Oil bottom near? Pro says some of worst may be over

Worst over in energy markets?
Worst over in energy markets?

Oil has been on a downward spiral, but one options pro told CNBC on Tuesday that he thinks the bottom may be near.

Of particular note was the lack of nervousness after U.S. crude went under $54 earlier in the day, Alan Knuckman, chief options strategist at Bulls-Eye Options, told CNBC.

"That may be telling me that the sellers are getting a little tired and you may lean on that $50 level as a level to buy. Some of the worst may be over," he said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

U.S. crude futures hit a 5 1/2-year low on Tuesday, falling to $52.70 per barrel, before rebounding in choppy trading to close higher at $54.12.

"I'm looking for crude to find a base somewhere at these levels," Knuckman said. He believes crude will go to $70 or $75 once the market recovers.

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Oil finally bottoming?
Oil finally bottoming?

For Pavel Molchanov, an energy analyst with Raymond James, the movements in energy stocks are an indicator for oil prices.

"Equities traditionally in energy have bottomed ahead of the commodity, just as they tend to peak ahead of the commodity," he said in an interview with "Street Signs."

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However, while some oil-related names such as Rowan, Hornbeck Offshore and Encana are up over the past five trading sessions, he doesn't think it means too much in predicting where commodity's price goes for the near term.

Longer-term, Molchanov expects oil will be higher a year from now. He also believes there will be some rotation into energy stocks, the worst performing sector in the S&P 500 for the past year, over the next 12 months.

"The dollar is going to be a major headwind for a number of the sectors in the S&P outside of energy and if you think about what are people going to be taking profits in and where could they be reinvestment, we think energy is going to see some of those benefits," he said.

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His top picks are Occidental Petroleum and InterOil, which he believes can withstand the prolonged downturn.

—CNBC's Jackie O'Sullivan contributed to this report.

Disclosure: It could not be immediately ascertained if Molchanov has positions in the stocks mentioned.