For the fist time in decades the United States is producing more crude oil than it imports. There are several different ways to profit from the oil boom, but some companies are more direct plays than others.. The following two stocks have fairly concentrated interests in their respective industries.
All the crude oil we pump out needs to be stored or transported. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE:KMP) is a North American pipeline and energy storage company. According to Reuters, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners owns interest in about 30,000 miles of pipeline and 180 terminals. As more oil is found and drilled Kinder Morgan Energy Partners stands to profit from building or owning interest in the new pipelines that will be built to help transport the overflow of crude and liquid petroleum products. Master limited partnerships like Kinder Morgan Energy Partners also have an advantageous tax structure that allows them to return almost 90% of it's income to investors in the form of quarterly or monthly distributions. Kinder Morgan Energy Partner's distribution has also increased steadily over the last few years.Keeping in line with this trend, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners plans to increase their distribution by 7% next year.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners recently reported this third-quarter earnings, one highlight of the financials was that earnings-per-share was up over 100% from $0.3 in to $0.64 in the same period last year. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners also pays a handsome 6% distribution
Crude oil is not ready for consumption in its natural state, it has to be refined. According to it's company website, Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) is the fourth largest refiner in the U.S. and the largest refiner in the Midwest. Marathon's strategic location gives them access to two of the three largest oil producing states, North Dakota and Texas. Marathon Petroleum also has its own transportation network which cuts costs because it means it doesn't need to rely on another company to transport crude to its 7 strategically located refineries. Since June 2011 Marathon Petroleum has also returned $1.7 billion to shareholders via a share buyback program and recently authorized an additional $2 Billion in share repurchases through September 2015. Furthermore, as of June 30th Marathon Petroleum had $1.3 billion left in buybacks from its previous repurchase authorization. .
According to a press release from Marathon Petroleum on November 25, it secured its position as an anchor shipper for Enbridge Energy Partners (NYSE:EEP) $2.6 billion Sandpiper Project. Enbridge Energy Partners owns pipelines and storage facilities for crude oil and liquid petroleum products. Enbridge Energy Partners also makes money by storing energy products on contract for third parties. The Sandpiper Project will expand Enbridge Energy's presence in the North Dakota System. Marathon Petroleum will fund 37.5% of the Sandpiper project in exchange for about 25% equity interest in the North Dakota System. This project gives Marathon Petroleum a unique opportunity to profit from North Dakota's shale oil boom.
America's oil boom is just starting. With America using more domestic oil than it has in decades, domestic oil firms stand to profit. The oil boom is only just beginning and will surely generate huge profits for investors over the next few years.
Fool contributor Jesse Atlas has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.