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What company pays out a huge, double-digit yield and is investing in high-growth shale assets? Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE ) of course.
Linn pays out a 10.9% distribution and needs consistent income to keep paying it out. One way Linn is going to both sustain and increase the payout is by investing in oil plays.
The Permian Basin offers great growth potential, and Linn currently produces 4,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the area with plans on drilling 300 more wells in the region over the next 4-5 years. The play is called East Goldman field, and Linn bought into the area with a $525 million acquisition.
So far there are 30 million barrels of oil equivalent in proven reserves, but management thinks that could increase by 24 million boe due to downspacing. Linn is now drilling on 10 acres instead of 40, which could increase reserves and the number of drilling locations.
The Permian Basin isn't the only play that Linn is invested in; it also has its eye set on the Jonah Field in Wyoming. Linn sees 650 locations to drill in the area with 1.2 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable resources.
Linn also has the Anadarko Salt Creek Joint Venture Play. It sees 1 billion gross recoverable barrels of oil in the play with current production at 1,600 bpd. Over the next 10 years Linn sees steady production growth, with net production doubling by 2016. One of the best parts of this play is it has a low decline rate of 7%, so cash flow stays steady.
Linn's investments into oil plays coupled with thousands of locations to drill will help push up growth for years to come and will enable it to maintain and raise its high payout ratio.
The sheriff is back in town
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP ) pays out a yield of 3.8% and has some interesting projects coming up. Conoco's investment in domestic plays is forecasted to increase production by 230,000 boe/d by 2017, which will help offset declines in its base assets.
Conoco also has several big international projects to help push up growth, such as the offshore Malaysia project. In 2012 the project was producing next to nothing, but by 2017 Conoco expects production to hit ~70,000 boe/d. This will give Conoco a whole new stream of cash flow.
Another international project Conoco has going on is its Norway project, which will produce an extra 60,000 boe/d by 2017. Combined, that is an additional 360,000 boe/d of production, which will translate into a larger cash flow. That cash flow can be used to further increase production and increase its payout.
Another company with a large dividend and growth prospects is EV Energy Partners (NASDAQ: EVEP ) , which is switching from conventional to unconventional plays to find growth.
Looking for NGL
EV Energy is investing in the Utica, with 177,000 net working interest acres in the region that EV Energy is exploring in a joint venture with Chesapeake and Total. The Utica is home to plenty of dry natural gas, but EV Energy is looking for profitable forms of energy. This is why the JV purchased land that has plenty of liquid drilling locations.
In the area there are 54,000 net acres of wet gas plays, 79,000 net acres of volatile oil, and 44,000 net acres of other forms of energy (such as dry gas and black oil). The JV plans on fully utilizing the acreage with 870 wells permitted, 526 wells drilled, and 125 wells currently online.
Currently nine rigs are up and running, and those rigs are expected to complete 540 wells in 2014. Better drilling techniques such as drilling more stages with fewer clusters have resulted in better initial production rates. That allows the JV to maximize each of the 540 wells coming online and boost cash flow.
This will significantly increase EV Energy's cash flow as more wells come online and will allow for more money to be devoted to increasing production and its 8% distribution.
Most investors relate high yielding stocks to having no growth potential, which is why they pay out big dividends, much like like big tobacco. But that isn't always the case, as these two very high yielding MLPs have growth potential due to strategic investments in shale plays. Conoco, as well, is both utilizing domestic shale plays and international assets to provide income and dividend growth for years to come.
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