Image Source: Teekay.

After getting clobbered over the past few months, MLPs have finally started to recover. This week's top story in the energy sector is a massive move higher by MLPs. In fact, according to S&P Capital IQ data, five of the best-performing energy stocks this week were MLPs. Leading the way were Energy Transfer Equity (ET -1.10%), Archrock Partners (NASDAQ: APLP), Martin Midstream Partners (MMLP), Teekay Offshore Partners (TOO), and Teekay LNG Partners (TGP).

Only Energy Transfer Equity had actual news this week that helped fuel its rally, though I use the word "news" lightly. The company, which is in the middle of a drama-filled merger with a rival, has been the recipient of a number of conflicting news stories over the past few months. This week, the stories were positive, with its merger partner saying that it remains committed to the merger transaction despite what some reports have said. Meanwhile, Energy Transfer Equity shot down a news story that said it was having discussions to sell one of its prize assets in order to pay for the deal. 

The rallies in Archrock Partners, Martin Midstream Partners, Teekay Offshore Partners, and Teekay LNG Partners were partly fueled by oil prices, and partly by investors coming to their senses that these companies weren't heading toward financial ruin. This all occurred after oil rebounded this week, touching $40 a barrel for the first time this year. That helped ease concerns that crude could be heading down a bottomless pit, which had been taking MLPs down with it. With that pit apparently having an actual bottom higher than investors had feared, MLPs are starting to recover, as bargain hunters start to swoop in and pick up units on the cheap. 

To learn more about why these stocks moved so sharply, check out the following slideshow.