This contributed to Brent averaging $57/ bbl in September, a few dollars higher than our forecast. However, geopolitical tension has eased into October, and the US rig count is nudging higher once again. We forecast Brent to average just under $53/ bbl this year, and $52/ bbl next year. Until last week, the US Lower 48 horizontal oil rig count declined for seven straight weeks, OECD stocks continue to fall, and an independence movement in Kurdistan led to the building of Turkish and Iranian troops on their borders with Kurdistan – with the possibility, albeit slim – that Turkey would cut off a key export pipeline from Northern Iraq. Brent has been supported over the past month or so by continued signs of market rebalancing, heightened geopolitical tension, and perception that US tight oil supply growth will not be as strong as some had feared or hoped.