With investors bombarded with information on the performance of some of the larger, better-known energy stocks, one has been quietly making headway, leading the pack in some areas of exploration. I’m talking about independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company Devon Energy (DVN).
Devon recently increased its 2012 capital budget from $5.1 billion to $6.4 billion, laying plans to make use of the additional capital for exploration and further oil and gas leasehold acquisitions, and particularly for crude oil in the U.S. The company is aggressive planning to spend $35.4 billion through 2016 toward exploration and production. It is this aggressiveness, along with its willingness to search in areas off the beaten path for oil, that makes me a huge fan of Devon.
With good reason, many energy producers have been targeting the Basin’s Wolfcamp formation (shale formation located in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico), drilling the area for decades. However, Devon has chosen to gain access in another region, exploiting the midland section of the Basin in the Cline formation. Planning to drill 15 wells in 2012, the company has been building up a position of nearly 500,000 net acres prospective for the Cline Shale. Devon estimates resources there may total 3.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Other operators in the Cline Shale formation include Energen (EGN), Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Berry Petroleum (BRY), Gulfport Energy (GPOR).Another energy company, Range Resources (RRC) recently reported the production results of a well drilled and completed on its 100,000 net acres exposed in this play, To continue reading, click here.