It'll be ugly, but we'll survive: Canada oil pros

It's going to be ugly in Canada's oil fields over the next few months thanks to low crude prices, with some companies not surviving the rout, Canadian oil pros told CNBC Wednesday. However, they expect the industry to land on its feet.

"I think you're going to see a lot of corporate distress, we already are, bankruptcies and so on," Peter Tertzakian, chief energy economist and managing director at ARC Financial, said in an interview with "Street Signs."

He anticipates a "massive" pullback in revenue and cash flow in the industry and said "spending is going to dry up."

However, the business will not go out of business, he said.

"You can put companies out of business but you can't put the process out of business. These new technologies—horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing—that's not going away," Tertzakian said.

U.S. crude surged on Wednesday, settling at $48.48 a barrel, up 5.6 percent for the session. It was its best day since June 2012. Brent reversed earlier losses to trade about 4 percent higher. It was last up $2.08 at $48.67 a barrel.

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Traders and brokers pointed out that the spike came on the day that options for U.S. contracts expire and a day ahead of the Brent February contract's expiration.

'Free for all' at the moment

Oil prices have fallen about 60 percent since June, and Tertzakian thinks low prices will be around for a while.

That's because not only are there the issues of supply and demand, there is also a price war with Saudi Arabia.

"When you get a price war, all producers try to offset the revenue loss by producing more. So it's a free-for-all at the moment," he said. "Until we start to see some of the participants in this global thing start to die off, we're going to see low prices."

The plunging price of oil has hit Canadian producers particularly hard, with some names seeing more than a 50 percent drop in shares over the past three months.

"There is a lot of overreaction in this market although certainly some serious downturns are warranted," FirstEnergy Capital CEO John Chambers told "Street Signs."

The companies with the highest amount of leverage and higher cost structures are the ones that will be impacted most, he said.

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Michael Rose, CEO of Tourmaline Oil Corp. CEO, told CNBC that his company is healthy enough to survive. Its shares are down 17 percent over the last three months.

"We probably have one of the best balance sheets in North America, so we can withstand a prolonged slump, but we actually don't think that's going to happen," he said.

He said Tourmaline Oil's production will grow this year partly because it had an inventory of 45 wells at year end. However, it has cut back its rig count from 20 to 16.

"It takes a while for cutbacks to have an impact," Rose said. "If the price continues to stay low for both oil and gas, we'd probably cut it back a little further and then you start eroding your 2016 [production]."

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If low oil persists into 2016, then Rose thinks "it's really going to hurt" the region.

A 'huge amount of opportunity' here

With oil prices at these levels, there is a huge amount of opportunity for investors willing to jump in, First Energy Capital's Chambers said.

"You have to find those companies that have cleaner balance sheets, that are able to cut costs, that have lower operating costs and that are going to be able to find themselves in 2016 with an ongoing business plan and a profitable business," he said.

He's also anticipating a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the space.

—Reuters contributed to this report.