It is hard to believe with gas prices residing where they currently do, but the U.S. will be the world’s largest oil producer this year.
No need for a double take. The U.S. will produce more crude this year than Saudi Arabia, the largest OPEC producer, and Russia, Grant Smith reports for Bloomberg, citing Bank of America.
“U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter,” according to Bloomberg.
Increased production coupled with investors flocking to value sectors has ignited a rally in energy stocks and equity-based exchange traded funds. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest energy ETF, is up 15% year-to-date and has pulled in almost $3.1 billion in new assets this year, more than any other sector ETF. [Soaring Demand for Energy ETFs]
XLE and rival ETFs focused on the largest U.S. oil companies have surged despite tepid year-to-date performances by Dow components Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX). Exxon and Chevron entered Monday with 2014 gains of 1.8% and 4.9%, respectively. By comparison, 12 other Dow stocks are up at least 5% this year.
Exxon and Chevron combine for 27.6% of XLE’s weight.