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Energy Stocks Face Their Own Fiscal Cliff

In September, Lamotte highlighted that a funding gap for independent shale drillers may create a big hangover for onshore rig contractors like Halliburton (HAL - Get Report), Baker Hughes (BHI), Nabors Industries (NBR), Helmerich & Payne (HP) and Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN). These companies may see earnings fall 30% short of consensus in coming quarters, according to Guggenheim's September bearish analysis.

In the analysis, Lamotte expected overall onshore oil and gas exploration companies to cut capital spending by 10%, signaling that at least 75 more rigs will be pulled from shale drilling fields.

In debt to capital terms, Cocho Resources (CXO), Continental Resources (CLR), SandRidge Energy (SD) and SM Energy (SM) are among the drillers with rig contracts in jeopardy, Lamotte's calculations of funding gaps suggest, while in dollar spending deficits, Devon Energy (DVN), EOG Resources (EOG) and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) also stand out.

For more on the energy sector, see why BP's $24 billion asset sale isn't a Russian retreat and why Citigroup sees a hitch in the shale trade .

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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