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Our Market view - week 32

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UK LDZ demand hit a record low of 45.15 mcm on 27 July. Despite the low consumption, wholesale gas prices remain at some of the highest on record as low storage levels and supply concerns are supporting prices. UK gas prices averaged 65.2 p/th in July which is more than 17% higher than in July last year. Multiple planned outages commenced at the start of August, lifting prices. Supplies are expected to remain tight this week with maintenance at the CATS riser platform, at Bacton SEAL and at multiple Norwegian sites.

UK storage stocks held an aggregate 3.29 bcm on 1 August, equivalent to 73% fullness. On the same date last year, stocks were 89% full.



Brent futures averaged 107.4 USD/bbl in July, up 4% from June as geopolitical tensions triggered concerns about global oil supplies. Oil outages in Iraq, South Sudan, Libya and Iran are combining to help keep oil prices well above $100 a barrel, partly countering the rise in us shale oil supply and worries about the Chinese economy and oil demand.
OPEC crude output hit a four-month low in July according to a Reuters survey. Supply averaged 30.25 mbd, mainly due to a drop in Libyan output due to protests at oilfields and terminals. In Iraq, Sunni insurgents are targeting the northern oil pipeline, while technical problems in the south have also weighed on supply. Supply from Nigeria is increasingly disrupted by oil spills and theft from pipelines. European and US sanctions have reduced Iranian crude exports to 1 mbd in July, less than half the exports early 2012.