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This company's mascot may be a bear, but it should be a bull. Kodiak Oil & Gas (UNKNOWN: KOG.DL ) has amazing growth prospects ahead of it.
One of Kodiak's pilot projects, the Polar play, is already online and producing plenty of oil. This upcoming quarter investors will get an update to see how much oil the wells are pumping out ~3 months after production started.
The Polar project has yielded some great results so far. Initial production out of the 12 wells was 2,549 boe/d (+90% oil) in the first 24 hours and was 977 boe/d after the first 30 days.
Even more exciting would be if Kodiak's Smokey pilot project could produce similar results. Next quarter management will give investors an update on how Smokey is doing, which should be a bullish catalyst. This could enable Kodiak to beat its 2013 production guidance of 30,000-34,000 boe/d.
Both of these pilot projects are ways Kodiak is testing 12 well downspacing on a 1,280 acre pad, which could boost the amount of drilling locations and proven reserves. Currently Kodiak sees 15 years of drilling locations on its 196,000 net acres in the Bakken. Kodiak has 144 million barrels of proven oil equivalent reserves that are 86% oil.
Kodiak's pilot projects will significantly push up its production levels in the near term and will boost its free cash flow. That free cash flow can be invested back into the business to purchase more land, operate more rigs, and bring more wells online.
Good catalysts, but watch the debt
Kodiak has big short term catalysts and a long growth runway, which makes this company worth taking a look at as a growth play. Production is up over 2,000% since 2010, which is expected to keep growing at high double- to triple-digit rates.
Kodiak's strong levels of growth have come at the price of its balance sheet. Kodiak has $1.55 billion in senior notes due in 2019-2022 and has withdrawn $600 million from its $1.1 billion credit line. This still leaves Kodiak with $500 million in liquidity, and it has plenty of time to pay off its debt.
Kodiak is seeing strong free cash flow growth, so it should be able to easily pay off its debt and still have plenty of liquidity. Regardless, investors should always be aware of a company's balance sheet.
Another company that is guiding for growth throughout the decade is Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL ) .
Noble's management is guiding for double-digit growth in its cash flow, production, and reserves over the next decade. Through 2012 to 2017, Noble is expecting to see 18% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) in production, 21% CAGR in reserves, and 24% CAGR in cash flow.
This means that by 2017 it will have $7.4 billion in discretionary cash flow, 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent in reserves and a production rate of 540,000 boe/d. If Noble can achieve this level of growth that's all well and good, but it needs to be able to deliver.
In the DJ Basin play, Noble sees production rising from 90,000 boe/d in 2012 to 110,000 boe/d by the end of 2013. By the end of 2017 Noble is guiding for around 265,000 boe/d, which will be achieved by completing 200 more wells in 2017 than in 2013.
This is where 45% of Noble's capex is being spent in 2013 and how Noble is going to achieve its five year growth guidance. Going beyond that Noble has several interesting projects in both the US and abroad.
Other plays with huge potential
One play it recently found is in the Gulf of Mexico Big Bend, and Troubadour area. Noble sees potential reserves between 50-100 million barrels of oil equivalent with 75% of that being oil. Production won't start until 2015, but currently Noble is accessing the area and planning on building out the necessary infrastructure.
In the Eastern Mediterranean Noble has the Leviathan project, which will supply domestic markets (like Israel) with gas starting in 2016, with future plans to possibly export LNG.
In America Noble thinks it might have found the next great play. In northeastern Nevada Noble sees the potential for 190-1,400 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Noble has two wells planned for the second half of 2013 after it completed two 3D seismic tests. Noble has 350,000 net acres in the area with high hopes. Investors should pay attention to what management has to say about those two wells.
Noble's five and ten year guidance seems very doable based on all the plays it has a stake in and the possibility of northeastern Nevada yielding great results.
Both of these companies have big catalysts coming up in the next few quarters, with Kodiak giving investors an update on its pilot projects and Noble updating investors on the DJ Basin and Nevada.
Both of these companies offer great long-term growth potential, and I would recommend both of them to investors who want exposure to growth.
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