Watch Foreign Oil and Gas Demand

 | Jan 03, 2012 | 2:45 PM EST
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One of the big stories for 2012 might be the continuation of the foreign purchases of our oil and gas properties. It's so clear that these overseas companies want our nat gas and oil that you can see the speculation occurring in front of our eyes.

Consider that two weeks ago Repsol (REP) swooped in and bought a chunk of Sandridge (SD), which will allow Sandridge to continue its aggressive development program.

Consider Devon (DVN) this morning sold a nice percentage of its properties to Sinopec. The Chinese need all the energy they can get.

Chesapeake (CHK) struck a deal with Total for its most speculative properties, those in the Utica Shale, a deep shale in Ohio that is a total spec.

Where does that leave fine companies like Continental Resources (CLR), EOG (EOG) and Noble Energy (NBL)? I think it leaves them in the catbird seat. These three are perhaps the companies with the greatest understated reserves in the whole patch. They are naturals to be able to sell themselves IF they wanted to and I don't think they want to. But they are the ticket for any oil-poor country's national companies to boost reserves.

These three companies aren't hurting for cash. They are simply spending every dime to take advantage of these high oil prices. If they had twice as much money, they would be doing twice as much drilling.

If oil stays where it is right now these three might have the most oomph. They are plenty speculative versus, say, a Conoco (COP) or a Chevron (CVX), but the risk, I think justifies the reward.

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