The Permian Basin has been fueling America since the 1920s. The legacy Texas oil basin has produced a stunning total of 29 billion barrels of oil in its lifetime -- an amount equal to the current total proved U.S. oil reserves. That said, the Permian Basin still has a lot of oil to left to give. Here are five great focused ways to play the Permian's next oil boom.
Everything is bigger in Texas
Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) is one of the leading advocates for the Permian Basin's future potential. It sees the Spraberry/Wolfcamp formations of the Permian Basin representing the world's second-largest oil field. Pioneer Natural Resources believes producers can recover 50 billion barrels of oil equivalent from this part of the Permian, which is a real game changer for America as that's nearly twice the amount of oil and gas than can be recovered from the Eagle Ford Shale. Pioneer Natural Resources has one of the best positions in the play at 900,000 acres, from which it believes it can draw 7 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO) has a leading pure-play position in the Permian Basin, with 630,000 net acres. That position provides the company with tremendous growth opportunities. In fact, Concho recently announced that it is accelerating its growth plan and now expects to double production by 2016. The company sees that oil-rich production growth yielding great margins and significant cash flow.
Top-tier Permian position
While Apache (NYSE:APA) isn't as focused on the Permian Basin as others on this list, it is the No. 1 driller in the play and certainly worthy of attention. Apache has been refocusing its portfolio in order to pursue its rich North American liquids position, which is led by its massive 1.6 million net acres in the Permian Basin. Apache has more than 30,000 known locations that it can drill in the region and believes it has nearly 3.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent potential in the play. Bottom line, Apache is very well positioned to profit from this next Texas oil boom.
Concentrating on the Permian
While smaller in size and scale, Laredo Petroleum (NYSE:LPI) offers investors very concentrated access to the Permian Basin. Laredo Petroleum has 141,230 net acres focused in the Midland Basin portion of the play, providing it access to multiple producing zones including the Wolfcamp and Cline formations. The company believes it's sitting on resource potential that is 10 times its current proved reserves. Looking ahead, Laredo Petroleum believes it can grow its Permian Basin production by 30%-35% yearly through 2016, which is an even faster annual rate than Concho Resources.
A Permian player to watch
Another focused Permian Basin operator worth a closer look is Clayton Williams Energy (NYSE:CWEI). Giving credit where it's due, I have to thank a Twitter follower for alerting me to the potential of Clayton Williams. The company has a solid 170,000 net acres in the Permian Basin. It also sports a larger 186,000 net acre position in the Giddings area of Texas that has legacy Austin Chalk production, as well as resource potential in the Eagle Ford Shale. Clayton Williams is loaded with potential, but unfortunately the company is also loaded down with a bit of debt. While it has a plan in place to balance its drilling commitment with its financial resources, there is a bit more risk involved with the company. That said, the potential is there, which is why investors might want to put Clayton Williams Energy on their watchlist.
There are literally hundreds of public oil producers with at least a small stake in the Permian Basin. However, these five names have the most at stake as all have a bulk of production coming out of that legacy oil basin. That means each has more to gain as the next oil boom hits the play.