7 Bakken Plays That Will Rise 50%

by: Kraken

Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., (NYSEMKT:NOG) an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas properties in the Williston Basin Bakken play, the United States.

Northern announced that they would be spending $325 million in 2012 to build an addition 44 wells. This is higher than the amount they added in 2011, which stands at 37. The company is also growing acreage and recently acquired 7600 additional acres meaning the total acre count for the company now stands at 160,000 acres in the Bakken. Not only is the company growing, but the rate of grow is actually set to increase. Northern is a great investment as the valuation is still relatively cheap for a stock with so much grow ahead. The stock has a forward P/E of 17.6.

Continental Resources, Inc. (NYSE:CLR) engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas primarily in the north, south, and east regions of the United States.

Continental will spend $950 million in 2012 to develop its Bakken wells. If Continental can end the year with its targets then that would mean the company will be producing over 70,000 BOE daily. Continental's management says that the majority of the land has not even been developed yet. This means that as the company continues to invest in the Bakken, long term shareholders will be able to reap the benefits once more and more wells are added. The stock has a forward P/E of 21.

Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (NYSE:KOG) engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development, and production of natural gas and crude oil in the United States. The company's oil and natural gas reserves and operations are primarily concentrated in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana, and the Green River Basin of Wyoming and Colorado.

While KOG might have a high valuation, it's due to the rapid growth its set to experience over the coming years. Kodiak has increased its acreage in the Bakken to a 150,000 acres. Kodiak expects to end the year of 2012 with 30,000 BOE/pd, which is almost triple its current production levels. The majority of Kodiak's 2012 budget will go to expansion, while the smaller portion will go to development of existing infrastructure. This tells us that the company is clearly focused on growth. The stock has a forward P/E of 10.

Georesources, Inc., (NASDAQ:GEOI) an independent oil and gas company, engages in the acquisition, re-engineering, development, and exploration of oil and gas reserves in the Southwest, Gulf Coast, and the Williston Basin areas of the United States.

Georesources has 46,000 acres in the Bakken. The company's most recent quarter was strong. They reported a net income increase by 23%. Revenue increased by 40%. The great thing about Geo is its pristine balance sheet compared to its peers. The company has no debt and while they did issue equity to pay off some borrowing, I believe management did the right thing. Management is trying to grow without being leveraged and that's a positive sign to see. Some companies get caught up with growth and will take on a large amount of debt to finance growth. In the long-run, this is a poor strategy. It's nice to see Geo's management break away from this. The stock has a forward P/E of 15.

Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (NASDAQ:AXAS), an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, development, exploration, and production of oil and gas in the United States and Canada.

This small cap has plenty of potential and is trading at a reasonable price as well.

The company has over 26 million BOE in proven reserves. Based on oil and natural gas prices, the stock's market cap is around its reserve level. What makes AXAS such an interesting company is that even though it's small, it is very diversified. The company has plenty of acreage in Eagle Ford and Bakken. However, the majority of the capital is being invested in Bakken where the returns are higher for the company. The stock has a forward P/E of 11.

EOG Resources, Inc., (NYSE:EOG) together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas and crude oil primarily in the United States, Canada, the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, and the People's Republic of China.

While EOG has not been able to max out its production levels, I still believe it's a great investment for multiple reasons. EOG is not just a Bakken play, but also an Eagle Ford play as well. With EOG's size you get strong diversification. While more than 70% of the company's revenue comes from Eagle Ford, the company has begun to increase its presence in the Bakken. EOG is one of the largest players with a market cap of $28 billion, which makes it more stable than its peers. The stock has a forward P/E of 21 and pays a small dividend of .6%.

Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE:OAS), through its subsidiary, Oasis Petroleum LLC, engages in the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas resources primarily in the Williston Basin.

Oasis has been increasing production and decreasing cost. It is continuously investing in additional wells so it can extract oil at a faster rate and lower cost. Oasis is also delivering its results by consistently meeting expectations for the previous 3 quarters. Oasis has plenty more growth ahead. They believe their Indian Hills area, where they lease 23,000 acres, will yield strong production numbers. The company plans to invest 20% of their budget to drill that acreage. The stock has a forward P/E of 15.5.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.