Commodity market report

North America crude markets short-term outlook April 2017

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Report summary

With weaker supply and demand fundamentals expected in H1 2018, we have revised down our Brent price forecast. With lower prices our outlook for US L48 crude production has also shifted. Uncertainty remains around whether or not OPEC will roll over the production cut agreement in May. While US crude oil stockpiles grew by over 50 million barrels in the first quarter of 2017, production growth was only a small factor behind the stock build. We analyze the key drivers of the first quarter stock build and investigate the long-term trend of rising crude oil stocks since the advent of US tight oil. Midstream developments have continued to grab headlines over the past month, with the federal approval of Keystone XL and the proposal of new pipelines out of the Permian. But, given the approval of Trans Mountain Expansion and Line 3 Replacement, is Keystone XL still needed? In the Permian, could producers experience takeaway shortages in the near term despite the recent wave of proposed projects?

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