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The Top 5 Oil and Gas Plays of 2012

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Turkana County, the Bakken Shale Play, and Eagle Ford are some of the best plays on the list.

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Eagle Ford, South Texas

Eagle Ford is potentially the next Bakken. It's one of the most active plays in the US right now. And what the majors and juniors are playing with is 7,500 in total acreage, five producing wells, two more wells being drilled, and the potential for 100 wells. This year, oil production has increased to some 300,000 bpd (as of August).

Natural gas is also a major Eagle Ford offering. Last year, it produced 914 million cubic feet of natural gas, though that has dropped slightly for this year.

So far, drilling seems to have had even better results than in Bakken. And there is a great deal of confidence and optimism. Enough so that Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) is planning to shift its primary focus from Bakken to Eagle Ford and spend one-third of its operating budget there. Right now Marathon is producing around 40,000 net barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day and plans to more than double this next year. It's already doubled production this year (and, incidentally, seen its profits jump 11% in the first quarter).

The biggest producer is EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG), putting out about 110,000 boe/day and holding reserves of around 1.6 billion boe.
Analysts think Eagle Ford could end up out-producing the Permian Basin in west Texas - and soon.

Mediterranean Plays

The Levant Basin in the Mediterranean has an estimated 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, and around 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil. And the area has seen a flurry of activity recently.

Between 25 and 33 billion cubic feet of this gas is in Israeli waters. The rest is carved up between Greek-held Northern Cyprus (which is a bit problematic), Syria, and Lebanon.

Of course, along with this potential comes some uncomfortable geopolitics; on one hand among Israel, Lebanon and Syria; on the other hand between Israel, Turkey, and the Greek Cypriots.

The first new natural gas field in the region is expected to begin full-scale production this year, with two additional fields coming on-line over the next six years.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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