While there are still a handful of trading sessions remaining, I think I can safely say that 2007 was a very good year for energy investors. The entire sector is up nearly 30% year-to-date, roughly 10 times the broader market's return. So pat yourself on the back if you made the Foolish decision to include some energy exposure in your portfolio. Now, let's move on to the more important task at hand -- getting a handle on 2008.
Because forecasting the future price of oil or natural gas is utter folly, I'm left to take most of my cues from what the companies themselves are saying about the near future. A good place to start is to have a look at the preliminary forecasts of some exploration and production (E&P) companies. We'll start small, and work our way up to the behemoths.
Big, bigger, best?
Just this week, mid-cap Quicksilver Resources
The industry giants have slated somewhat higher spending boosts than Devon. ConocoPhillips
The energy ecosystem
So what does this E&P roundup tell us about the outlook for energy services firms? Well, it certainly implies that a diversified service provider like Schlumberger
With the hunt for the next great gas play in full swing, 2008 is all about catering to the E&Ps targeting unconventional resources. This means that if you're looking at a land driller, its rig fleet had better offer significant directional/horizontal drilling capabilities; I've already indicated which driller has maneuvered its way into my heart. Aside from the drillers, anyone who can help to map these unconventional reservoirs or to enhance their production should be well-positioned going into the new year.
In that vein, Transocean
Shares of Bolt Technology