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UK liquids production fell m/m in June by 20 thousand b/d to 1.10 mb/d (+90 thousand b/d y/y), as output from the Buzzard field declined by more than expected over the second half of the month. According to the latest programme, July loadings of Brent, Forties and Flotta will be lower m/m by a combined 56 thousand b/d; Brent loadings will be 36 thousand b/d higher m/m, but Flotta (-42 thousand b/d) and Forties (-50 thousand b/d) will drag down the July total. The decline in Flotta would be despite Repsol Sinopec Resources UK restarting production from the Galley field in early July via a tieback to the Tartan platform. The Forties programme was revised lower for July after a single cargo was deferred to early August. However, this did not change August loadings as a late August cargo was dropped. Planned exports from Brent, Forties and Flotta are higher m/m by 41 thousand b/d in August even with a routine week-long outage at the Brent Charlie and Forties Unity platforms at the start of the month. Concurrent maintenance at the Bruce platform will impact supply by 30 thousand b/d. US arbs into Europe have been open for July and August loadings, and along with the lingering WAF overhang will keep a lid on North Sea prices into the autumn refinery maintenance season. Forties differentials have weakened as fewer cargoes are heading east under greater competition from Murban, although heavier Kraken barrels continue to hit the US Gulf Coast, which remains short of Venezuelan crude.
UK oil demand increased by 13 thousand b/d y/y in May to 1.45 mb/d. Demand for fuel oil (+9 thousand b/d) and NGLs (+26 thousand b/d) picked up y/y, while diesel fell y/y by 18 thousand b/d. Runs were lower by 0.24 mb/d m/m in May at 0.84 mb/d (-0.14 mb/d y/y) due to planned maintenance at Lindsey and Grangemouth.