On March 27, 1998, the FDA approved erectile dysfunction drug Viagra.
The drug was a game-changer. A revolution in society. A miracle for once-boring marriages.
Millions of men around the world bought the drug in droves.
I watched it closely, and nearly recommended Viagra manufacturer Pfizer to my readers.
But what most investors didn’t notice was that Viagra had given birth to bull markets in smaller stocks...
Here’s what happened.
In the blink of an eye, hundreds of thousands of older men were ready to reclaim their manhood. Their wives had to get up to speed. And fast.
That’s when a small pharmaceutical stock called Bradley Pharmaceuticals started to rally.
At first glance, nobody knew why Bradley was taking off, making record high after record high...
But when you dug down into the company’s business, it was clear as day: Bradley was a leading provider of, ahem, sexual lubricants.
The same thing is happening today in the American oil and gas shale boom.
North Dakota Hits a Milestone
Last week, Bloomberg reported that North Dakota oil production had increased 42% to 510,000 barrels a day in November 2011.
Yes, this is huge news.
But we need to put it into proper context.
You see, that amount of oil production exceeds the production of OPEC member Ecuador.
According to the Bloomberg report:
The state’s daily crude output topped a half-million barrels for the first time during the month, North Dakota’s Oil and Gas Division said in a statement. North Dakota’s 6,300 wells produced enough oil to displace imports from foreign suppliers such as Iraq or Colombia, Lynn Helms, division director, said in the release.
Oil producers including EOG Resources Inc. and Continental Resources Inc. have spurred a fivefold increase in North Dakota’s oil output by using intensive drilling practices to tap the Bakken, a geologic formation that stretches from southern Alberta to the northern U.S. Great Plains. It’s estimated to hold as much as 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil in North Dakota and Montana, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Geological Survey.
“This is big news for the state and the country,” Helms said. “Oil production in the state has increased anywhere from 8,000 to 40,000 barrels a day every month since June.”
The projection is that North Dakota will be producing between 700,000 and one million barrels of oil in a few years.
Remember, the Bakken is just one of several oil shale formations in the United States...
If North Dakota reaches that production level, it’ll overtake more OPEC members. And if we open up more oil shale formations in the U.S., America could rival the production of Saudi Arabia.
Lubricant of a Different Nature
On January 5, 2012, USA Today ran a story titled, “Fracking for oil, natural gas spurs sand mining in Midwest.”
The piece was about how the fracking boom in the U.S. has given birth to a bull market in sand — yes, sand.
According to the article:
The rolling hills and scenic bluffs of western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota hide a valuable resource that has sparked what's been called a modern-day gold rush.
The object of desire is not gold but a soft sandstone needed by drilling companies to unlock underground natural gas and oil supplies in a controversial practice called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
U.S. frac sand producers sold or used more than 6.5 million metric tons of sand worth $319 million in 2009, according to the U.S. Geological Survey The tonnage likely will have doubled when 2010 data is released, said Thomas Dolley, a USGS mineral commodity specialist who follows the silica mining industry.
"It's huge," Dolley said. "I've never seen anything like it, the growth. It makes my head spin."
Sand isn’t the only beneficiary of the oil and gas shale boom...
Westport Innovation is a Canadian company that manufactures natural gas engines for trucks. Trucking fleets are increasingly switching from diesel engines to natural gas due to the annual cost savings in fuel.
As you might expect, Westport’s stock has been one of the big performers ever since natural gas fracking took off.
Take a look:
Jeff Siegel was one of the first analysts to cover Westport, and his members made a fortune.
As I write this, Westport has made another all-time new high...
Mark my words: North American oil and gas is the place to invest for the next ten years. Fortunes will be made.
The original bull on America,
Brian is a founding member and President of Angel Publishing and investment director for the income and dividend newsletter The Wealth Advisory. He writes about general investment strategies for Wealth Daily and Energy & Capital. Known as the "original bull on America," Brian is also the author of the 2008 book, Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century. In addition to writing about the economy, investments and politics, Brian is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox and countless radio shows. For more on Brian, take a look at his editor's page.