By Katrina A.T. Senyk
North Dakota is currently fourth in U.S. oil production – behind only Texas, Alaska and California – with 6,500 wells producing roughly the same output as California’s 100,000 wells. And analysts predict North Dakota could soon surpass 1.2 million barrels per day, meaning the state could approach top oil-producer status.
In May 2011, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the U.S. Geological Survey would be updating its 2008 estimate of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas in the U.S. portion of the Bakken formation, a valuable domestic petroleum- and natural gas-rich area that covers 200,000 square miles in sections of North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Add to this the fact that more and more companies are entering the basin as time goes on, making for competitive lease ground and drilling pricing and housing shortages among other things, and you have the recipe for major oil industry intrigue.
Enter Robert Walstad, co-lead portfolio manager of Integrity Viking’s Williston Basin/Mid-North America Stock Fund, which invests in companies that are participating in, or benefitting from, resource development in the Williston Basin and Mid-North America regions.
Walstad evinces a fervent conviction that the area stretching from his home state of North Dakota down to Texas will in future generate additional new discoveries of oil and natural gas as a result of new drilling techniques and technologies, which have allowed companies to unlock more of the resources from the Williston Basin. Many companies operating there “are realizing that they are sitting on tons and tons of oil – more than they had expected,” he explains. “Naturally, we are delighted to take advantage of this opportunity.”
“I was in Houston just last week for the NAPE Expo, and I had the opportunity to visit with CEOs of several of our portfolio companies – one of whom indicated that they’d be moving an additional 19 drilling rigs into the Bakken region in 2012,” Walstad said, during an exclusive interview with the Bakken Oil Report. “This speaks well for future development in the area.”
“I am excited that this unique fund, and its special focus, is doing so well,” Walstad enthuses. “The Williston Basin/Mid-North America fund is an unusual opportunity for investors who may have previously overlooked this tremendously resource-rich area.”
Big movers and shakers in the Bakken region are Continental Resources, Inc., Whiting Petroleum Corp., MDU Resources Group, Hess Corp. and Brigham Exploration Company (the latter of which Walstad uses as an example of a company that will “bring a lot more oil out of the ground than most people now expect” – and receive good prices for the oil, too), among other notables. What do these firms all have in common? Integrity Viking’s fund invests in each of these companies – as well as in scores of others involved with the oil and gas, minerals, agriculture and related businesses in this happening region.
It’s no wonder why in 2011, the Williston Basin/Mid-North America fund was the top 12-month performer (for the second time in a row, no less) in The Wall Street Journal’s quarterly Winners’ Circle survey of diversified U.S.-stock mutual funds. This fund is definitely one to watch!
Williston Basin/Mid-North America Stock Fund (ICPAX) – Top 25 holdings as of December 31, 2011
Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. 6.19%
National Oilwell Varco Inc. 5.58%
Oasis Petroleum 4.79%
Hess Corp. 4.61%
CARBO Ceramics Inc. 3.93%
Baker Hughes Inc. 3.93%
Halliburton Company 3.66%
Cameron Intl Corp. 3.52%
Whiting Petroleum Corp. 3.41%
Lufkin Industries Inc. 3.26%
Continental Resources Inc. 3.26%
Basic Energy Services Inc. 2.63%
C&J Energy Services Inc. 2.53%
Oil States Intl Inc. 2.25%
Dresser-Rand Group Inc. 1.99%
Patterson-Uti Energy Inc. 1.96%
MDU Resources Group Inc. 1.86%
RPC Inc. 1.79%
GeoResources Inc. 1.75%
Newfield Exploration 1.62%
Tesoro Corp. 1.62%
Canadian Pacific Railway 1.62%
Enbridge Inc. 1.60%
Kinder Morgan Inc. 1.59%
Weatherford Intl Ltd. 1.57%
The Williston Basin/Mid-North America Stock Fund is sold by prospectus only. Investors should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the investment company before investing. The prospectus contains this and other information about the investment company. You may obtain a prospectus at no cost from your financial adviser or at www.integrityvikingfunds.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Diversification does not assure a profit nor protect against loss in a declining market.
Because the Williston Basin/Mid-North America Stock Fund normally invests in common stocks of companies engaged in natural resources-related activities in a limited geographical sector, the Fund’s performance largely depends on the overall economic condition of that industry and geographical sector. Additionally, diplomatic, political or economic developments in foreign countries could potentially adversely impact the Fund’s investment in securities of foreign companies.