Despite a jump in crude oil prices this week, gains may be capped by a quick ramp up in shale oil production, said an analyst Friday.
Oil prices have jumped over 20 percent since hitting 12-year lows last week and are around $34 a barrel in Asian hours on the back of reports saying that OPEC and producers from outside the cartel would meet to discuss production cuts.
Speaking to CNBC's Capital Connection on Friday, Citigroup's Head of Asia Commodity Research, Ivan Szpakowski said that the shutdown of shale wells and the subsequent support in oil prices as envisioned by Saudi Arabia is a "questionable victory" because unlike traditional oil and gas production, shale production can be ramped up fast.
"This production can be switched on within a matter of months; so if prices start moving higher later this year, you'll see shale production in the U.S. starting to increase again," he said.
"It really caps the rally," he added without giving a price forecast.
Despite a 70 percent decline in crude oil prices since the summer of 2014 when the extended decline started, OPEC has refused to cut the group's production ceiling as Saudi Arabia sticks to its strategy of pumping more oil to squeeze out higher-cost energy producers such as shale companies.
The plan however is taking far longer than Saudi envisioned, said analysts, and prices hit fresh 12-year lows last week due to the lifting of international sanctions against Iran.
Szpakowski said the house is expecting Iran to export another 300,000 barrels of oil a day in the coming months—short of the country's own forecast of half to one million barrels a day in the first year after sanctions.
"We don't think that's actually achievable more from a technical standpoint. The major constraint there will be how fast they can actually reopen the wells, get the oil pumping. And there's also an issue of insurance; who's going to insure all of these tankers going out to the rest of the world?"