CEO Neil Roszell sold Wild Stream Exploration to Crescent Point Energy and spun out Raging River Exploration, where insiders have been buying recently. Calgary Herald photo

These are treacherous times for public market companies and nowhere more so than in the hard-hit energy space. Oil prices have fallen through the floor, with both Brent crude and WTI trading around US$31 - levels last seen in 2003.

With the Saudi and American taps still on, and Iran's oil production coming onstream, many expect bargain barrels to be around for some time, perhaps years.

It's a tricky time to be looking for bargains, falling knives and all, so it was interesting to see some insider buying in the oilpatch overnight.

Raging River Exploration (RRX-T) director David Pearce bought 10,000 RRX shares at $7.55. He's been a steady buyer this year, purchasing a total of $50,000 shares at prices between $7.55 and $8.32.

The stock has actually managed to eke out a 14% return in the past year amid the oil price plunge.

Raging River Exploration is focused on the Viking play north of Kindersley, Saskatchewan. It was spun out after Crescent Point Energy's acquisition of Wild Stream Exploration. Raging River CEO Neil Roszell - who has sold companies to True Energy and Crescent Point Energy, twice - was named Saskatchewan Oilman of the Year in 2015.

Insiders have also been active at oilpatch services company Total Energy Services (TOT-T), where shares have taken a recent tumble but are flat over the past year.

President and CEO Daniel Halyk bought 8,000 shares between $12.24 and $12.35.

In September Total dropped a takeover bid for Strad Energy Services (SDY-T), blaming Strad's "inordinately long" poison-pill period (120 days).

On the gold front, Erdene Resource Development (ERD-V) vice-president and CFO Ken MacDonald has been buying shares as the company advances its projects in Mongolia.

MacDonald purchased a total of 50,000 shares at 15 cents between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11. Erdene is advancing the Altan Nar deposit and its Bayan Khundii high-grade gold discovery that was made last year.

In the Athabasca Basin, Fission Uranium (FCU-T) CEO Dev Randhawa was buying shares on a day Fission closed a private-placement financing and offtake deal with a Chinese company.

Randhawa purchased 26,000 shares at 73 cents, taking his stake to 4,044,704 shares. Director Jeremy Ross also bought 5,000 shares at 73 cents.

CGN Mining paid $82.2 million (at 85 cents) to take a 19.9% stake in Fission Uranium and also agreed to purchase a minimum of 20% of eventual uranium production from Fission's Patterson Lake South project.

Track the insiders daily using the Insiders tab at the CEO.CA Terminal. Erdene Resource Development is a CEO.CA client. This is not investment advice and all investors should do their own research and due diligence.