NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/29/12 -- Oil stocks have been on fire of late. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average by roughly 43 percent over the last three months as oil prices continue to surge. Global oil prices hit nine-month highs last week on worries about the impact of heightened Iran tensions on tight global oil supplies. Despite an upswing in oil production, the price of oil shows no signs of slowing. As President Obama explains, "the amount of oil that we drill at home doesn't set the price of gas by itself. The oil market is global. Oil is bought and sold in a world market. And just like last year, the single biggest thing that's causing the price of oil to spike right now is instability in the Middle East." The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Sector and provides equity research on HyperDynamics Corporation (NYSE: HDY) and ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (NASDAQ: ATPG). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
In the United States, Baker Hughes reported this week that 1,265 rigs were exploring for oil and 710 for natural gas. Six were listed as miscellaneous. A year ago this week Baker Hughes reported 1,699 active rigs. The current nationwide rig count easily exceeds that of the 6-year low of 876 (in the week ended June 12, 2009).
Natural gas rigs continue to decline at a rapid rate, however. Record-high supplies and weak demand during one of the mildest winters on record helped drive gas prices to 10-year lows in January, prompting several producers to cut back on drilling, Reuters reports.
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ATP Oil & Gas is an international offshore oil and gas development and production company with operations in the Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea. Shares of the company skyrocketed nearly 20 percent earlier this week after the drilling company said its oil production at a Mississippi Canyon well met expectations.
Not to be outdone, shares of HyperDynamics Corporation surged 18 percent on Monday. Hyperdynamics Corporation, an independent oil and gas exploration company, engages in the development of offshore prospects in Republic of Guinea, northwest Africa.
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