Crude oil futures hit one-year highs on Wednesday, leading many to speculate that the rise toward the $150 all-time peak hit last spring is still in force. The move is a combination of two strong forces simultaneously at play: the weakness in the U.S. dollar and a recent increasing demand for fuel.

IN PICTURES: Digging Out Of Debt In 8 Steps

Fears of the dollar spiraling lower (the U.S. Dollar Index also hit new lows this week) have pushed many investors into commodities like gold and oil, traditional investment "parking" spots when fears of a crisis arise. In addition, both OPEC and the International Energy Agency recently raised their demand forecast for 2010, citing progress in the ongoing global economic recovery.

Here are five oil plays that have consequently been gushing of late and should continue to do so if that move higher is indeed still on. (For a primer on the oil industry, refer to our Oil and Gas Industry Primer.)

Bakken Oil Players
Kodiak Oil & Gas Co. (NYSE:KOG) is an American exploration company with assets focused in the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana, and the Green River Basin of Wyoming and Colorado. They also recently acquired 52,000 acres in the highly touted East Bakken oil basin. The company's stock has risen over 600% in the last six months and better than 1400% since its lows in March of this year.

Geokinetics Inc. (AMEX:GOK) is an oil services firm that provides seismic imaging and data analysis to oil and natural gas companies worldwide. Unlike many resource and resource-related companies, GOK actually trades at a fraction of sales (price/sales is 0.40) and at a mere 1.5x book value. The company's stock has appreciated by more than 400% in the last half year.

Over 1000% Rise in Just Six Months
Stone Energy (NYSE:SGY) stock is up over 1000% since bouncing off 52-week lows set back in March of this year. The company operates in two regions: Appalachia and the Gulf of Mexico. Just this week the company unexpectedly raised its production outlook and was rewarded with a positive response by the market.

Magnum Hunter Resources (NYSE:MHR) and Hyperdynamics Corp. (AMEX:HDY) are both Texas-based exploration and production companies whose stock has risen significantly in the last two quarters.

The Wrap
There are a great many oil stocks that have been beneficiaries of this year's rise in the price of crude. Those with the best records are the ones with the best prospects and most capable management teams. For investors seeking to capitalize from a further price rise in crude, the above mentioned quintet is as good a place as any to start. (For additional reading, check out Understanding Oil Industry Terminology.)

Use the Investopedia Stock Simulator to trade the stocks mentioned in this stock analysis, risk free!

Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  2. Stock Analysis

    5 Cheap Dividend Stocks for a Bear Market

    Here are five stocks that pay safe dividends and should be at least somewhat resilient to a bear market.
  3. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  4. Investing

    Oil: Why Not to Put Faith in Forecasts

    West Texas Intermediate oil futures have recently made pronounced movements. What do they bode for the world market?
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Use Options Data To Predict Stock Market Direction

    Options market trading data can provide important insights about the direction of stocks and the overall market. Here’s how to track it.
  6. Economics

    Is the U.S. Economy Ready for Liftoff?

    The Fed continues to delay normalizing rates, citing inflation concerns and “global economic and financial developments” in explaining its rationale.
  7. Stock Analysis

    2 Oil Stocks to Buy Right Now (PSX,TSO)

    Can these two oil stocks buck the trend?
  8. Investing News

    What Alcoa’s (AA) Breakup Means for Investors

    Alcoa plans to split into two companies. Is this a bullish catalyst for investors?
  9. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  10. Investing News

    Could a Rate Hike Send Stocks Higher?

    A rate hike would certainly alter the investment scene, but would it be for the better or worse?
  1. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!