×

Saudi Arabia can't afford low oil prices for much longer: SocGen

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) decision on Friday to leave its 30 million barrel-a-day oil production quota unchanged has dented already beleaguered oil markets, but some market watchers are skeptical about even lower prices.

On the slide since OPEC's decision, oil prices slumped even further in U.S. trade on Monday, losing more than 6 percent to hover near seven-year lows of under $38 a barrel for U.S. WTI and about $40 a barrel for Brent crude.

Alain Bokobza, head of global asset allocation at Societe Generale, told CNBC's Squawk Box that OPEC was likely to be forced to cut production next year as low oil prices were hitting producing economies.

83093782SO021_Farmland_Tapp
Getty Images

"We've seen OPEC not cutting when OPEC is bleeding currently" said Bokobza.

With Saudi Arabia's budget deficit at 22 percent of the GDP, the oil behemoth can't hold out that much longer, he added.

"At some stage they need to agree with some big OPEC producers, [and] that means Iran [to cut production], and they will come to the market sooner rather than later [to cut] production. That day, better not be short oil."

Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance Securities, also cautioned traders on shorting the market much further.

"I would be a little bit cautious over there…If it gets a good bounce from here, then that will confirm a low from me," he told CNBC's Squawk Box.

There were, however, other opportunities for investors, Barratt added.

"Oil down at this level... is an opportunity. It's an opportunity for M&A activity, it's an opportunity for people to start to invest in that sector again," said Barratt.