Apache (NYSE:APA) has had some great luck in terms of its well drilled on the Beryl Field in the North Sea. The well has been described by some as "prolific" and it seems that Apache has stumbled on a well that is producing at the highest initial production rate seen in years. This is a very good example of one of the successful exploration attempts that the company has made of late and is very good news for the company indeed.
In addition, I feel that this is a discovery that has the potential to pave the way for further discoveries that will do the company credit in the years to come. More and more investors are being drawn to the North Sea because of discoveries like this. Understandably, the company is very excited about the future prospects of the well, as am I. To me, it seems that things can only get better from here on out, and that this represents the company's growth and a chance for it to become a serious player in the market.
The Beryl Field represents some of the assets that Apache picked up from Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). Initially, I felt that the assets could not be worth very much at all of Exxon was getting rid of them, but Apache has proven me wrong with its great success in the region.
This news makes me think that Apache is really getting into the swing of things, which is very good news for investors that are interested in oil and gas companies such as this one. The company, which has numerous assets across the world, has a very "bright future" and is therefore one of the better options to keep in mind for your portfolio as things stand at present. Recently, the company's international assets have caught the attention of many.
In addition to its activities in the North Sea, the company has a stake in the Western Australia Wheatstone LNG project, which is primarily operated by Chevron (NYSE:CVX). This is a project that holds a lot of promise for all of the companies concerned and makes Apache, as far as I am concerned in any case, a very important asset to keep track of.
The announcement that Apache as well as its subsidiaries and partners would get involved in the Wheatstone project was only announced fairly recently. The company claims that this "demonstrates Apache's ongoing commitment to supply the growing market for LNG in Asia from the company's abundant natural gas resource".
Although all of this is very positive for the company, it will need help in keeping up its success.
Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK) is suffering the effects of the decrease in the oil and gas industry. As a result, it is finally responding to the criticisms that investors have leveled against it for some time. Essentially, the company is cutting the pay, as well as the perks that its directors are receiving. However, this does not go as far as addressing the main concern in the minds of investors, namely whether or not Chesapeake can reign in the spending habits of its CEO McClendon. This apparent inability to control its own Executive Chief paints the company in quite a bad light.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and Total (NYSE:TOT) are also suffering, although the reasons are not the same. Rather than executive pay, these two companies are facing a far larger problem that is out of their control. Basically, both will no longer be able to operate at the Immingham Oil Terminal on the Humber in northeast England in the near future. Essentially, the very expensive tenancy agreement that these companies have with Associated British Ports Holdings has been terminated. The financial consequences of this are vast. This is an issue to keep track of in the near future.
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) is also one of the more unstable options in the market at the moment. The reasons I say this is because I don't know whether to look on the company favorably because of its recent oil discoveries in Mozambique, or to treat it with great suspicion because of the $25 billion scandal it is currently involved in. The best advice I can give here is to watch the stock closely to see which way the tides turn in the short run. In the long run, a more thorough analysis will be required.
BP's (NYSE:BP) Cherry Point refinery in Washington is back in action and full production will resume by the end of the month, as motor fuel is already being produced by the refinery the prices of gas in the area have decreased significantly even reaching an all-time low. This is a good step forward for BP, which will now be able to resume full production there any day now. The company can no longer claim that it was not the cause for the marked increase in gas prices recently, as the restart caused those prices to drop.
If you are looking for a reliable stock to back that seems to have a consistent plan for the future, you should look into purchasing Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG) stock. There are a number of reasons why. For example, unlike the other companies that are facing problems at present, Cabot is a company that is not scared of change. Cabot seems to know where it's going, even if its insistence on continuing to mine natural gas is a questionable one considering the dip in process. You never know: maybe it knows something that we don't and prices will increase soon.
News is good for Apache, but with the competition also making headlines for positive reasons, Apache will need to keep on top of its game to continue its success. Even if it can't, the short term here looks great. Apache has been trading around $82 recently. Consider the above information, I foresee Apache trading closer to $95 in the next 6 to 12 month time frame.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.