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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.
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|
|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.