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Over the past couple of years, many of the large independent oil and gas companies have had one goal: shed some ancillary assets to focus on a few select shale formations here in North America. For the most part, this goal has been accomplished, so now it is time to grow again. With much of the prime real estate taken in these shale plays, it may be time to start looking at gobbling up the acreage of a smaller company, or the entire company itself. Three Bakken producers -- Enerplus Resources Fund (NYSE: ERF ) , Triangle Petroleum (NYSEMKT: TPLM ) , and Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE: MHR ) -- fit the bill of potential buyouts.
Aside from having very attractive acreage in the heart of the Bakken, these companies also have one element that makes their holdings so attractive to big players like Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR ) and Whiting Petroleum (NYSE: WLL ) . Find out what it is by tuning into the video below.
What will be 2014's version of Core Labs?
The Motley Fool's chief investment officer really nailed his 2013 top stock pick with oil services company Core Labs, which shot up a spectacular 75% this year alone! Now, he has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that has the potential for a great year ahead. You can find out which stock it is in the special report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Simply click here and we'll give you free access to the name of this