Oil and Gas

Oil could hit $65 by year end: Analyst

Fall's energy wrecking ball: Kilduff

A decline in U.S. crude production should reverse the slide in oil, with prices possibly hitting $60 to $65 per barrel by the end of the year, Johnson Rice analyst Ron Mills predicted Thursday.

He noted that the drop in capital has already led to a decline in the number of rigs in operation.

"If we look out over the remainder of the year, based on recent commentary, the capital cuts will get even greater over the remainder of the year," Mills said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Funds in the equity and debt markets have become unavailable to shale producers, he added. Plus, he expects commercial banks to become much more conservative and/or reduce companies' access to capital.

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"We'd expect U.S. production to exit the year somewhere below 9 million barrels a day, which should drive [prices higher]," said Mills.

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U.S. production, which declined slightly two weeks ago, remains steady in the week of Aug. 14 at 9.348 million barrels a day, versus 9.395 million barrels the week earlier.

Again Capital Founder and CNBC contributor John Kilduff, on the other hand, paints a dire scenario for oil prices. He thinks crude could trade to at least the low $30s, and possibly the mid-$20s by the end of 2015.

Read MoreOil could drop into the $20s: Kilduff

With U.S. shale producers producing more oil with fewer rigs and less capital, he doesn't see production falling enough this year to enable the kind of price hike Mills envisions.

Plus, Saudi Arabia and other global producers are "killing each other with more and more oil onto the market."

Instead, Kilduff sees "an awful lot of pain" through the end of the year, with bankruptcies that will be a "wrecking all through this industry this fall."

Then, in 2016 there should be a rebound, he said, when U.S. output likely falls below 9 million barrels a day.

Read MoreOil bear market will end in panic liquidation: Gartman

U.S. crude (WTI) futures settled up 34 cents at $41.14 a barrel Thursday, after closing at its lowest level in more than six years Wednesday.

—Reuters contributed to this story.