What's next for oil prices?

Has the recent historic drop in crude oil prices reversed course?

American consumers have been watching as gasoline prices have been creeping upward in recent weeks, although pump prices are still on average more than dollar lower per gallon than they were this time last year.

But industry analysts are divided about where prices on the global oil market will be heading during the next several months.

Andrew Critchlow, commodities editor at The Telegraph, recently submitted five reasons he believes the oil prices will keep rising.

He starts by saying "OPEC has won the drilling war." The oil cartel's willingness to continue crude oil production at its current levels has flooded the market and dealt a body blow to the North American shale oil boom, said Critchlow. Those low prices have forced oil producers in the U.S. and Canada to dramatically cut back on their production levels, shut down some operations and lay off workers.

Critchlow also noted that lower oil prices have gotten Americans driving more again, which helps drive up gas prices.

He also pointed to political unrest in Libya, a major oil producer, along with rising demand in China and ongoing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East as other factors that will support higher oil prices.

But not everyone expects the current rebound to remain in place. Dario Scaffardi, executive vice president and general manager of independent Italian oil refiner Saras, said rising oil futures prices don't tell the entire tale.

"Being large physical buyers of crude, we have a direct pulse of the market and feel immediately when it is well supplied, as is happening now," Scaffardi told Reuters. "In the short-term, futures prices do not necessarily reflect accurately the physical market."

The wire service also quoted data from OPEC and the International Energy Agency, which reports the world's oil producers are currently pumping out 1.5 million barrels a day more than the market consumes.

And over at OilPrice.com, Leonard Brecken said that while the crude oil market doesn't expect prices to tumble again, "a temporary top appears likely until the industry works down overall inventory."

But perhaps the last word should be left to Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, who said in an interview on Tuesday: "No one can set the price of oil -- it's up to Allah."