NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I was talking to Stephanie Link today about some interesting moves in the oil patch and where we might still find some value in some exploration and production names.
One interesting move comes in the swap of assets between Linn Energy (LINE) and Devon Energy (DVN) . Devon has continued to concentrate on moving its asset base from natural gas to liquids production while Linn has happily swapped out assets that have a better current cash flow to support the company's very strong distribution schedule to shareholders.
Both accomplished their goals with this move. Linn has also benefited from a recent similar swap of assets with Exxon (XOM) -owned XTO Energy. It is clear that Linn has done a terrific job quelling the skepticism that many felt about the sustainability of its 9% distribution, and Devon continues to be underpaid for their consistent increase of oil and liquids production.
Noble Energy (NBL) also accomplished much this past week, inking a letter of intent (LOI) with BG Group for the sale of natural gas in a long-term contract with Egypt. This is another huge step in Nobles plan to begin monetizing the strong opportunities it has in the Mediterranean with the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields.
In addition, Noble looks to have found a new partner to aid in the development of its assets in the Levant: Chinese mega cap CNOOC (CEO) . After the withdrawal of Australian energy company Woodside, it did not take long for Noble to hear from other suitors interested in this opportunity. While nothing so far has been signed, the Chinese represent just the kind of deep-pockets partner that Noble will need to continue to develop this game-changing deepwater asset. Noble remains a core holding of mine.