Over the past two days, the crude oil markets have been sort of an enigma, with both international and domestic benchmarks sliding 3% after last week's announcement of additional quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve. When governments and central banks adopt measures aimed at increasing monetary stimulus, price inflation will ensue and typically commodity prices spring higher. In the oil markets, this strategy played out until the markets were spooked midday yesterday, dropping 3% in less than a minute.
Why the sudden change of heart?
Quantitative easing has slowly been priced into the broad markets after investors followed the bread crumbs the Fed officials left, and although last week's announcement jolted the markets briefly higher, the same harmful GDP threats brought the commodity markets back down to late August levels. With the focus back on European debt worries and increasing uncertainty coming from China about its proposed stimulus, as well as increasing tension between China and Japan, traders are worried that the demand side of the equation will approach a cliff soon.
In additional to diminishing demand worries, the top OPEC oil-producing country in Saudi Arabia is announcing plans to boost oil in order to push international prices back down toward the $100-per-barrel mark.
A sharp decrease in crude prices will bring down with it a number of oil and gas companies, and this brief dip was no exception. A brief pullback can be a good time to take advantage of companies on your short list, and here are two that were valuable before the drop and present even better opportunities now.
Magnum Hunter Resources
Magnum Hunter was down 5.88% today, but this drop pales in comparison with the 20% rise the company has experienced over the past three months. The story here starts with Magnum Hunter's leaseholds in the oil-heavy Bakken/Three Forks formation, where the company has amassed 132,000 net acres of 95% liquid-yielding land, in addition to 26,000 net acres of Eagle Ford assets in South Texas.
Of course there are companies with a larger portion of the Bakken pie, including Continental Resources
Kodiak Oil and Gas
Another Williston Basin company that offers an attractive growth story and spilled 4.5% the past two days is Kodiak. Unlike Magnum Hunter or SandRidge Energy
Foolish bottom line
Decreasing crude prices are always a worry when investing in oil and gas E&Ps, but a great way to hedge the risk in this volatile industry is by finding extreme value plays with huge upside potential. I briefly discussed SandRidge Energy as a value play, but this company also has a solid plan in place to develop its vast resources at extremely low costs. This company is well on its way to being a huge success in the following years as it grows its cash flows and organically supplies its capital expenditure budget. For more information on this company, just click here for a detailed premium report on SandRidge Energy, as well as free updates every time important news affects the company.
Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.