Crude soared higher Wednesday thanks to a drop in U.S. inventory, but the path to $50 or $60 oil will take a big drop in U.S. production or a supply outage somewhere else, strategist Helima Croft said Wednesday.
"You have to have the expectation of a real roll in U.S. production. You have to see this really starting to come down before people start to say on a fundamental basis we should get constructive," the chief commodities strategist for RBC Capital Markets said in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch."
"Supply got us into this. It's an oversupply situation. Supply will really have to get us out."
Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a total U.S. inventory drop of 2.1 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 11. The draw numbers were bullish beyond average analysts' forecasts. A Reuters poll called for a total stockpile growth of 1.2 million barrels last week.
The data, along with some technical buying, led to Wednesday's rally, Croft said. U.S. crude surged 5.7 percent, settling at about $47.15 a barrel. was last up 4 percent at $49.73 a barrel.
In addition to U.S. production levels, global unrest could also have an impact on prices, said Croft.
She believes ISIS remains the wild card. The terror group currently incorporates energy infrastructure as part of its empire, she noted.
"There are plenty of exposed energy infrastructures in the Middle East. If they decide to change their focus, that could be very significant for the oil markets."
—Reuters contributed to this report.