Oil bounced this week, climbing back to around $ 61 on Friday after a recent selloff took it to its weakest levels since December. That rebound has one veteran energy analyst keeping an eye on a few developments that could keep oil afloat.
Fortunately for oil bulls, Kloza believes that the pullback is over. “We think that probably much of the correction has happened, [though] there might be some seasonal weakness here in February and early March,” he said this week on CNBC’s “Futures Now.”
What’s more, there could be one other factor that moves oil just a bit higher: The price of gasoline, which is on the rise as the economy gathers momentum.
“We think gasoline prices are going to spike higher,” he said. “That’s going to be the sherpa, perhaps, that brings crude oil not back to where we saw around late January, but certainly a bit above what we’ve seen in the last few years. “
However, how much higher crude can go will be tempered by the ever-ongoing supply issues facing the crude market. Last week, Citibank revised up its forecast for U.S. oil this year, but warned that growing U.S. supply would push prices right back down in 2019.
In the U.S. market alone, Kloza stated that higher oil prices could lead oil production to reach 1.3 million barrels per day this year. On the other hand, despite the increase in supply, Kloza also believed the inflow of investor money into the oil market could help keep the commodity’s prices stable — even in an environment with growing production.
“There is so much patient money going into oil and likely to continue to go into oil that we believe prices will stay fairly close to where they are now,” he wrote to CNBC in an email.
With the recent plunge, crude is now down about 2 percent year to date.