Nathan Slaughter

The Bakken Shale... the very mention of it conjures images of gushing oil wells, makeshift work camps (known as "man camps") and North Dakota boom towns bursting at the seams.

It's arguably the most prolific oil source in North America -- a symbol of prosperity and hope in what's been a difficult time in the United States during the past few years. 

And here's the good news: I've got my eyes on a company that's right in the middle of the action, having built an expansive position in the rich Bakken Shale. Daily oil production doubled in 2010, tripled in 2011 and will likely quadruple in 2012. That accelerating output is leading to off-the-charts earnings growth.

The company is called Kodiak Oil & Gas (NYSE: KOG)

The company is a pure play on the Bakken Shale, and it's no coincidence that it is also one of the fastest-growing exploration and production companies in the nation. The company has steadily expanded its footprint in the Williston Basin (which extends into adjacent areas of Canada), from 72,000 acres in 2010 to 93,000 in June 2011 to 155,000 today. 

Most of that leasehold is in Williams and McKenzie counties of western North Dakota, where Kodiak has well-known neighbors such as Statoil (NYSE: STO) and Continental Resources (NYSE: CLR)

The company has barely scratched the surface of its 155,000 acres. But it already has an interest in 188 active wells that are spitting out staggering amounts of crude oil -- approximately 13,000 barrels per day (bpd) last quarter. 

That's triple Kodiak's average output of 4,000 bpd in 2011. And that rising volume is making a dramatic impact on the income statement. 

To give you an idea, revenue hit $85 million last quarter, up from $22 million a year ago. That's a 288% surge. 


Nathan Slaughter

Nathan Slaughter is Chief Investment Strategist of Market Advisor, Scarcity & Real Wealth, and Energy & Income at StreetAuthority.com.