The 25 Largest Natural Gas Producers

Natural gas production is booming -- so much so that some investors worry that natural gas could be the most dangerous investment in energy.

I disagree, but investors must realize that the huge growth in production is keeping natural gas prices really low, and there will probably be pain before there are large gains. That said, there are good opportunities in natural gas for investors willing to look.

Getting to the point, the Natural Gas Supply Association released a paper on the largest U.S. natural gas producers. The data was interesting enough that I reproduced the top 25 here.

Rank

Company

Q2 Production (MMcf/Day)

Q1 Production (MMcf/Day)

Year Ago (MMcf/Day)

1 ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) 3,842 3,904 3,909
2 Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK  ) 2,575 2,703 2,497
3 Anadarko (NYSE: APC  ) 2,326 2,412 2,324
4 Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN  ) 2,029 1,964 1,982
5 Encana (NYSE: ECA  ) 1,864 1,801 2,240
6 BP (NYSE: BP  ) 1,833 1,905 1,875
7 ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) 1,651 1,589 1,822
8 Southwestern Energy (NYSE: SWN  ) 1,347 1,277 1,077
9 Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) 1,299 1,270 1,317
10 Williams Energy (NYSE: WMB  ) 1,203 1,155 1,099
11 EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG  ) 1,114 1,134 1,069
12 Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-B  ) 903 1,003 1,145
13 Apache (NYSE: APA  ) 880 858 675
14 Petrohawk Energy* 841 743 599
15 Occidental (NYSE: OXY  ) 761 734 681
16 El Paso Energy (NYSE: EP  ) 629 630 526
17 Ultra Petroleum (NYSE: UPL  ) 627 600 590
18 QEP Resources (NYSE: QEP  ) 626 657 554
19 Newfield Exploration (NYSE: NFX  ) 516 503 564
20 EXCO Resources (NYSE: XCO  ) 489 395 321
21 EQT Resources (NYSE: EQT  ) 482 446 281
22 Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE: COG  ) 474 404 318
23 Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL  ) 378 382 414
24 Range Resources (NYSE: RRC  ) 361 430 279
25 Pioneer Natural (NYSE: PXD  ) 337 325 334

Source: Natural Gas Supply Association. 
*Petrohawk Energy was acquired by BHP Billiton in July.

These stocks are a good place to start your research, but they're not formal recommendations by any means. Natural gas is changing the face of energy in North America. If you're looking for a stock idea to profit from it, check out The Motley Fool's free report, "The Only Energy Stock You'll Ever Need." In it, Fool analysts detail a company that will benefit from the natural gas boom and pays a dividend. Grab your own copy.

Fool contributor Dan Dzombak holds no position in any company mentioned. He goes by @DanDzombak on Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of El Paso, Ultra Petroleum, Range Resources, and Devon Energy. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron, Range Resources, Chesapeake Energy, and Ultra Petroleum and writing puts in Southwestern Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (16)

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 11, 2011, at 6:30 PM, Brettze wrote:

    I must admit that natural gas stocks look tempting to me but you have to remember several things.. Natural gas is relatively clean but it is not thermally clean.. It means that it add heat to our enviroment like all other fuels. It is heat energy stored deep in Earth that is being combusted and released into the atmopshere.. It is like walking into a hot sweaty kitchen.. We can tolerate some thermal pollution but it is best to pick alternate energy stocks... Alternate energy producers do not exploit energy from deep in the ground.. We exploit natural forms of energy already up in the air here.. It is free but we have to expect to invest more in alternate energy infrastructures needed to capture the natural energy flows that always exist forever in form of wind and sunlight.. They are inexhaustible and easy to scale.. We will still consume fossil fuels for certain applications that cannot use natural energy flows. that is for sure.. But time is now for us to shift our focus on energy investments toward natural energy flows away from locked in ground energy flows. Our good Lord intends this to be used on a limited and controlled manner not on a wildly capitalistic manner.. Time for us to grow up to be mature energy stewards now! It is bad enough that many fossil fuel producers are recklessly using fracking techniques to crack up hard rock formations deep in the crust to free up trapped hydrocarbons.. without really thinking through what it can do to our Earth crust.. it can fracture our crust uncontrollably afterwards and can lead to unimaginable natural disasters. If you think sinkholes is bad, wait until even worse and new names of natural disasters start happening. I may be sounding like wild to you but you know already that we cannot keep on producing ever more and more hydrocarbons right out of deep crust forever.. We have no choice but to slow down and start shifting toward wind and solar now! We need all the help we can for solar and wind energy. Energy conservation stocks is another attractive investment that has gone ignored for way too long.. Energy conservation can be big corporations and create many jobs..in addtion to solar and wind energy. Energy conservation trumps everyting that is related to energy.. Energy conservation is energy in itself in a inverted way. We may view energy conservation as a minus for jobs but the opposite is true. We must be aggressive with energy conservatoin as the top priority in our energy policies. now!

    Energy investments is getting way too much attention ever since which is not good for our economy. We must shift our attention elsewhere away from energy stocks..

  • Report this Comment On September 12, 2011, at 1:33 PM, madmilker wrote:

    Brettze ....did you know fifteen cargo ships pollute as much as 760 million automobiles....

    and if those rich @ holes want the American consumers to still buy all that foreign crap....

    they are gonna have to do something about that...

    if not....

    the American consumer will get so tight with a George Washington (dollar) their breath will smell like sh!! and they squeak when they walk....

    and if happens....

    you ain't gonna have to worry about putting gas in your automobile....

    you will be feeding a mule a bucket of oats.....

    Do you know how to plant a garden?

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