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August 8, 2013  Thu 8:14 AM CT

"We expect EOG's three high rate of return oil plays--the Eagle Ford, Bakken/Three Forks, and Delaware Basin--to provide us with years of drilling inventory as well as significant growth opportunities. These plays just get bigger and better."

That's what EOG Resources Chairman Mark Papa said after the company's remarkable quarter, one that redefines growth in the oil patch as the company raised its rate from an already astounding 28 percent to an amazing 35 percent--especially given that this is already a huge oil company.

Plus, the growth could have been even greater as EOG's Delaware Basin assets--part of the recently rediscovered and re-rated Permian Basin--are being constrained because there's not enough infrastructure to handle the natural-gas byproduct of the drilling yet, despite the fact that the Permian's been around forever. It's as if the Delaware is a whole new basin in itself. logoEOG's the strongest growth story in oil these days, and it is a reminder that while mutual fund and index money are by nature drawn to Exxon Mobil, the oil giant is a stagnant, if not wasting, asset. It still gets the benefit of the doubt it had about the worst quarter reported this season, and it still is buying back stock at an incredible pace ($4 billion this last quarter), but the market wants growth in oil just as it does in tech and banking.

That's why EOG remains one of the best independent growth stories to own. Yes, even up here, the story keeps getting bigger and better.

Random musings: Finisar is a reminder of how carrier spending is off the charts lately after years of desultory commitment. It's amazing what a little competition among carriers will do.

Disclosures: Cramer's charitable trust has no positions in the stocks mentioned.
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