John Kilduff, senior vice president and energy analyst at Man Financial, appeared on CNBC's special "Power Lunch at the Four Seasons" to give his outlook for oil and gasoline -- and to explain why easing tensions in Nigeria haven't made him bearish on either.
Nigeria's nationwide oil-worker strike ended over the weekend, and oil prices fell as low as $67.55 per barrel on Monday. But prices inched back up -- and Kilduff told CNBC's Bill Griffeth that he's not surprised.
"There are so many more reasons to be still be bullish than bearish" on oil, he declared. The analyst pointed to turmoil in Venezuela, where Exxon Mobil and ConocoPhillips have refused to join in a nationalization deal mandated by President Hugo Chavez -- and may have to leave the key OPEC nation.
"When we price in $70 [per barrel] oil, part of that is future supply continuity," Kilduff explained. "The issue in Venezuela undermines confidence, just like it's being undermined in Russia, by all that stuff with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin."
The analyst said he also expects gasoline to keep climbing. He cited automobile fuel's propensity to rise even when crude oil falls, due to refinery problems like a recent ValeroEnergy outage. And he warned that due to refining inefficiencies, the U.S. is "horribly reliant on massive gasoline imports."
Kilduff said the science of pricing and trading has evolved into "a new animal," with "a lot more electronic trading" affecting activity patterns, and "a lot more traders in general, who've never been in this space before."