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In the past few months global equity markets rose on the hopes of an economic recovery. During that time crude oil prices also steadily increased. However, in recent weeks crude oil prices have shot up strongly with the Greek economic crisis and the war on Iran taking center stage again. While an attack on Iran is highly unlikely this year, the fear of disruptions to the global oil supply is causing oil prices to rise.

From an article titled Analysis: Oil price rise raises specter of global recession by Reuters:

(Reuters) – A jump in energy prices is jamming the slow-turning cogs of an economic recovery in the West, but that may be nothing compared to the economic shock an Israeli attack on Iran would cause.

Oil rose to a 10-month high above $125 a barrel Friday, prompting responses from policymakers around the world including U.S. President Barack Obama, watching U.S. gasoline prices follow crude to push toward $4 a gallon in an election year.

Europe may have more to fear as its fragile economic growth falters and Greece, Italy and Spain look for alternative sources to the crude they currently import from Iran, where an EU oil embargo, intended to make Iran abandon what the West fears are efforts to develop nuclear weapons, comes into force in June.

Oil stocks are performing well this year with the rise in gasoline prices. The following table lists the exchange-listed foreign oil industry-related ADRs with their year-to-date returns and current dividend yields:

S.No. Company Ticker Stock price as of Feb 24, 2012 Current Dividend Yield YTD % Change Country
1 Samson Oil and Gas SSN $3.01 N/A 54.36% Australia
2 CGG Veritas CGV $31.20 N/A 34.37% France
3 China National Offshore Oil-CNOOC CEO $225.25 2.71% 28.95% China
4 ENSCO ESV $59.40 2.36% 26.60% United Kingdom
5 Ecopetrol EC $56.32 3.37% 26.50% Colombia
6 Petroleo Brasileiro S A PBR $30.08 4.13% 21.05% Brazil
7 PetroChina PTR $150.13 3.57% 20.77% China
8 Petrobras Energia PZE $15.08 2.95% 19.49% Argentina
9 Eni E $47.11 5.96% 14.15% Italy
10 Sasol SSL $52.87 3.19% 11.54% South Africa
11 TOTAL TOT $56.46 5.35% 10.47% France
12 Statoil STO $28.19 4.08% 10.07% Norway
13 BP BP $46.99 4.09% 9.94% United Kingdom
14 China Petroleum & Chemical SNP $113.04 3.14% 7.61% China
15 Royal Dutch Shell - A Shares RDS.A $73.54 4.57% 0.62% United Kingdom
16 Royal Dutch Shell - B Shares RDS.B $74.61 4.50% -1.84% United Kingdom
17 YPF YPF $33.00 10.28% -4.84% Argentina
18 Transportadora de Gas del Sur TGS $2.83 53.08% -5.67% Argentina

Disclosure: Long PBR

Source: Performance Of Foreign Oil Stocks Year To Date