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10 Energy Stocks for 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bullish sentiment is buoying the energy sector right now, and energy prices may spike next year, boosting top energy stocks.

Crude oil prices recovered 28.5% to $97.77 per barrel as of Monday, after easing to 52-week lows of $76.07 on Oct. 4.

Continued political instability in the Middle East and China's soaring demand are seen as the drivers of higher prices going forward.

Data from Zacks Investment Research show the energy sector bested all others in the third quarter, with earnings and year-over-year revenue growth of 60.06% and 32.05%, respectively.

Goldman Sachs recently resumed coverage of oil-service stocks, rating most of the stocks in the sector either conviction buys or buys. Analysts believe that land rig demand in the U.S. has entered the second-phase of a multiyear pickup.

The following 10 stocks are listed based on upside implied by average analyst price targets.

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