There's nothing particularly new about referring to Calgary as Canada's version of Houston. After all, it's home to an array of large and small energy companies, including Suncor (NYSE:SU), Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE:CNQ), and Talisman Energy, all of which conduct their quests for oil and gas in their home country and elsewhere.

But Calgary's also the headquarters of Gran Tierra Energy (NYSE:GTE), a growing -- and still relatively young -- operator that never turns a drill bit to the right in its home country. Indeed, despite its Canadian base and a listing in the U.S., all of the company's operating activities are confined to Latin America, namely Argentina, Colombia, and Peru.

Along with early success in the search for hydrocarbons and its somewhat unusual geographic orientation, Gran Tierra is characterized by a strong preference for operating its own projects. For instance, in Argentina, it has eight properties in the Noroeste Basin and is the operator for seven. In Peru, it's the operator of both its license areas. And in Colombia, it operates all nine of its interests.

But has it done so successfully? It is a bit too soon to call. Sure, the revenue, income, and production were up by nice percentages last quarter. But we're still talking about net production of just 3,400 barrels a day. Therefore, it looks like a promising young'un, but we'll just have to wait till it fills out before we'll know for sure.

I do think it's important that the company's management team has experience in many of the world's major producing areas, and with a host of operators, including EnCana (NYSE:ECA), Marathon (NYSE:MRO), and Occidental (NYSE:OXY). If you want to expand the Latin part of your energy holdings beyond, say, Petrobras (NYSE:PBR), you might want to check back on this one when it's running with the bigger guys.  

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does, however, urge you to email your questions or comments. Petrobras is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool has a disclosure policy that has been checked out on all the continents.