MLP ETFs Are an Attractive Yield-Generating Idea

As energy markets strengthen and crude oil prices break back above $70 per barrel, income-minded investors may want to take a look at master limited partnerships or MLP-related ETFs.

Brent crude oil futures briefly broke back above $70 per barrel while West Texas Intermediate was trading around $64 per barrel. Energy markets are soaring to start 2018 and some oil market observers believe the commodity can deliver more upside.

“Crude oil prices continued to firm through the quarter, driven mainly by persistent demand, declining global inventories, compliance from OPEC and Russia on self-imposed oil production quotas, and extended commitments to those quotas into 2018,” Shawn Reynolds Portfolio Manager for VanEck, said in a note.

Deadly protests in Iran, the third largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), have lifted oil prices to start 2018 as traders grow concerned over potential supply risks.

The global market has suffered through a supply glut, but the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have taken steps to rein in the oversupply, which has translated to a steadily strengthening crude oil market. Recently, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela all reported lower monthly output.

Meanwhile, given the sudden rebound in the crude oil markets, U.S. producers, or mainly the upstart shale oil industry, has been ramping up production to capitalize on the higher prices to the dismay of OPEC and other global oil suppliers. U.S production is expected to soon cross over 10 million barrels per day, or close to Saudi Arabia’s levels, largely due to the surging output from shale drillers.