After spending most of the past year at a mediocre three-star rank, EOG Resources (NYSE: EOG) has impressed enough top-performing members of our 170,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community to break into the four-star level. A total of 662 members have given their opinion on the oil and gas firm, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

As EOG Resources continues to make a push toward a more liquids-weighted portfolio of assets, more investors are seeing a better potential for profits from oil rather than natural gas. Along those lines, the company reached a milestone in the second quarter by generating more of its revenues from oil, condensate, and natural gas liquids compared to natural gas for the first time in its history.

Other energy companies such as Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK), Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN), and SandRidge Energy (NYSE: SD) have made similar moves to focus more on oil as natural gas prices have remained weak for an extended period. And comments from Marathon Oil (NYSE: MRO) reflect the shift that's taking place as its head of exploration isn't expecting improvement in natural gas anytime soon.

EOG plans to continue shedding some of its noncore natural gas assets to help fund an increase in capital expenditures aimed at capitalizing on some of its drilling opportunities. And applying techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to oil drilling is helping EOG and others like Brigham Exploration (Nasdaq: BEXP) to tap into more onshore oil plays that could give a boost to U.S. oil production.

The company has reported strong results from its drilling program in the Barnett shale and plans to drill more than double the number of wells in the Eagle Ford shale next year than it did in 2010 -- the same area where Petrohawk Energy (NYSE: HK) is placing more of its focus. With EOG Resources making progress on its shift while maintaining a strong balance sheet, many CAPS members like the direction it's headed.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his lawnmower with a cupholder for liquid refreshment on the move. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Chesapeake Energy is an Inside Value recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Devon Energy.

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