North America has an abundance of natural resources, particularly in the oil and gas arena. There are so many plays that investors, even professional ones, might find it difficult to keep track of all the various formations being explored and developed by the industry. Here are several plays that are either under the radar and get little publicity, or are new and haven't moved up into the general public consciousness yet. (For background reading, see A Guide To Investing In Oil Markets.)

IN PICTURES: 5 Tips To Reading The Balance Sheet

Cardium Oil
Equal Energy (NYSE:EQU) is active in Canada and the midcontinent area of the United States. One area that the company is working on is a Cardium oil play in Alberta. The Cardium formation is a sandstone that produces light oil and has been gaining some momentum in the oil and gas industry since the first horizontal well was drilled and completed in 2009.

Equal Energy has 7,200 net acres exposed to the Cardium play and plans to develop as many as 41 net wells on its acreage. Most players that are working the Cardium are Canadian-based companies that don't trade on domestic exchanges, so U.S. investors may have to wait until a U.S.-based independent picks up acreage here. (For related reading, check out Understanding Oil Industry Terminology.)

Tyler Formation
The Tyler Formation received some publicity when state officials in North Dakota released details on this formation, which lies above the Bakken in parts of North and South Dakota. The Tyler also produces oil and state officials estimate that it may hold between approximately 33% and 50% of the resources of the better-known Bakken formation.

No public companies have announced any development plans here, but several large public companies have made acquisitions of acreage prospective for the Bakken and Three Forks, and this acreage might have exposure to the Tyler as well. These include Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES), which purchased 167,000 net acres for $1.05 billion, and Williams (NYSE:WMB), which spent $925 million on acreage in North Dakota.

Take My Wife, Please
SM Energy (NYSE:SM), formerly known as St. Mary Land and Exploration, used to be involved in a coal bed methane project area in the Hanging Woman Basin in Wyoming and Montana.

SM Energy was enthusiastic on this basin back in 2007, allocating $58 million in capital to develop acreage here. This was enough capital to drill 218 wells during the year. However, as natural gas prices weakened, SM Energy eventually caught oil fever, like many in the industry, and sold these properties to a private company in 2009. (For more on natural gas, see Natural Gas Industry: An Investment Guide.)

The Bottom Line
The exploration and production industry is always looking for the next best thing in oil and gas exploration and development and has plenty of opportunities to pick from in North America. (To learn more, see our Oil And Gas Industry Primer.)


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

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Build a Retirement Portfolio for a Different World

    When it comes to retirement rules of thumb, the financial industry is experiencing new guidelines and the new rules for navigating retirement.
  2. Forex Strategies

    Two Great Currencies To Profit From Oil Volatility

    U.S. dollar crosses with Canadian and Australian dollars offer easy access to crude oil trends due to their tight correlation with energy futures.
  3. Investing

    Redefining the Stop-Loss

    Using Stop-losses for trading doesn’t mean ‘losing money’, but instead think about the money you'll start saving once you learn how they work.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    10 Major Companies Tied to the Apple Supply Chain

    Apple has one of the best supply-chain models. Here are some of the top businesses involved, and the benefits and challenges for all.
  5. Markets

    The 5 Biggest Chinese Natural Gas Companies

    Read about the top five Chinese natural gas companies as measured by gas production volume and learn a little more about their business operations.
  6. Options & Futures

    Analyzing The 5 Most Liquid Commodity Futures

    Crude oil leads the pack as the most liquid commodity futures market, followed by corn and natural gas.
  7. Term

    What are Non-GAAP Earnings?

    Non-GAAP earnings are a company’s earnings that are not reported according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000

    Find out about the PowerShares FTSE RAFI U.S. 1000 ETF, and explore detailed analysis of the fund that invests in undervalued stocks.
  9. Options & Futures

    Use Options to Hedge Against Iron Ore Downslide

    Using iron ore options is a way to take advantage of a current downslide in iron ore prices, whether for producers or traders.
  10. Stock Analysis

    Fortinet: A Great Play on Cybersecurity

    Discover how a healthy product mix, large-business deal growth and the boom of the cybersecurity industry are all driving Fortinet profits.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis ...
  4. Debt Ratio

    A financial ratio that measures the extent of a company’s or ...
  5. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing ...
  6. Net Present Value - NPV

    The difference between the present values of cash inflows and ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. 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 >>
  2. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... 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. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... 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. What is the difference between the return on total assets and an interest rate?

    Return on total assets (ROTA) represents one of the profitability metrics. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
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!