Best stocks to buy if the oil bottom is in

A Suncor refinery in Edmonton, Alberta.
Geoff Robins | AFP | Getty Images

If oil has bottomed, certain Canadian energy stocks could offer some of the highest returns on the recovery.

These companies had the most to lose as oil prices dropped because it is so expensive to extract petroleum out of Canada's oil sands, so it stands to reason they will gain the most if crude recovers.

Crude oil plunged more than 60 percent the last 12 months before rebounding slightly to hold in a narrow trading range just below $50 a barrel in the last few weeks. That stabilization prompted many analysts to call a bottom and forecast a greater comeback by the end of next year.

"Oil tends to do very well after such as sharp decline," said Nicholas Ghattas of Fundstrat. "This could create a significant alpha trade opportunity in Canadian resource stocks at some point."