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Paddling Upstream, Part 2

By Elliott H. Gue on May. 13, 2015

The first issue in our series on US independent oil and gas producers examined the opportunity set for these names in an environment where oil prices remain lower for longer, likely settling at a level that incentivizes rational development but not growth for growth’s sake. We also looked at some of the larger, diversified exploration and production companies.

This time, we shift our focus to the leading lights of the shale oil and gas revolution, the names that have captured investors’ capital and their imaginations. The best of these companies boast savvy management teams, high-quality resource bases, strong balance sheets and a number of levers they can pull to unlock value.

Over time, these names should be able to grow their production and win market share from higher-cost producers. Unfortunately, the best of the best still trade at elevated valuations that don’t reflect the challenges on the ground. Simply put, a good value is hard to find in the upstream space, if you focus on quality. Investors should maintain their discipline and patience.

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