NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Worried that oil stocks won't recover from today's currently low oil prices? Don't -- just look around you.
What do you see in your immediate vicinity that does not depend in some way on energy? Here in my office, I see cars on the street, a Federal Express (FDX) - Get FedEx Corporation Report van delivering packages, lights in my room, electricity humming through my computer, plastic products all around me (made from petroleum) -- nearly every single other item around me has been manufactured using energy and consumed energy in transporting it here.
Energy is everywhere. It always has been, and always will be. Despite the talk of peak oil, green energy, wind power, solar, and nuclear energy, the world simply cannot survive today and for the foreseeable future without fossil fuels.
Oil prices will recover one day. They will fall again and recover again, just as they have time and again for decades.
So with oil prices down, you have an opportunity to open or add to existing positions in energy stocks. So, what choices might be best?
Start with the big oil companies: ExxonMobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report , Chevron (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report , ConocoPhillips (COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report , and even BP (BP) - Get BP p.l.c. Sponsored ADR Report if you feel like some additional risk with greater potential upside.
You might also try oil service companies. They will be more volatile because they are even more dependent on constant business from the energy sector, which gets curtailed when oil prices are lower. Lower prices mean less revenue available to spend on oil services.
Stay with the big legacy vendors, companies like Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Schlumberger NV Report , Halliburton (HAL) - Get Halliburton Company (HAL) Report , Baker Hughes, (BHI) and Cameron International (CAM) .
If you aren't comfortable enough to select from among individual stocks, then ETFs are for you. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund Report has positions in all the major oil explorers and producers. It's also about 30% off its 52-week high. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH) - Get VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF Report also has the big names just mentioned; they account for about 48% of its asset base.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held a position in XLE and OIH.