SOURCE: Research Driven Investing

Research Driven Investing

March 22, 2013 08:20 ET

North American Oil Producers Look to Benefit as Margin Between West Texas Intermediate and Brent Crude Continues to Shrink

RDInvesting Provides Stock Research on Gulfport Energy and Sanchez Energy

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 22, 2013) - U.S. oil and gas companies have benefitted from rising U.S. crude prices in 2013 as expanded pipelines and increased rail shipments have helped eased the supply glut. The iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (IEO) has surged over 13 percent year-to-date. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on Gulfport Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: GPOR) and Sanchez Energy Corp. (NYSE: SN).

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The gap between West Texas Intermediate crude oil and Europe's Brent crude has fallen to its narrowest margin in eight months. Increased pipeline capacity has been a major contributor to rising U.S. oil prices. Later this year the Seaway Pipeline, after experiencing some issues in January, will begin to increase shipments to the Gulf Coast. Additionally, the Longhorn pipeline has recently reversed flow and has begun sending oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast. Since reaching a record of 51.9 million barrels in January, inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma transport hub have fallen to 49.3 million barrels.

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Gulfport Energy's principal producing properties are located along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. Gulfport has also acquired acreage positions in the Utica Shale of Eastern Ohio and the Niobrara Formation of Western Colorado. The company reported net production of 540,558 barrels of oil for the fourth quarter of 2012. Shares of Gulfport Energy have gained approximately 10 percent year-to-date.

Sanchez Energy is a pure-play independent exploration and production company focusing on oil production by operating 95,000 net acres within the volatile and black oil windows of the Eagle Ford Trend in Texas. The company has recently agreed to acquire South Texas Eagle Ford properties and acreage from Hess Corp. for approximately $265 million in cash.

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