Oil to hit bottom by end of first quarter: Pro

Pro's energy picks: CRZO, PDCE & SN
Pro's energy picks: CRZO, PDCE & SN   

Oil prices will hit bottom by the end of the first quarter, according to an industry analyst.

Chad Mabry, of the energy and natural resources research department of MLV & Co., said in an interview with CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Monday that he expects oil to rise back to about $70 per barrel. "If you look at the fundamentals into the back half of 2015, we are seeing equilibrium on supply and demand balance," he said. "We are seeing supply come down."

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Mabry added the forecast supply drop will, in turn, drive up oil's demand, benefiting small- and mid-cap oil companies the most.

"We will see a fair amount of demand elasticity that will pick up and balance us back to our marginal costs of production," he said. "I can't call the bottom here, but the longer we do fall towards $40 per barrel, the harder that snap back will be towards that marginal cost of production."

The oil storage depot at Indonesian oil company Pertamina in Jakarta
Beawiharta | Reuters
The oil storage depot at Indonesian oil company Pertamina in Jakarta

Mabry also said he would be looking out for Carrizo Oil and Gas and PDC Energy because of the management team and core assets, respectively.

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"I would also throw in Sanchez Energy with their condensate exposure," he said. "We saw a ruling from the government last week that allows exports of condensate. That should open up a big market."

Nevertheless, Mabry said oil's current plunge is unprecedented. "We're in the midst a structural shift in the markets ever since OPEC decided not to cut production," he said.