Despite the unnerving backdrop provided by Russia, there are positive catalysts that could stoke further ebullience towards energy ETFs. XLE constituents including Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) as well as some of the European majors found in the SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF (NYSEArca: IPW) are lining up to win exploration contracts in Mexico, which recently opened its energy industry to foreign investment. [ETFs for Mexico’s Energy Boom]

Investors have also been allocating cash to ETFs focusing on master limited partnerships (MLPs), a move that was rewarded earlier this week when Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) said it will acquire Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners (NYSE: EPB) in what amounts to the second-largest deal ever in the U.S. energy sector. [These ETFs Love the Kinder Morgan News]

The First Trust North American Energy Infrastructure Fund (NYSEArca: EMLP), ETRACS Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSEArca: MLPI) and the Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: MLPX), each of which has solid exposure to companies involved in the Kinder Morgan deal, have added over $90 million in new assets since the start of the third quarter.

Energy Select Sector SPDR