Futures Now

The crude oil chart looks a lot like 1985: BNP Paribas

Why crude today looks like 1985

Crude oil soared nearly 5 percent Tuesday to its highest level in more than a month after U.S. government data showed a decline in production. The commodity has now rallied more than 27 percent from its August low, and the recent move is giving one expert major flashbacks.

"Comparing 1985 to 2015 in crude, there are a few similarities to highlight," Darren Wolfberg told CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "Back in 1985 we saw a 69 percent sell-off in crude, we can call it a crude depression, and I think we've seen a similar pricing pattern now where crude oil fell 61 percent from its June 2014 high to March 2015 low."

According to Wolfberg, following both sharp declines were "corresponding short covering" rallies that took approximately 34 trading days to materialize. "In both instances we then saw this double-bottoming effect that happened over the next 100 or so days," added the head of U.S. cash equity trading at BNP Paribas. "In 1985, once we saw that double bottoming process play out, crude oil then rallied 110 percent. It went from $11 to north of $20 over the next year."

Wolfberg doesn't necessarily see the same returns this time around, but the technical similarities do prove constructive for crude oil going forward. "I think the key thing is that sentiment has gotten so bearish and we're starting to see production roll off," he said. "It's a matter of time and price in order to see a bottom in a commodity."

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For Wolfberg, crude oil's move past $47 on Tuesday could unlock the doors to further gains. "We've moved above that $47 level, which corresponds with the top-end of the downtrend that we've been in since June of last year," he said. "Looking ahead, the next level is going to be that $50-51 and that's the 200-day."

Crude oil settled more than $2 higher at $48.53 on Tuesday.