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U.S. energy behemoth, Chevron Corporation (CVX - Analyst Report) has entered into an agreement with the Kurdish regional government of Iraq.

Per the contract, Chevron will have the right to explore the Qara Dagh block. The exploration block is based southeast of Irbil. The company has not yet disclosed any details of the financial transaction.

Last year, Chevron had also entered into a deal with the Kurds, to explore two blocks in the north of Irbil. The contract placed Chevron as the second U.S. integrated energy firm after Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Analyst Report), to enter into an exploration agreement with the Kurds.

San Ramon, Calif.-based Chevron is one of the largest publicly traded oil and gas companies in the world, based on proved reserves. It is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing of petroleum products, manufacturing of chemicals, and other energy-related businesses.

Chevron’s current oil and gas development project pipeline is among the best in the industry – targeting volume growth of 25% by 2017. The target is fixed on the back of the big Australian LNG projects (Gorgon and Wheatstone) and the deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico.
However, Chevron conducts operations in many countries. As such, the company is exposed to risks associated with doing business abroad. Such risks include embargoes and/or expropriation of assets, exchange rate risks or terrorism and political/civil sentiment.

Chevron currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next 1 to 3 months.

Meanwhile, one can look at Ferrellgas Partners LP (FGP - Analyst Report) and EQT Midstream Partners LP (EQM - Snapshot Report) as good buying options.  The energy stocks – sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) – have solid secular growth stories with the potential to rise significantly from the current levels.
 

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