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Whenever a sector or industry takes a beating -- such as the energy sector -- it's good to sift through the rubble looking for a diamond in the rough.

This is not a license to go out and buy the most hammered name in a sector, but eventually any given sector will be in favor again, and now is a good time to build your shopping list.

I want to take a look at the energy sector today. With crude oil down over a percent today and nearly 10% since last Friday, well-known names like Exxon Mobil (XOM) are being punished.

But where do you begin looking? That depends on your investing style. I like growth companies, and one favorite starting place in the energy sector is the Platts Fastest Growing Top 250 global energy companies annual report, of which the 2012 report has just been released.

Platts has been putting this report together for several years, and one thing emerging market investors will find handy is how easy they make it to dice the report by region or growth, and then compare it with previous years.

Top on the list, and to no one's surprise following the space, is Exxon Mobil, which has been number one from 2005 through to 2012.

Amongst the report's fastest-growing companies is a familiar name that last year was ranked fourth-fastest growing and 120th overall. This year Cairn India (OTCPK:CRNCY) topped the fastest-growing list with an overall ranking of 121st. Cairn’s three-year compound growth rate (CGR) of 120% this year compared with last year’s 117%.

Another name familiar to Emerging Money readers was China's CNOOC (CEO), ranked 10th-fastest growing this year after an impressive move higher from last year’s 28th slot. More impressive was CNOOC’s overall ranking year over year, moving from 38th in 2011 to 13th in 2012.

Not a bad showing with 70 oil and gas companies in the Asian region.

Bottom line: This is a great resource to begin doing some research in the energy sector, and creating a shopping list. Cairn’s website also has a wealth of information with management reports and company strategies. Just remember that the site exists to promote the company; put more stock into official filing reports than IR slide shows.

Note: Cairn's ADR is thinly traded and you may want to consider looking at this name on the London exchange.

Source: Sifting Through The Rubble Of The Energy Sector