A recent email exchange with an investor buddy of mine went something like this:
Jeff: What's the best energy company you know of between, say, $1 billion and $20 billion in market value? All sub-sectors count.
Toby: The best-run company? The best value?
Jeff: How about one of each?
Gee, thanks for the softball question there, Jeff. Very well. I'll give it a shot.
While the market capitalization caveat might seem broad, it actually constrains my choices a good deal. ExxonMobil
Among E&Ps, Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake management has a taste for excess, exemplified by CEO Aubrey McClendon's ridiculous wine collection, several thousand bottles of which were to be auctioned last month. For best-run -- in which conservatism, shareholder-friendliness, and good governance are all key factors -- I would opt for Range Resources, Southwestern Energy
Turning to the midstream players, I've been partial to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners
When it comes to oilfield services, you know I love my offshore drillers. Tops would be Noble
Another standout in the services realm is Core Laboratories