For the week commencing 8 January, refinery margins weakened across all regions and configurations. Crude prices strengthened and temporarily broke through the US$70/bbl mark for the first time since late late-2014, but have since eased back. Dated Brent has increased for the last three consecutive weeks following a number of unplanned supply outages, coupled with the committed OPEC/Russia production cuts. The latest EIA data support lower global stocks following another weekly draw in crude stocks and higher US crude runs. US crude stocks fell almost 5 mbbls, to reach their lowest level since March 2015. The normalisation of the Forties Pipeline System narrowed the Brent-WTI spread, but it continues to trend wide with WTI at a weekly discount of almost US$6.40/bbl.