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Integrated energy behemoth, Chevron Corp. (CVX - Analyst Report), has been awarded the shale gas exploration tender by the Baltic state of Lithuania to explore shale gas in the western part of the country.

The San Ramon, Calif.-based company was the sole bidder to explore the 1,800 square kilometers Silute-Taurage area for unconventional hydrocarbons. Lithuania estimates the prospect could hold as much as 80 billion cubic meters (bcm) of technically recoverable shale gas.

The Baltic state receives its full requirement of gas from Russia and said that it was being overcharged by the Russian gas behemoth Gazprom. Choosing Chevron for the tender is a move by the government to reduce this dependence on Russia.

The contract is expected to be signed by the end of the year with the condition that in exchange of the seven-year permit, Chevron is required to spend approximately 80 million litas or $30.56 million in exploration.

Chevron is one of the largest publicly traded oil and gas companies in the world and is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing of petroleum products, manufacturing of chemicals and other energy-related businesses. The company divides its operations into two main segments, Upstream and Downstream.

Chevron’s financial flexibility, strong balance sheet and its move to divest non-core and high-cost assets are looked upon as positives. Also, the company’s current oil and gas development project pipeline is among the best in the industry. However, as an exploration and production company, its exposure to volatile oil and gas prices cannot be ignored.

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


Meanwhile, other stocks such as Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP - Analyst Report), Seacor Holdings Inc. and Dril-Quip, Inc. (DRQ - Analyst Report) are good buying options. All these stocks currently hold a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy).
 

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