Even $70 oil won't slow down U.S. shale growth: Strategist

Oil supply showdown: Shale vs. OPEC
Oil supply showdown: Shale vs. OPEC

As oil prices continue to slide lower, analysts are watching and waiting to see whether OPEC will cut production to stem the tide.

However, if the organization decides to do nothing and prices continue to plummet, Citigroup commodities research strategist Eric Lee thinks U.S. shale production growth won't slow down—even if U.S. crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), hits $70 per barrel.

"We're going to start seeing some distress on the more marginal producers but the fact is you'll be cutting more marginal producers, less productive wells, you have a lot of inertia and aggregate U.S. production growth doesn't look like it will slow down much," Lee said Monday in an interview with CNBC's "Street Signs."

"Of course, that means even more painful prices but that seems what the analysis seems to be pointing to."

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WTI ended lower Monday at $81 per barrel, after dipping below $80 earlier in the day.

"We do see prices staying supported here but if OPEC is to continue on this path, not cut back production, then prices can fall down to the $80s level—which we're seeing already now, $85 for Brent, $80 for WTI—and below," Lee said.

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On Sunday, Goldman Sachs released a report that cut its 2015 outlook for oil prices. It expects WTI to drop to $75 a barrel and Brent to $85 a barrel in the first quarter of 2015, both down $15 a barrel from its previous forecast.

WTI could fall as low as $70 in the second quarter and Brent as low as $80, when oversupply would be the most pronounced, before returning to first-quarter levels, Goldman said.

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—Reuters contributed to this report