Oil to fall under $30 before rebounding: Analyst

Oil will fall to $20 levels before recovering: McGraw Hill
Oil will fall to $20 levels before recovering: McGraw Hill

The first half of 2016 is looking "pretty ugly" for hammered oil prices that are poised for even more losses, an analyst said Thursday.

While some recovery in prices--perhaps at $60 a barrel--may take place at the end of 2016, "You would hit a price in the 20s before you would certainly get there, said McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute's president, John Kingston.

Kingston's comments come on the back of a slide in crude oil prices after U.S. government data showed a surprise stockpiling of crude and no slowing in production as the year comes to a close.

The weekly Energy Information Administration data showed a jump of 2.6 million barrels of inventory, when many analysts expected a decline. Inventories had dropped sharply — by 6 million barrels the previous week.

U.S. WTI and Brent crude oil prices settled over 3 percent lower Wednesday and are now flat above $36 a barrel in Asian trade on Thursday.

With first quarter oil demand historically lower than demand in the fourth quarter, the outlook is weak, Kingston told CNBC's Squawk Box.

Pump jacks and wells on the Monterey Shale formation in California
David McNew / Stringer | Getty Images News

There is also the specter of Iranian oil production coming on-stream to the international markets as U.S. sanctions are lifted, putting further supply-side pressure.

In the long-term, the development of shale oil globally will be changing the energy landscape significantly.

"You'd have to be sort of a crazy bull out there to find anybody talking about $100 again," said Kingston.

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