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Oil

Ride the Boom With These 5 Bakken Oil Shale Stocks

The Bakken oil shale boom is the opportunity of a lifetime.

With activity ramping up rapidly – production has soared from 100,000 barrels a day in 2005 to 494,000 barrels a day in February – the Bakken oil shale boom could turn out to be just as big, if not bigger than the California gold rush 1849.

Last week we told you about how the Bakken oil shale boom has affected Williston, ND. The town has an absurdly low unemployment rate of 0.8%, and the average pay for the oil company jobs is about $90,000.

One way to take advantage of this boom yourself would be to move to North Dakota.

But with dozens of companies flocking to the region, a much easier way to get in on the boom is to simply invest in some Bakken oil shale stocks.

The allure of big profits has attracted dozens of companies to the Bakken oil shale formation. The list ranges from industry giants like Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) to pipeline companies like Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB).

With oil prices expected to keep rising, and the production in the Bakken not expected to peak until 2020, it will be hard not to make money in Bakken oil shale stocks.

"Bakken is almost twice as big as the oil reserve in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska," Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLR) – one of the major players in the Bakken oil shale boom — told The Wall Street Journal last October. "We expect our reserves and production to triple over the next five years."

Still, some Bakken oil shale stocks will benefit more than others.

For example, the really big companies like Exxon, with large global operations, will see less of a boost than companies with operations concentrated in the Bakken and other North American shale deposits.

Money Morning has taken a look at these Bakken oil shale stocks and found five companies positioned to benefit most from this historic find's tremendous potential.

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Keystone Pipeline a Shining Example of What's Wrong with U.S. Energy Policy

With election season now entering full swing, many Democrats are beginning to distance themselves from the current administration's policies.

Mass. Rep. Barney Frank last week stated that the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) had political consequences and shouldn't have been the focus of the party when it held both arms of Congress in 2009 and 2010.

Now, Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama on another important election issue: Energy policy.

Wrote Byron York at the Washington Examiner:

"The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans."

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How to Profit from the Bakken Oil Shale Boom

Did you ever wish you'd been around for the California gold rush of 1849? Or the Texas oil boom of the early 1900s?

Maybe you can't go back in time, but you don't have to.

The Bakken oil shale boom going on in North Dakota right now is just as big-if not bigger.

Just take a look at what's been happening in Williston, ND, the epicenter of the Bakken oil shale boom.

In Williston, it's like the recession never happened.

Unemployment is under 0.8% — that's right, less than 1%, far below the national average of 8.2%. And the new oil jobs pay well, too. The average oil worker is making more than $90,000 a year.

The flood of jobs has made Williston the fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Consequently, there was no collapse in home prices in Williston. The inrush of new employees to work the Bakken oil shale boom has actually created a housing shortage.

A one-bedroom apartment that went for $500 in 2005 costs at least $2,000 now. Builders literally cannot build homes fast enough.

The rapid population growth from the Bakken oil shale boom has left many people sleeping in cars and tents. Williston just this week was forced to pass an ordinance that makes it illegal to live in a camper within city limits.

And while other states have been cutting services, shedding jobs and raising taxes, North Dakota is building up the state trust fund and reducing property taxes. All that, and still it projects a $1 billion surplus for its two-year budget.

"This boom is just wild and crazy," Williston Mayor Ward Koeser told Governing magazine last year. "It's more than you can fathom."

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Oil Price Manipulation: What President Obama Doesn't Understand About Oil

If you think gasoline prices are volatile now, stay tuned. President Obama's plan to clamp down on oil speculators is going to make things worse.

I'm sure you've seen the news by now.

The president wants to clamp down on so-called "oil price manipulation" and has proposed a $52 billion plan to increase f ederal supervision of oil markets.

What the p resident doesn't understand is that the oil markets already have this function built in.

Speaking from the Rose Garden last Tuesday, President Obama noted specifically that we can't afford to have "speculators artificially manipulating markets buy buying up oil, creating the perception of a shortage and driving prices higher – only to flip the oil for a quick profit."

Evidently, the president hasn't passed Econ 101.

If he had he would know that prices on everything from eggs to houses are by their very definition self regulating.

Speculation, as opposed to manipulation, is a vital part of the markets – they are not the same thing despite the fact that the p resident is interchanging the terms.

If prices are too high, people stop buying. If prices are too low, they stop selling. By authorizing $52 billion in oversight, he's chasing a ghost that he'll never catch.

The Real Problem with Oil Prices

The real problem is that the United States consumes 20% of the world's crude but only produces 2%.

It comes a time when oil demand is expected to rise more than 25% (to 105 million barrels a day) by 2015, according to a new report titled Oil and Gas: A Global Outlook by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

If you want the biggest piece of the pie from the deli, you have to pay a premium.

There is no hocus pocus and there's no additional oversight necessary. Rather, we need to enforce the laws we already have on the books.

Sure the $10 million fines he's jawboning about (up from $1 million) sound great but they're really a non-starter. In fact, given that Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) alone generated an average of $1.33 billion a day in 2011, they're little more than an acceptable cost of doing business. Nice try.

Take gasoline, for example.

Prices have jumped 78.2% since the p resident took office and that doesn't sit well with the party faithful who are convinced that evil oil price speculators are responsible.

They are distraught that traders put hundreds of billions of dollars into energy every month because that may cause prices to rise.

This is not complicated. Any time there are more buyers than sellers, prices go up. Any time there is more demand than supply, prices go up.

Contrast what's going on in the oil markets with what's happening in natural gas.
Prices for natural gas are at ten- year lows. Demand has risen but supply has risen faster. There are more suppliers than buyers. So natural gas prices drop.

Natural gas, by the way, is traded by many of the same traders who trade oil.

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Exxon-Rosneft Deal Centers on Arctic Oil (NYSE: XOM)

Quite a few emails already coming in about the potential of the $3.2 billion Exxon-Rosneft deal.

On April 16, Exxon (NYSE: XOM) officially entered into a massive offshore exploration partnership with Russia's Rosneft to jointly develop resources in the Kara and Black Seas.
From the Rosneft press release:

"The agreements signed today form joint ventures to manage an exploration program in the Kara Sea and Black Sea. They also set the terms for investments to be made by the partners in Russian offshore projects. The initial cost of preliminary exploration is estimated at over US $3.2 billion.

Neftegaz Holding America Limited, an independent indirect subsidiary of Rosneft registered in Delaware, concluded separate agreements on the acquisition of a 30 percent equity in ExxonMobil's share in the La Escalera Ranch project in the Delaware Basin in West Texas in the United States."

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Congress Wastes Time on Buffett Rule, Keystone Pipeline to Beef Up Attack Ads

They are at it again…

With a cynical eye cast toward the November election, members of Congress forced votes on the "Buffett Rule" and the Keystone pipeline knowing both would ultimately fail.

The real purpose for voting on the Buffett Rule and the Keystone pipeline was to embarrass the opposition and produce material for campaign attack ads.

Stable Oil Prices are the Key to Chinese Growth

Last week, oil prices dropped on concerns that Chinese demand might begin to slip.

It appears those concerns are going to be short lived.

According to a report by the IMF this morning, Chinese GDP will rebound strongly to 8.8% in 2013, up from a dip to 8.2% in 2012, propelled largely by increased domestic consumer consumption.

That's important to note since the Chinese also need reliable energy sources to continue this remarkable, ongoing boom.

After all, China needs to procure oil supplies from around the globe to facilitate this sort of growth.

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How to Beat High Gas Prices

Are high gas prices giving you road rage? Well, wait "til you see what's coming.

Prices at the pump currently average $3.89 for a gallon of regular unleaded, up 30 cents in the last month.

But it's already over $4.00 per gallon in many cities – more than double the $1.85 a gallon that prevailed when President Barack Obama took office.

And most analysts are predicting gas prices will go much higher.

The national average gas price should reach $4.25 by the end of April as refiners shift over to more expensive summer blends, Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service told the Wall Street Journal.

As prices shoot through the previous high-water mark of $4.11 in 2008, filling your tank could soon hit you for $75-$90.

And the sky's the limit if Iran decides to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for economic sanctions that go into effect in June.

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The Truth About $6 Gas, $200 Oil and the Quest for Energy Independence

No one needs to tell the average American about the impact of oil and gas prices. If they don't feel it in their wallets every day, they hear about it on the news every night.

But surprisingly, amid all the rhetoric, there have been no real answers to some of the key questions driving the energy debate… until now.

Is President Obama truly responsible for high gas prices, and can his opponents really bring them back down?

What role has Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's loose monetary policy played in soaring energy costs?

Is more domestic drilling the answer?

Renowned energy expert Dr. Kent Moors answers all of these questions – and more – below.

Dr. Moors, an adviser to six of the world's top 10 oil companies and a consultant to governments around the world, also talks about the effect political turmoil in the Middle East could have on energy prices in the immediate term and how North America will gain energy independence in 15-20 years.

Here's what else Moors – a bona-fide energy expert – had to say…

Dr. Moors on Gas Prices

Can a U.S. President actually impact gas prices- at least enough to get gasoline back to $2.50 a gallon? Or is this just talk? I don't know whom to believe anymore…

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