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The Easy Way to Collect a Monthly Paycheck from America’s Energy Boom

Photo credit: Flickr/peddhapati.

Most of us work hard for our money. That's especially true in the energy industry, which comes with high pay but a heavy workload. While many Americans would love to cash in on the boom by landing an energy-sector job, there is an easier way to get paid by the industry. In fact, I've found a great way to collect a monthly paycheck courtesy of the energy boom, without any work involved.

The secret? Simply buy Enerplus (NYSE: ERF  )  stock and let it do all the heavy lifting. Then you can just sit back and relax as the company sends a dividend check each month.

Drilling down into Enerplus
Two things stand out when looking at Enerplus: first, it's actually a Canadian company; second, it is its using two key shale plays, the Bakken and Marcellus, to generate significant income for shareholders. In fact, the company's monthly dividend payments add up to about a 4.5% yield on an annual basis. That's in stark contrast to Bakken peers Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE: MHR  ) and Halcon Resources (NYSE: HK  ) , which don't pay their investors a dime despite heavy shale fueled production.

As the map below shows, about half of Enerplus' production comes from the U.S., with the Bakken and Marcellus shales being the two assets that fuel its American production.

Source: Enerplus Investor Presentation (Link opens a PDF).

Enerplus plans to invest about 40% of its 2014 drilling capital into the Bakken shale, while another 20% is to be spent in the Marcellus. The company has plenty of shale-fueled growth left after this year: Enerplus can drill about 145 more wells in the Bakken and 240 more wells in the Marcellus. Further growth opportunities in the Bakken come via the potential to space future wells closer together, as well as to drill wells into additional oil-producing zones such as the Three Forks formation. This means Enerplus should be fueling income from American shale plays for years to come.

The long wait
There is a simple difference between Enerplus and U.S. peers Magnum Hunter Resources and Halcon Resources. Enerplus pays its shareholders a steady income, while investors will need to wait a long, long time before seeing any dividend income from those other companies. That's despite operating in many of the same energy-producing basins.


Photo credit: Flickr/Images Money.

For example, about 65% of Magnum Hunter's capital will be spent in the Marcellus this year, while another 13% of its growth spending will be used to drill new wells in the Bakken. These two shale plays are critical to fueling the company's projected production surge from 14,831 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2013 to 35,000 barrels of oil per day this year. However, what this capital won't fuel is any sort of dividend to Magnum Hunter Resources' investors. 

It's a similar story at Halcon Resources. The company plans to spend half of its $950 million drilling budget in the Bakken shale next year. That capital, along with the money it's spending in two other shale plays, is expected to yield 61% production growth for the company. However, Halcon plans to reinvest all of its capital on more wells. While this growth plan could eventually make investors a lot of money, there is a risk that the plan fails and shareholders are left empty-handed.

Investor takeaway
There are a number of ways to invest in the American energy boom, with both Magnum Hunter Resources and Halcon Resources being solid candidates. However, neither company is likely to initiate dividends anytime soon. Meanwhile, investing in Enerplus is an easy way to collect a monthly income stream from the U.S. energy boom without having to do any work.

The secret IRS energy dividend loophole
You already know record oil and natural production is changing the lives of millions of Americans. It's your opportunity to make a whole lot of money. But what you probably haven't heard is that the IRS is actually encouraging investors to support our growing energy renaissance by offering you a tax loophole to invest in some of America's greatest energy companies. You can take advantage of this profitable opportunity by grabbing your brand-new special report "The IRS Is Daring You To Make This Energy Investment." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 24, 2014, at 2:31 PM, drdrab wrote:

    Not only ERF, but if you like Canadian companies there also LTS, BTE, TBE, SGY, WCP, CPG, VET and many more with higher dividends. Some have both Canadian and USA operations and other only Canadian.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2014, at 12:10 PM, nmlobo6 wrote:

    "For example, about 65% of Magnum Hunter's capital will be spent in the Marcellus this year"

    I think you're confusing the Marcellus with the entire Appalachia region. Utica is a 1/3 of the entire budget.

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Matt DiLallo

Matthew is a Senior Energy and Materials Specialist with The Motley Fool. He graduated from the Liberty University with a degree in Biblical Studies and a Masters of Business Administration. You can follow him on Twitter for the latest news and analysis of the energy and materials industries:

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