4 Best Oil ETFs for 2023

Oil ETFs are baskets of securities that track the price of oil as a commodity, or contain oil stocks. They are an easy way to invest in oil markets, but they do carry risk.
Alana Benson
By Alana Benson 
Edited by Pamela de la Fuente

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When gas prices rise, people start looking to add oil securities to their portfolios. If you’re curious about investing in oil, oil ETFs are an easy way to do so.

What are oil ETFs?

Oil ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, are baskets of securities that either track the price of oil as a commodity or contain oil stocks. Oil ETFs give investors easy access to a commodity that’s difficult to own and store. But oil prices can swing drastically in either direction and can be closely correlated to global and geopolitical events, making it a complex and often risky investment.

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. A Brief History of Oil Prices and Vehicle Technologies. Accessed Mar 14, 2022.

» Want to know more? Learn how to invest in oil

Best-performing oil ETFs

The best-performing oil ETF based on five-year performance is the United States Brent Oil Fund LP. Keep in mind, the best-performing investment today may not be the best one next year — or even next week.

The following oil ETFs are commodities ETFs, meaning they track the price of oil through benchmarks such as the Brent Crude Oil or West Texas Intermediate benchmarks. These ETFs do not hold oil company stocks. This list also includes oil ETNs (more on that below).

Fund name

Fund ticker

Five-year return

iPath Pure Beta Crude Oil ETN



United States 12 Month Oil Fund LP



United States Brent Oil Fund LP



Invesco DB Oil Fund



Data is current as of April 4, 2023. Data is solely for informational purposes and not for trading purposes or advice. This list excludes hedged, leveraged and inverse ETFs.

» Curious about oil stocks? Explore how to buy oil stocks

What are oil ETNs?

Oil ETNs, or exchange-traded notes, are similar to oil ETFs in that they are both traded on securities exchanges and can be bought and sold throughout the trading day, similar to stocks. A major difference between ETFs and ETNs is that ETFs are investment companies registered by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and ETFs actually own the underlying assets that you, as an investor, own a part of. ETNs do not own an underlying portfolio of assets, and instead are made up of unsecured debt obligations. ETNs are generally considered riskier investments than ETFs.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Investor Bulletin: Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs). Accessed Mar 14, 2022.

» Ready to get started? Check out the best brokers for ETF investors

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Neither the author nor editor held positions in the aforementioned investments at the time of publication.
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