Oil production in America is booming. We're producing more oil than we have in nearly two decades. That's fueling strong returns for oil producers, including several lesser-known oil companies that aren't yet on investors' radars. Here's a brief look at five oil stocks for 2014 that aren't yet household names that could be poised for a big year thanks to America's energy boom.
Big position in the Eagle Ford Shale
Penn Virginia (NYSE:PVA) expects to grow its oil production by as much as 85% in 2014. The company already had a strong showing in 2013 after it made a transformation acquisition to bolster its position in the Eagle Ford shale. Because of that deal, Penn Virginia now has 67,000 net acres and 890 future drilling locations in the Eagle Ford, with a plan to grow those to 100,000 net acres and 1,000 drilling locations in the future. That oil rich position has Penn Virginia set to have another strong showing in 2014.
Profiting off the Permian
The Permian Basin has been around since the 1920s. However, new areas of the legacy oil field are being unlocked thanks to horizontal drilling. That has oil stocks such as Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) poised for great things in 2014 and beyond.
Pioneer Natural Resources holds about 900,000 acres in the Spraberry/Wolfcamp areas of the Permian Basin. The company recently drilled some really great wells, which bodes well for its opportunities in the years ahead. Overall, Pioneer Natural Resources believes it's sitting on more than 7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas in its Permian Basin acreage. That's an unbelievable oil position and one reason investors need to keep an eye on Pioneer Natural Resources in 2014.
Concho Resources is another solid oil stock for 2014. Like Pioneer, it has a vast oil-rich position in the Permian Basin. As a result, Concho recently decided to accelerate its drilling program, which will now see the company doubling its oil production by 2016. That accelerated growth should fuel solid returns for Concho Resource investors over the next few years.
Emerging oil stocks
The last two oil stocks are two emerging names that could have big years in 2014. Both Abraxas Petroleum (NASDAQ:AXAS) and Carrizo Oil & Gas (NASDAQ:CRZO) have interesting positions in some of America's emerging oil and gas basins.
Abraxas Petroleum has acreage in developing plays such as the Bakken, Eagle Ford, and Permian Basin, as well as emerging basins such as the Powder River Basin and the Duvernay in Canada. The company is focusing all of its capital to drill for oil and liquids, which has resulted in a 57% jump in its liquids production since 2011. Recent non-core asset sales have enabled Abraxas Petroleum to bolster its drilling program. As a result, 2014 could be the year that Abraxas Petroleum emerges as an appealing growth stock for oil investors.
It's a similar story for Carrizo Oil & Gas. The company has positions in the Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, and Niobrara. Its focus on developing its oily plays has it on pace to deliver 47% oil production growth in 2013. Its 2014 plan has Carrizo continuing to focus a lot of attention on drilling in the oil-rich Eagle Ford, as well as drilling the liquids-rich Utica Shale and the oily Niobrara. Put it all together, and Carrizo Oil & Gas is well positioned for a successful 2014.
America's oil boom is creating a major opportunity for smaller oil companies like these five to achieve really stunning growth. That sent all five of these oil stocks soaring higher in 2013, with more gains possible in 2014.
Fool contributor Matt DiLallo and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.