This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Is shale an oil and gas "revolution" or a "retirement party"?

Fracking has been called a "revolution" by the oil and gas industry. But how long can the boom last?

Oil and gas has been a safe place to invest your money for the last century or so. Sure, there were some booms and busts particularly when domestic supply started to run low in the mid-20th century.  But for the most part, pulling crude oil out of the ground and selling it has been a pretty profitable business.  

Then the shale boom happened, and things got a lot more confusing. 

Touted as the path to American energy independence, the "shale boom" refers to the proliferation of new technologies in the last few years by fracturing rocks to release trapped natural gass. This breakthrough made it possible to extract gas from much deeper wells. It is also the source of the pejorative nickname "fracking." 

Read more from Kapitall: What are some of the virtues of dividend-free value stocks?

The debate about the legitimacy of fracking is pretty heated, particularly in energy-rich hubs like Pennsylvania. What's not up for debate are the profits. 

As late as September 2013, some analysts were predicting as much as an 8% upside to companies involved in energy exploration. And that's on top of what was already a pretty hefty run. Bulls see a future where the majority of the world's energy would come from North American shale by 2020.

On the flip-side are a number of environmental activists and more skeptical economists who see a major bubble happening. Since the best mines are usually targeted first, energy can create a spiral where greater and greater capital expenditures are made to access smaller and smaller reserves. 

We decided to build a list of speculative oil plays. To do that, we looked at ones that were making significant investments, which you can't exactly screen for.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs