Independent oil and gas E&P Berry Petroleum ( BRY) has had to deal with volatile commodity prices in 2011 that have thrown around the value of its wares. While the year started off strong for oil, volatility increased dramatically during the year, and the trend reversed downward for oil back at the end of April. While that does mean that most oil producers won't see the blockbuster profits that they expected when oil was sitting at triple-digits, investors shouldn't cry for firms like Berry. That's because oil still remains at relative highs right now, maintaining profitability in Berry's economically viable production sites. Another benefit to Berry is the firm's heavy exposure to natural gas -- while gas prices have gotten knocked around so far this year, the consensus remains that gas prices will rise as market participants substitute it for more expensive fuel sources. Berry's 6.67% dividend hike last week brings the firm's total quarterly yield to eight cents per share.