If the U.S. continues to focus on reducing its carbon footprint, natural gas will be a better buy than oil in 2010, said Phil Weiss, senior energy analyst at Argus Research Company.
Still, only one of his top energy picks for the New Year involves the natural gas category, because the shares are trading a bit too high, he said.
ExxonMobil — It's one of the best managed companies in the energy sector, and 2010 will be a strong year for production growth, Weiss said. The company has a strong balance sheet, and Weiss thinks that in the longterm, its acquisition of natural gas company XTO will be a good one.
Noble and Transocean — Both rig suppliers are leaders in the deepwater space, where there is still a lot of area for exploration, Weiss said.
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Weiss owns shares of Noble and Transocean.