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Oil Market Snapshot – August 2017 Brent Becalmed, But Market Tightening Continues

Brent remains at c. $52/bbl as falling US inventories and rig counts indicate the market is tightening, though Hurricane Harvey has shut-in US refining capacity. The IEA’s 2017 US demand growth forecast has been revised to above 210,000 b/d, in line with our position since the start of the year. With few novel drivers in the market this month, either fundamental or speculative, our Brent forecast is almost unchanged. Mexico’s reforms see it make a bid for Brazil’s crown as the hottest prospect in Latin America. In the US, inventories and rig counts continue to fall as LTO shows signs of growing slower than the market expected. 2Q17 financial results show the majors back in positive free cash flow, while LTO faces higher capex as service prices rise. A flurry of consolidations in the service sector suggests there are more takeovers to come. OPEC compliance dips in the summer as members’ domestic consumption increases, while Libya struggles to keep Sharara online....

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