Technological improvements and greater efficiency has helped U.S. shale producers pump out crude oil at lower margins – some say it is now profitable at less than $50 per barrel. Additionally, companies are finding easy access to credit and private-equity firms have bought out struggling companies, which have kept production flowing.

“It should be noted that XLE is coming up on a historically bearish time of year. Since inception, the fund has averaged a loss in the months of June, July, August, and September,” according to Schaeffer’s.

Rivals to XLE include the Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSEArca: VDE), iShares U.S. Energy ETF (NYSEArca: IYE) and the Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (NYSEArca: FENY).

For more information on the oil market, visit our energy category.