of crude oil. Marketing sells a range of products including fuels, l ubricants, bitumen and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for home, transport and industrial use. Chemicals produces and markets petrochemicals for industrial customers, including the raw materials for plastics, coatings and detergents. Downstream also trades Shell’s flow of hydrocarbons and other energy-related products, supplies the Downstream businesses, markets gas and power and provides shipping services. Downstream additionally oversees Shell’s interests in alternative energy (including biofuels, and excluding wind) and CO2 management.

Projects and Technology manages the delivery of Shell’s major projects and drives the research and innovation to create technology solutions. It provides technical services and technology capability covering both Upstream and Downstream activities. It is also responsible for providing functional leadership across Shell in the areas of health, safety and environment, and contracting and procurement.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    As an example, in 2009 Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) and ExxonMobil teamed up on the Gorgon natural gas project in Australia. The Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields are estimated to contain 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which will supply natural gas to the growing Asia Pacific market for decades. Chevron has invested more than $18 billion, and the total project cost has risen to $52 billion (40 percent over budget). That’s a lot of capital spent on something that hasn’t yet shown up as production, but once it does it will produce for many years.

  • [By Fede Zaldua]

    Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) has never cut its dividend in over 70 years and its current dividend yield, at 5.2%, is one of the highest among peers, as its the company's main way to returning cash to shareholders. The company has distributed over $11 billion of dividends in the last twelve months, including the scrip dividend, which accounted for 44% in the second quarter this year.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Vermilion Energy Inc (VET)

Vermilion Energy Inc. (Vermilion), is engaged in the business of oil and natural gas exploitation, development, acquisition and production in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and the Netherlands. As of December 31, 2011, Vermilion holds an average working interest of 68.5% in 395,616 (271,067 net) acres of developed land, 582 (396 net) producing natural gas wells and 319 (198 net) producing oil wells in Canada. Vermilion holds an 83.6% working interest in 193,017 acres of developed land in the Aquitaine and Paris Basins. Vermilion’s Netherlands assets consist of eight onshore concessions and one offshore concession located in the northern part of the country. In October 2013, Vermilion Energy Inc, through its wholly owned subsidiary acquired Northern Petroleum Nederland B.V. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Oil exploration and production company Vermillion Energy (VET) raised its monthly dividend 7.5% to 21.50 cents (Canadian) per share, and is expected to be payable on February 17.
    VTE Dividend Yield: 1.52%

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Enbridge Energy Partners LP (EEP)

Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. (the Partnership) owns and operates crude oil and liquid petroleum transportation and storage assets, and natural gas gathering, treating, processing, transportation and marketing assets in the United States. The Company was formed by its Enbridge Energy Company, Inc. (General Partner), to own and operate the Lakehead system, which is the United States portion of a crude oil and liquid petroleum pipeline system extending from western Canada through the upper and lower Great Lakes region of the United States to eastern Canada. A subsidiary of Enbridge Inc. (Enbridge), owns the Canadian portion of the Mainline system. Enbridge, which is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is a provider of energy transportation, distribution and related services in North America and internationally. Enbridge is the ultimate parent of its General Partner. As of December 31, 2011, its portfolio of assets included the approximately 6,500 miles of crude oil gathering and transportation lines and 32 million barrels of crude oil storage and terminaling capacity; natural gas gathering and transportation lines totaling approximately 11,500 miles; nine natural gas treating and 25 natural gas processing facilities with an aggregate capacity of approximately 3,255 million cubic feet per day, including plants; trucks, trailers and railcars for transporting natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil and carbon dioxide, and marketing assets, which provide natural gas supply, transmission, storage and sales services. The Company conducts its business through three business segments: Liquids, Natural Gas and Marketing.

Liquids Segment

The Company’s Lakehead system consists of crude oil and liquid petroleum common carrier pipelines and terminal assets in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions of the United States. The Mainline system serves refining centers in the Great Lakes and Midwest regions of the United States and the Provin ce of Ontario, Canada. Its Lakehead system spans a distance ! of approximately 1,900 miles, and consists of approximately 5,100 miles of pipe with diameters ranging from 12 inches to 48 inches, and is transporter of crude oil and liquid petroleum from Western Canada to the United States. In addition, the system has 61 pump station locations with a total of approximately 900,000 installed horsepower and 72 crude oil storage tanks with capacity of approximately 13.9 million barrels. The Mainline system operates in a segregation, or batch mode, allowing the transport in excess of 50 crude oil commodities, including light, medium and heavy crude oil, condensate and NGLs.

The Company’s Mid-Continent system is located within PADD II and is consisted of its Ozark pipeline and storage terminals at Cushing and El Dorado, Kansas. Its Mid-Continent system includes over 430 miles of crude oil pipelines and 17.3 million barrels of crude oil storage capacity. Its Ozark pipeline transports crude oil from Cushing to Wood River where it delivers to ConocoPhillips’ Wood River refinery and interconnects with the Woodpat Pipeline and the Wood River Pipeline. The storage terminals consist of 91 individual storage tanks ranging in size from 58,000 to 575,000 barrels. Of the 17.3 million barrels of storage capacity on its Mid-Continent system, the Cushing terminal accounts for 16.1 million barrels. A portion of the storage facilities are used for operational purposes, while it contracts the remainder of the facilities with various crude oil market participants for their term storage requirements. Contract fees include fixed monthly capacity fees, as well as utilization fees, which it charges for injecting crude oil into and withdrawing crude oil from the storage facilities.

The Company’s Mid-Continent system operates under month-to-month transportation arrangements and both long-term and short-term storage arrangements with its shippers. Its North Dakota system is a crude oil gathering and inter state transportation system servicing the Williston basin in! North Da! kota and Montana, which includes the Bakken and Three Forks formations. The crude oil gathering pipelines of its North Dakota system collect crude oil from points near producing wells in approximately 22 oil fields in North Dakota and Montana. Its North Dakota system is made at Clearbrook to its Lakehead system and to a third-party pipeline system. As of December 31, 2011, its North Dakota system included approximately 240 miles of crude oil gathering lines connected to a transportation line, which is approximately 730 miles long, with a capacity of approximately 210,000 barrels per day. Its North Dakota system also has 21 pump stations, one delivery station and 11 storage facilities with an aggregate working storage capacity of approximately 870,000 barrels. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it added 25,000 barrels per day of capacity from Berthold, North Dakota to the international border near Lignite, North Dakota.

Natural Gas Segment

The Company owns and operates natural gas gathering, treating, processing and transportation systems, as well as trucking, rail and liquids marketing operations. It purchases and gathers natural gas from the wellhead and delivers it to plants for treating and/or processing and to intrastate or interstate pipelines for transmission to wholesale customers, such as power plants, industrial customers and local distribution companies. As of December 31, 2011, it had nine active treating plants and 25 active processing plants, including two hydrocarbon dewpoint control facilities (HCDP) plants. Its treating facilities have a combined capacity, which approximates 1,240 million cubic feet per day while the combined capacity of its processing facilities approximates 2,015 million cubic feet per day, including 350 million cubic feet per day provided by the HCDP plants.

The Company’s natural gas business consists of East Texas system, Anadarko system and North Texas system. East Texas system includes approximately 3,900 miles of nat! ural gas ! gathering and transportation pipelines, eight natural gas treating plants and five natural gas processing plants, including two HCDP plants. Anadarko system consists of approximately 2,900 miles of natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines in southwest Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, one natural gas treating plant and 11 natural gas processing plants. North Texas system includes approximately 4,700 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and nine natural gas processing plants located in the Fort Worth basin. Its East Texas system is located in the East Texas basin. Natural gas on its North Texas system is produced in the Barnett shale area within the Fort Worth basin conglomerate. Its Anadarko system is located within the Anadarko basin.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s Elk City system includes one carbon dioxide treating plant and three cryogenic processing plants with a total capacity of 370 million cubic feet per day, and a NGL production capability of 20,000 barrels per day. It also includes its trucking and NGL marketing operations in its Natural Gas segment. These operations include the transportation of NGLs, crude oil and other products by truck and railcar from wellheads and treating, processing and fractionation facilities to wholesale customers, such as distributors, refiners and chemical facilities. In addition, its trucking and NGL marketing operations resells these products. Its services are provided using trucks, trailers and rail cars, pipeline capacity, fractionation agreements, product treating and handling equipment. Its trucking operations transport NGLs, condensate and crude oil from its processing facilities and from third party producers to its United States Gulf Coast customers. As of December 31, 2011, its fleet consisted of approximately 220 trucks and 375 trailers. Its trucking and NGL marketing operations are wholesale customers, such as refineries and propane distributors. Its trucki ng and NGL marketing operations also market products to whol! esale cus! tomers, such as petrochemical plants.

Marketing Segment

The Company’s Marketing segment transacts with various counterparties to provide natural gas supply, transportation, balancing, storage and sales services. Its Marketing business uses third-party storage capacity to balance supply and demand factors within its portfolio. Its Marketing business pays third-party storage facilities and pipelines for the right to store gas for various periods of time. These contracts may be denoted as firm storage, interruptible storage or parking and lending services. Its Marketing business leases third-party pipeline capacity downstream from its Natural Gas assets under firm transportation contracts. This capacity is leased for various lengths of time and at rates.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Next week’s issue will tackle the three remaining questions: one on MLP equivalents in Canada and Australia, one on Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP)  and TC Pipelines (NYSE: TCP), and a third query on Access Midstream Partners (NYSE: ACMP), Crestwood Midstream Partners (NYSE: CMLP) and Mid-Con Energy Partners (Nasdaq: MCEP).

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    The total market cap of the ANGI is $190 billion, and the one-, three- and five-year total returns are 29 percent, 52 percent and 249 percent. The index yield is 6 percent.

    The Alerian Large Cap MLP Index (ALCI)  is another subset of the AMZ. It’s an equal-weighted basket of the 15 largest energy MLPs by market capitalization, all of which are also in the AMZ. The top performer since the most recent quarterly rebalancing has been Magellan Midstream Partners (NYSE: MMP), which comprises 7.4 percent of the index at present. At the bottom since the latest rebalancing is Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP), at 6.47 of the overall index.

    The total market cap of the ALCI is $232 billion, and the one-, three- and five-year total returns are 20 percent, 39 percent, and 167 percent. The index yield is 5.1 percent.

  • [By Elliott Gue]

    Steve Halpern: Now, another company in the sector is Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP), and you specifically recommend that as a value play. Could you tell us a little about that company?

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    Midcoast Energy Partners (NYSE: MEP) is an Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE: EEP)-backed LP that went public on Nov. 7. The partnership is a pure-play US natural gas and NGL midstream business with a 39 percent controlling interest in Midcoast Operating, a limited partnership that owns a network of natural gas and NGL gathering and transportation systems, natural gas processing and treating facilities and NGL fractionation facilities primarily located in Texas and Oklahoma. Midcoast Operating also owns and operates natural gas, condensate and NGL logistics and marketing assets that support its gathering, processing and transportation business.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Emerge Energy Services LP (EMES)

Emerge Energy Services LP, incorporated on April 27, 2012, owns, operates, acquires and develops a diversified portfolio of energy service assets. The Company operates in two segments: Sand segment, and Fuel Processing and Distribution segment. Sand segment consists of mining and processing frac sand, a component used in hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. The Company’s frac sand facilities are located in New Auburn, Wisconsin, Barron County, Wisconsin and Kosse, Texas. Fuel Processing and Distribution segment consists of acquiring, processing and separating the transmix that results when multiple types of refined petroleum products are transported sequentially through a pipeline. The Company’s Fuel Processing and Distribution segment consists of its operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and Birmingham, Alabama.

Sand Segment

The Company’s Wisconsin sand reserves at its New Auburn and Barron facilities provide t he Company access to a range of sand that meets or exceeds all API specifications and includes a concentration of 16/30, 20/40 and 30/50 mesh sands. The Company’s New Auburn dry plant facility has a rated production capacity of 4,200 tons per day, or roughly 40 rail cars, and has on-site rail car loading facilities capable of loading up to approximately 10,000 tons of frac sand into rail cars per day. The Company also has 4.5 miles of existing rail track that connects its facility to the Union Pacific rail line and provides the Company with shipping access to all of the shale basins in the United States and Canada with direct access to areas of oil production in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and the western United States. The Company’s Barron facility consists of a sand mine and a wet plant on land. This facility has a rated production capacity of 8,800 tons per day, or roughly 80 rail cars, and has on-site rail car loading facilities capable of loading up to approximately 1 0,000 tons of frac sand into rail cars per day. The Company ! also mine frac sand at its facility in Kosse, Texas that is processed into a high-quality, 100 mesh frac sand, generally used in dry gas drilling applications.

Fuel Processing and Distribution Segment

The transmix industry consists of businesses that process and separate transportation mixture, which is the liquid interface, or fuel mixture, that forms when multiple types of petroleum products are transported sequentially through a pipeline. Pipeline operators send large batches of different fuel products (such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel) through the same pipeline, in sequence, to receiving terminals. The Company’s Fuel Processing and Distribution segment consists of its facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area and in Birmingham, Alabama, which are operated by Direct Fuels and AEC, respectively.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    As we reach the end of the first quarter, Tesla Motors (TSLA) is leading the pack with a massive 48% gain, followed by Emerge Energy Services LP (EMES) at 27%. Not too shabby given that the S&P 500 is barely positive on the year.

    My pick for 2014 — South African mobile phone giant MTN Group (MTNOY) is off to a slower start, down about 2%. But with nine months left in 2014, I expect MTNOY stock to make a serious run for the top spot. And in fact, in the month of March, it has been the second-best-performing stock in the contest after EMES.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    A friend of mine recently had $5,000 he wanted to invest, and asked what I thought about Emerge Energy Services (NYSE: EMES). He wasn’t familiar with how master limited partnerships are structured, or with the tax implications of investing in an MLP. With the tax season upon us, many of you are dealing with these issues right now. Some of you may be considering your first MLP. But you need to be sure you understand the trade-offs associated with MLP investing.

Best Gas Companies To Watch In Right Now: Twin Butte Energy Ltd (TBTEF.PK)

Twin Butte Energy Ltd. (Twin Butte) is a Canada-based junior oil and gas exploration and production company. The Company is engaged in the acquisition of, exploration for and the development and production of petroleum and natural gas properties in Western Canada. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it drilled a total of 125 (80.9 net) wells. Its Frog Lake property is located approximately 75 kilometers northwest of Lloydminster with lands. Its Freemont area is located 60 kilometers southeast of Lloydminster. During 2011, Twin Butte drilled 11 gross wells in Plains region. Production from its west central Alberta region was approximately 1,545 barrels of oil equivalent per day during 2011. Production from its Deep Basin region was approximately 593 barrels of oil equivalent per day during 2011. Effective September 30, 2013, the Company disposed a non-core, west central Alberta, gas asset. In November 2013, the Company acquired Black Shire Energy Inc. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MLP Trader]

    Here are the current top five companies in the list:

    CompanySymbolEV/BOEPD/NetbackPrice/NAVEV/DACFPinecrest(PNCGF.PK)53564%4.0XLightstream(LSTMF.PK)131753%4.5XNovus(NOVUF.PK)133290%4.1XZargon(ZARFF.PK)138664%5.6XTwin Butte(TBTEF.PK)155885%5.5X

    Of the larger companies, one that remains obstinately near the top of the list is Lightstream . Lightstream trades at 40% of its book value and a whopping 13.4% yield.