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A surprise report on U.S. crude inventories is constructive for oil prices, but once crude goes above $50 it may hit some bumps, analyst Helima Croft said Tuesday.
U.S. oil stocks fell unexpectedly last week by 7.6 million barrels, according to the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday. Analysts were expecting an increase of 2.6 billion barrels.
"There are some headwinds for crude once you get above $50 — producer hedging, rig counts coming back but certainly the API numbers only help coming on the back of the OPEC story," the global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."
Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it would cut output to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day, with details to be finalized at its policy meeting in November.
Croft pointed out that the cartel isn't aiming to bring oil back up to $70 or $80 per barrel. Instead, she believes it is aiming for $50 to $60 a barrel.
"They are looking for a price that allows them to meet some of their fiscal needs … but they don't want to bring back all U.S. production."
At that price, the production at the Permian Basin could come back online, but it could potentially leave the Bakken and Eagle Ford on the sidelines, she said.
— Reuters contributed to this report.