It would seem that the only way to beat higher gas prices is to own stock in a large, integrated oil and gas producer. If you owned shares in Exxon Mobil (NYSE/XOM) over the last few years, you no doubt would be very happy.
Spot oil prices have taken a bit of a rest of late, as the hurricane season winds down, and so has the stock prices of oil and gas producers.
There is another market sector to consider, however, if you want to keep riding the hydrocarbon commodity price cycle. Specifically, the oil and gas drilling companies are making money hand-over-fist, serving both small oil and gas exploration companies, as well as the large integrated producers.
Day rates for drilling rigs are skyrocketing. Drilling service companies can’t keep up with the demand. They can’t even find enough skilled employees to handle all the work they have.
I’ve written before about the very successful Calfrac Well Services Ltd. (TSX/CFW, a Canadian company trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. But there are two other companies that stand out in this market.
Pioneer Drilling Co. (AMEX/PDC) is another successful drilling services company that’s experiencing robust demand for its rigs. This company trades on the American Stock Exchange.
ENSCO Intl. Inc. (NYSE/ESV) is a well established, large-cap drilling company that’s experiencing tremendous growth trying to service the drilling demands from the energy industry.
The drilling service companies may even outperform the energy producers on the stock market going forward. As long as the price of oil stays over $50 per barrel, which seems very likely, energy companies will be tripping over themselves to explore for more hydrocarbons, and the drilling services industry will be the beneficiary.