Swings in oil prices have fueled investors to bet the farm, with some calling for $18 crude and others for $50 by year-end, but a $5 difference in the oil market means big money, according to John Christmann, CEO of Apache..
"Every $5 move in the oil price means about $450 million in cash flow to us, so it absolutely makes a difference," he told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday.
Market volatility has encouraged the exploration and production company to cut costs and reduce its rigs drastically, having gone from 93 to four drilling rigs, as of recent. In this vein, Christmann said that Apache continues a conservative approach despite its optimistic views of an oil bounce back. This year, the company foresees it will reduce its production by up to 11 percent from 2015.
Christmann said that Apache is going to be cash flow neutral in 2016, as it planned for a $35 a barrel budget; a big difference from a year before.
"We budgeted the year at $35, so anything with a four handle in front of it or approaching a four handle today is very welcomed," he noted. "We budget at $50 last year."
Matching Christmann's optimism is oil expert Helima Croft. The global head of commodity strategies at RBC Capital Markets told CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Monday that geopolitical risks could be crude's new catalyst — a factor that the market is yet to price in.
On the other hand, oil industry company Baker Hughs reported Friday that the U.S. oil rig count was up one oil rig last week, just after a 12 week decline. In contrast, the Cushing, Oklahoma, stockpile was down 570,574 barrels to 69.05 million in the week to March 18, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.
The Cushing inventories previously caused market watchers panic, as the stockpile was closing in on 70 million barrels amid the global crude glut, near what investors consider capacity.
"We are starting to see politically driven supply outages," Croft said. "We are starting to lose hundreds of thousands of barrels out of stress producers," she said, adding that a black swan such as an ISIS attack at a major energy facility could hearten a production impact.
Croft also noted that an offline northern pipeline in Nigeria and Iraq could potentially expedite a production decline.
Meanwhile, Andy Hendricks, CEO of Patterson-UTI Energy, told CNBC on Monday that oil rigs have not hit bottom, the company still sees rigs coming down. He noted that his company is one of the largest contract drillers that provides technology and services to the oil and gas industry in the U.S., and holds about 12 percent of the U.S. market share.
"We are down to 62 rigs, we were at a peak of 214 rigs back int he fall of 2014, so it's come down significantly; roughly 70 percent," he told "Power Lunch."
— Reuters contributed to this story.