Jefferies on Wednesday launched the TR/J CRB Wildcatters Exploration & Production ETF, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Wildcatters Energy E&P Equity Index and trades on NYSE Arca.

The index is comprised of small- and mid-cap oil and gas exploration and production companies and also provides a benchmark for the equities of commodity-related companies. These companies, Jefferies said, are largely underrepresented in major stock market and energy sector indexes. Approximately two-thirds of the proved reserves of the Wildcatters Index are natural gas.

“An investment in natural gas is an investment in the future of American energy independence,” said Adam De Chiara, co-president of Jefferies Asset Management. “The companies [in] the index are small enough to benefit from possible changes in drilling restrictions and expansion of natural gas infrastructure.”

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