15 Oil And Gas Giants That Have Boomed Since The Middle East Exploded

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It has been nearly three months since the start of riots in Tunisia, the beginning of a series of revolutions that fundamentally changed the situation in the Middle East.Now, over two months on, many big oil names are in the midst of a surge, enjoying the rise in oil prices and the expansion of market worries.

We’ve looked at the oil and gas members of the S&P 1500, and noted those which have performed best since the protests began in Tunisia on December 17.

The strength of these companies is notable for two reasons: you’ve may have already missed out on their spike, and they may have a lot to lose if oil prices go back down.

Note: Return as of end of day March 9.


Total return: 24.33%

Type of company: It is the largest oil and natural gas company in Mississippi and Montana and runs operations in the Rockies, Permian Basin, Mid-Continent and Gulf Coast.

Downside risks: An expected increase in operating costs could dent margins.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 24.85%

Type of company: The natural gas company has operations mainly in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Eastern Seaboard and Alberta.

Downside risks: More competition in the natural gas space and increased operating costs.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 25.03%

Type of company: Oil and gas exploration production company with operations in the Mid-Continent, Permian Basin and Gulf Coast.

Downside risks: Volatile oil and gas prices could impact demand. Bad weather in the Gulf Coast can hurt operations.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 28.19%

Type of company: Oklahoma-based oil and gas exploration company with operations in Southern Louisiana, the Permian Basin and the Bakken Shale.

Downside risks: More competition in the natural gas space and regional drilling risks.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 29.98%

Type of company: Manufacturer and marketer of transportation fuels that runs 15 refineries in the U.S., Canada and the Carribean.

Downside risks: Maintenance at Valero's plants in Northern California and Oklahoma will impact the amount of crude the company can process this quarter and margin pressures.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 31.98%

Type of company: Energy company focused on exploration, exploitation, development and production of natural gas and crude with headquarters in Denver.

Downside risks: S&P gave it a BB rating because of its debt of $250 million due to big development costs and the tough cyclical nature of the exploration and production sector.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 33.61%

Type of company: Independent oil and gas company headquartered in Louisiana.

Downside risks: Weather impacts, more competition in the natural gas space and increased operating costs.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 35.00%

Type of company: Exploration and production company based in Houston and it operates a pipeline system.

Downside risks: El Paso's 1.5 million acre operation in Egypt could be disrupted due to further violence and earnings were slightly below expectations in the last quarter.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total return: 35.09%

Type of company: It operates seven refineries in the western U.S. and over 880 gas stations.

Downside risks: Consumers will put pressure on refiners to keep margins low which will be difficult since oil is their largest cost.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 36.73%

Type of company: Exploration and production company based in Houston with operations in the Southwest, Gulf Coast and Williston Basin.

Downside risks: More competition in the natural gas space and increased operating costs.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 40.27%

Type of company: Exploration and production company based in Houston.

Downside risk: It has operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) and Libya where Marathon gets 12% of its oil production, the highest of all the U.S. producers, from so there is possible production risk.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 42.49%

Type of company: Produces and markets gasoline, diesel and jet fuel with operations in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah.

Downside risks: Reduced production at Navajo refinery because power failures and weather will hurt production and margins will be impacted by gas prices not keeping up with crude oil prices.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 43.86%

Type of company: The second biggest natural gas producer in the U.S. has headquarters in Oklahoma City.

Downside risks: Revenue fell 11% in the last quarter and its position as a gas provider has weakened with more producers using new shale rock formation resources.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 45.96%

Type of company: Producer and marketer of coal in the eastern U.S., with 14 mining operations in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin.

Downside risks: Competition, rising transportation costs, regulators may close mines that don't have the proper permits.

Source: Bloomberg data


Total Return: 53.98%

Type of company: Oil refining and marketing company with refineries in Wyoming and Kansas, a subsidiary in Denver and headquarters in Houston.

Downside risks: Long-term debt of $210.9 million and shareholders are filing lawsuits to block the proposed takeover by Holly Corp.

Source: Bloomberg data

If you liked seeing the winners of Mideast crisis then you'll want to check out the losers...

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