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Oil Market Snapshot – September 2019 Saudi Arabia Puts On a Brave Face After Missile Attacks

The attacks on Saudi installations at Khurais and Abqaiq appear to have had a limited effect on Brent, which is at c. $62/bbl, down from the initial 20% spike to $70/bbl in the first day’s trading post-attack. Saudi Arabia has sought to calm market fears by saying full capacity has been restored as of 25th September, but we note this is different from production and expect ongoing repairs through October. The initial effect may have been magnified by money managers adding 42 million bbl to their net long position the week before, due to renewed US-China trade talks which have since dissipated. Our global demand growth forecast for 2019 is revised down to 1.02 million b/d (-160,000 b/d m-o-m) on weak demand data from 1H2019 and a worsening outlook for major economies from the IMF. Our global supply growth forecast for 2019 is -40,000 b/d (-740,000 b/d on last), as the disruption in Saudi Arabia offsets growth in the US (+1.1 million b/d), led by the Permian basin. Data from other US basins is cause for concern for US production growth long term, however, with the Eagle Ford flat since late 2017 and the Bakken only now breaking an eight month plateau. Brazil’s production growth has disappointed this year, despite eleven new projects coming on stream for 1 million b/d in peak capacity....

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