Oil prices have been on a wild ride over the past year as oversupply, geopolitical turmoil and political uncertainty all pressured prices. However, some analysts say they are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel as major producers have shown signs of willingness to work together.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak announced earlier this week that he was ready to meet with OPEC and non-OPEC producers to discuss the oil market, as sign that coordination to cut production and raise prices may be in the cards. However, with the industry still on shaky ground, there are many deals to be had for risk-hungry investors who see the sector improving.
While picking individual stocks is riskier than betting on an ETF, the rewards can also be larger. Investors hoping to cash in as oil recovers are looking to oil companies that have been able to weather the storm and are keeping their future projections conservative. Total SA (ADR) (NYSE: TOT) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) are two such firms that have drawn in investors interested in getting back into oil.
Oil ETFs have lost around 40 percent over the past year as crude prices plummeted, but some see the low price as an opportunity, especially for a long-term investor. Vanguard Energy ETF (NYSE: VDE) is one such fund which gives investors exposure to every aspect of the oil industry from exploration to refining products. PowerShares DB Energy Fund (ETF) (NYSE: DBE) tracks a variety of energy commodities and depends more on price fluctuations in Brent crude oil, natural gas and other commodities.
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