Reasons to Stick With Energy ETFs

That has been good news for ETFs with leverage to the North American shale boom such as the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) and the First Trust ISE-Revere Natural Gas Index Fund (NYSEArca: FCG). XOP has been a frequent visitor to the new all-time high club in recent days while FCG is the top-performing non-leveraged sector ETF over the past month. [Natural Gas Finally a Winner]

Still, declining ex-U.S. production could be a catalyst for ETFs such as IXC and IPW.

“Beyond the events in Russia and Ukraine, oil prices are elevated partly due to falling production throughout much of the Middle-East and Africa. For several years now, production has been falling in Libya, Nigeria and South Sudan, mostly due to terrorism and political instability,” said BlackRock Chief Investment Strategist Russ Koesterich in a recent note.

Production in OPEC member Libya, home to Africa’s largest reserves, has plunged to 250,000 barrels per day from 1.7 million before a spate of civil unrest hit the country, according to Koesterich.

The average dividend yield on IXC and IPW is 2.7% compared to just 1.88% on the iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (NasdaqGM: ACWI).

iShares Global Energy ETF