3 Best Performing Energy Stocks Of 2015

Standing on the threshold of 2016, oil investors can only wish for a recovery from the slipping prices that crushed the space throughout the year. Those who track the equity market on a daily basis saw how crude prices hurt the broader market almost every day of 2015.

Major energy firms with significantly lower year-over-year operating income are now saddling a huge debt load. Weak operations followed by poor financials eventually compelled the players to reduce headcount, making 2015 a year of agony for everyone related to the space.

What’s even worse is that oil prices are projected to remain low in the near term. In such a backdrop, adding an energy company to one’s portfolio obviously seems foolish. However, we have indentified energy players that impressed even amid low commodity prices.

Oil in 2015

Let’s first take a look at the reasons for such a drastic fall in oil prices. Since mid-2014, the commodity’s price has been plunging primarily due to excess supply of crude in the global market.

Here’s a quick recap of the history of crude oversupply. During 1990 and early 2000, the U.S. was more dependent on crude import as domestic demand was far above its conventional oil supply. But with the invention of new techniques like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, U.S. shale producers ramped up oil production relentlessly. Eventually, owing to the huge scale of crude output, the U.S. started relying less on oil import.

The shale boom turned the U.S. into an oil-surplus economy from a crude-deficit region. Along with the U.S., the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – the international cartel of oil producers – also pumped up more crude. All these events led to a global oversupply of the commodity and pushed oil to its multi-year lows.

Now the question that arises is what stopped the big oil producers from reducing output in 2015, when the measure could have taken crude back to its glorious days as were seen in the first half of 2014.

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