This article is part of our Rising Star Portfolios series.

Last week, ATP Oil & Gas (Nasdaq: ATPG) announced it had acquired 40%-50% ownership of five licenses (pending government approval) in Israel's Levantine Basin. Known as Leviathan, the field was first drilled successfully in June 2010 by Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) and two Israeli partners, in what might be the biggest deepwater find of the past decade.

While it is unclear how much this deal would add to ATP's reserves it does prove one thing: ATPG's deepwater experience is valuable. ATPG has drilled the fourth most deepwater wells in the Gulf behind only Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) (NYSE: RDS-B), BP (NYSE: BP), and Anadarko (NYSE: APC).

Deepwaterwellbores

Source: Company Presentation, BOEM website.

If ATPG's experience can get it into deepwater plays ahead of rivals, these skills will be a boon for the company for years to come.

So things are looking up for ATP Oil & Gas. This development, coupled with the news that permits are beginning to be issued in the Gulf again, should have the market reevaluating drilling stocks. If you want to follow the current events surrounding ATP Oil & Gas, you can use our free My Watchlist tool to get all the news. Click here to add ATP Oil & Gas to your watchlist.

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