Crude oil rout: Now is a good time to pick energy stocks
A file photograph of crude oil pump jacks in Russia.Reuters

Crude oil's recovery could be short-lived. However, some analysts opine that now is the time to pick energy stocks.

Gaurav Sodhi, resources analyst at research service Intelligent Investor, told CNBC that he is not particularly positive on crude oil prices in the near-term. But that he is positive on oil stocks.

Sodhi is positive on mining giant BHP as it alters its oil investments.

He has also upgraded Australia's Origin and Santos, taking their high debt piles as a positive, as they stand to benefit relatively more once crude prices rise.

Sodhi said: "There's been an awful lot of oil in storage and at some point this is going to have to be unwound. So we could be awhile from the bottom. That doesn't scare me at all."

He told the news channel: "Stop trying to pick the bottom in oil and recognize that today is actually an opportunity to create a position in oil.

"The impact of the oil price has been well and truly priced into every major oil producer around the world. Oil service companies have been hammered.

"Equity valuations already infer current oil prices. There's a small chance prices may fall further but I'd say that there's a very good chance that in five years' time we're going to see prices at $80 or higher."

Benchmark Brent crude futures were trading 0.85% higher to $61 a barrel at 9.45am.

Goldman Sachs' take

Sodhi is not alone in spotting an opportunity in oil equities.

Goldman Sachs has closed its underweight position in Asian energy stocks.

Goldman, in a 13 February note, said regional oil plays implied a long-dated Brent oil price of $65 to $70 a barrel, in line with its $70 a barrel prediction and the generic 24-month futures contract pricing of $70.

The bank added that sector stocks were also trading at reasonable valuations, with the enterprise value-to-Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) ratio coming in below the 10-year average.

Brent crude prices traded at $61.52 a barrel on 13 February, the highest settlement so far this year, and off January's lows of under $49.

Earlier, Capital Economics said in a note: "The rebound in global oil prices has lifted Brent crude back to $61 per barrel, slightly above our existing forecast for the end of the year but consistent with our central scenario of a recovery to $70 over the medium term.

"With declining rig counts in the US unlikely to have much impact on production just yet, and seasonal demand weak, the rally in the oil price may falter soon.

"But the fears that oil prices would remain in free-fall in 2015 have at least been confounded..."

Brent, the global benchmark, remains sharply lower from its over $115 a barrel level struck in mid-June of 2014, pulled down by a supply glut and weak global demand.