The Bakken Shale in North Dakota has been one of the best-producing oil fields over the last decade, with no signs of slowing down. This means the M&A market is heating up for companies looking to get into the area before production tops out. Major pipeline companies, including TransCanada, Oneok and Kinder Morgan have plans to put in pipelines for transporting oil/gas out of the Bakken, which should make the E&P companies in the area even more attractive and lead to higher valuations. So which companies are the best players in the area?
A couple pure plays (having the majority of their assets in the Bakken) on the shale includes Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE:KOG) and Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS). As far as acquirers, the big oil and gas majors could be looking to get into the market, of which, Hess, ConocoPhillips Statoil and Marathon are already in the Bakken and could be interested in spreading their footprint.