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Oil Market Snapshot – February 2017 Home on the Range

Brent rangebound at $55/bbl as volatility evaporates, but concerns remain over swelling inventories Brent's loss of momentum has resulted in a drastic reduction in price volatility even as US inventories grew to a new record level. Although several large buy orders following larger-than-expected inventory builds for 6 consecutive weeks helped to keep Brent and WTI firm, we are concerned what the continuous inventory builds are suggesting about demand. As the EIA and IEA present opposing demand outlooks, we have kept our demand growth forecast from January broadly unchanged and expect it to continue at similar levels to last year for now, led by robust expansion in India and China. However, we anticipate Brent to average less than $60/bbl for the year as the OPEC/non-OPEC November commitments have yet to manifest themselves in the physical market. Whilst we expect global offshore production to decline later this year and in 2018, the decline could be offset by US LTO production, which we see returning to growth from the middle of this year. Overall, we expect modest global oil supply growth this year.

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