Trading the oil pullback: 5 plays on volatility

As uncertainty reigns in oil trading, investors should look to profit on up-and-down movement in the commodity, CNBC "Fast Money" trader Pete Najarian said.

The CBOE Crude Oil Volatility Index jumped more than 3 percent on Tuesday and is up 179 percent in the last year. It sat just below $54 on Tuesday and if it falls below $50, options in the index could be a profitable play, Najarian said.

"It gives you an opportunity to play some of that upside with all this volatility," he said.

A worker with Apache in the Permian Basin in Mentone, Texas.
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A worker with Apache in the Permian Basin in Mentone, Texas.

Benchmark U.S. WTI crude oil dropped 2 percent on Tuesday while global standard Brent fell more than 1 percent. Refiners including Tesoro and Valero "still work" amid the choppy trading, said trader Guy Adami.

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Both stocks have jumped more than 20 percent this year. American refiners have taken advantage of the spread between WTI and Brent, trader Brian Kelly said.

Brent sat more than $7 per barrel higher on Wednesday, so investors should watch the gap between the two, he added.

Though most have struggled, some "conventional production" companies have shown promise, trader Tim Seymour said. He looked at names including Hess and EOG Resources, which he said had strong balance sheets and could have upside on an industry downtrend.

Read MoreThe other biggest loser in oil's slide: Angola

Hess and EOG have fallen 18 and 6 percent, respectively, in the last year.


Tim Seymour

Tim Seymour is long T, BAC, C, DIS, F, GE, GM, GOOGL, INTC, JCP and SUNE. Tim's firm is long BABA, BIDU, MCD, NKE, NOK and SBUX.

Pete Najarian

Pete Najarian is long AMAT, AAPL, BABA, BAC, BMY, BP, CSX, DISCA, FOXA, GE, KKR, KO, LLY, MRK, PEP, PFE and SAP. He is long calls BK, CNX, COP, EBAY, EXXI, F, FCX, FL, GE, GM, GT, JD, KO, LYB, NEE, PBR, PEP, RAD, RAI, TEVA, TWTR, UA, UAL, UFS and ZIOP. Today he bought RAI calls and UA calls.

Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly is long BBRY, BTC=, U.S. dollar, EEM, GLD, GSG and TLT. He is long calls CTRL. He is long puts SPY. He is short yuan.

Guy Adami

Guy Adami is long CELG, EXAS and INTC. Guy Adami's wife, Linda Snow, works at Merck.