Without question, the oil stocks that have made me the biggest profits have been junior oil companies with international plays.
Companies like Xcite Energy, (XEL-TSXv) which went from 62 cents to $6 with a heavy oil play in the North Sea, or TAG Oil developing their New Zealand asset, moving from $2 - $6 a share.
(The one big international stock I missed was TransGlobe, (TGL-TSX) which went from $3.50 - $20 on drilling success in Yemen and Egypt.)
These junior international plays are often orphaned stocks with big, high-impact exploration plays - and if they hit... WHOOSH! The stock can flow upwards like oil gushing out of a well.
But if they miss... OUCH. The investment can be a big win, or a big loss. These international exploration plays are what I call a one-decision stock, or a widows-and-orphans stock (nobody gets out alive) or a binary trade - it's a 1 or a 0.
They have several key differences from the home-grown North American oil plays. If investors know what they are, and how to "game" them, they have a much better opportunity at making a profit - whether the well is a gusher or dry.
Here are the three clear differences that international plays can have:
1. More political risk that warrants a lower valuation...
2. A much bigger prize (bigger well) if they hit... and
3. More risk geologically compared to domestic ones. (I'll explain why below.)
First, though, understand that North American plays are now dominated…