Gartman’s contrarian crude call

Saudi Arabia's decision to cut diplomatic ties with Iran sent oil on a wild ride to start the week.

Crude closed in the red Monday after surging 3 percent at one point — but one widely followed commodities watcher says despite the big moves, oil is likely to trade in a very tight trading range for the rest of 2016.

"I think we're going to be $4 on either side of $37 for spot WTI," Dennis Gartman told the CNBC "Fast Money" traders on Monday. "$33 is the low. $41 is the high. I think WTI will be happy to spend the next year or so at and around $37 per barrel. This is where we are today."

West Texas Intermediate crude was down 1.4 percent at $36.24 late morning Tuesday.

Oil's volatility Monday offered a stark reminder that record-high supply and continued aggressive production should keep crude prices low — at least in the near term.

Dennis Gartman
Lauren Alperstein | CNBC
Dennis Gartman

"There's still a great deal of oil that's available to us at almost any instant," Gartman said. "There are a lot of wells that have been drilled here in the United States that have been capped that can be brought on stream very, very quickly. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is available, the Chinese have an SPR that's getting larger by the day. The tanks in the United States are very filled up. Simply put, there's a lot of crude oil that can come to the market in a moment's notice."

He points to the Permian Basin in Texas, the Bakken in North Dakota and the Marcellus Formation as hot spots for the surplus of oil wells available in the U.S.

"The minute oil rallies higher than $40, the hundreds of wells we have ready in the U.S. will open up and the price will come falling back down," Gartman told "Fast Money" producers.

Despite Monday's volatility, he still believes the time to be short of crude has passed but the time to bet bullish is at least one, two or three years ahead of us.

"Boring is good for the economy. Boring is good for the consumer," Gartman said. "And prices a little higher would be beneficial to [oil] producers so I think 'boring' is the watchword for a long period of time."