August has historically been brutal for oil and gas stocks. According to data from Schaeffer Research, the energy sector has consistently underperformed in August, with returns coming in negative in 8 of the last ten years. Oil field services companies have been among the biggest culprits, with Baker Hughes (NYSE: BKR), Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB) and Haliburton Co (NYSE: HAL) featuring among the ten worst-performing stocks in all sectors with average returns of -7.45%,-6.31% and -6.10%, respectively. Meanwhile, one of the top players in the Eagle Ford shale play, Apache Corp . (NYSE: APA), rounds off the list of shame with an average return of -6.17% over the past 10 Augusts. However, this year is looking to buck that trend. The energy sector’s favorite benchmark, the Energy Select Sector Fund (XLE), is up nearly 10% since the beginning of the month and almost +12% over the past 30 days. […]