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In the energy world, it's never much of a surprise when an oil company picks up natural gas assets or vice versa. But a coal company getting into the oil business? Now that's a rarity. This week, Natural Resources Partners (NYSE: NRP ) did just that. The company announced that it's taking a working interest in some of Abraxas Petroleums (NASDAQ: AXAS ) assets in the Bakken. While the $35 million purchase was not that large, it's a rare case where a coal company branches out into other natural resources.
Since Natural Resources doesn't have the access to the export markets like some of the larger players in the coal market, it actually makes sense for this coal company to branch out. In this video, Fool.com contributors Tyler Crowe and Aimee Duffy discuss why this kind of move could make sense for some domestic coal producers.
For investors looking to capitalize on a rebound in the U.S. coal market, exports are the name of the game. Nearly every major coal company in the US is looking for precious export capacity, and Peabody Energy is no exception. With big holdings in the U.S. as well as Australia, Peabody could be a prime candidate to fuel Asian coal demand. To learn more about Peabody's overseas opportunities, don't miss out on The Motley Fool's report on Peabody -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.