NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- According to analysts polled by Bloomberg, Black Hills (BKH - Get Report), OGE Energy (OGE - Get Report), Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (BWP - Get Report), Williams Partners (WPZ - Get Report) and DTE Energy (DTE - Get Report) have a minimum upside of 5% and have a bright outlook in the longer run, based on the switch from oil to natural gas.
Meanwhile, integrated oil and gas giants Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP) have upside values of 1%, 7% and 0%, respectively, as implied by the consensus estimates of their price targets compiled by Bloomberg.
In the current scenario, where natural gas and natural gas liquids are no longer the third link in the energy chain, but are key areas for many companies, it is time to focus on natural gas companies. These companies are regarded for their stability and high dividend yields. Driven by the robust growth forecast for China, pushing oil demand higher, speculation shows that oil prices are close to breaching the $100 a barrel mark in 2011.
The demand for substitutes like natural gas will rise in the upcoming years. Not only will consumers prefer to switch to natural gas, but large manufactures and energy producers will show interest. As per estimates of the Gerson Lehrman Group, China's natural gas consumption is estimated to reach 12.7 billion cubic feet (bcf) per day in 2011, sustaining the 20% growth levels from the prior year.During 2010, ONEOK Partners (OKS), Williams Partners, and Silverthorne Energy Partners ranked among companies that spent millions on NGL investments and are likely to expand their investments in 2011. The stocks are stacked as per the upside percentage, great to greatest.