Here are the critical levels for crude oil now

Crude oil rose for the third straight session on Thursday, trading near two-month highs on the back of a reported drop in U.S. stockpiles.

Now, as this inventory data sends crude oil higher for its third straight session, some strategists see an additional bullish catalyst in rising global uncertainty.

"Everyone has been kind of thinking that oil prices are going to continue to remain low. But the reality is there are many other things that are going around the globe, specifically a lot of geopolitical risk. And what that does is create uncertainty for the future supply of crude oil," Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

Specifically, Streible pointed to sanctions recently imposed on oil-rich Iran, unrest in North Korea and Russia, and a two-day strike in Venezuela, one of the world's largest oil producers.

This strike could push crude oil prices up through $50 per barrel "very soon," Streible said, and ultimately oil will rise to the $53 to $55 range. This range is about 9 to 13 percent higher than oil's settle price on Wednesday.

"Once we're up there, we'll probably start to see the rig count in the U.S. continue to build," he said, and as more rigs come online and production revs up, oil prices may begin to "level off."

Furthermore, investors should look for any kind of pullback as an opportunity to position oneself on the "long side," Streible said, and over the long run oil prices will come to a more "normalized" level.

"Anything in this mid-$40 range, I think, provides some value for crude oil," he said.

Crude oil settled 1.8 percent higher on Wednesday, at $48.75 per barrel.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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