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UK liquids production was flat m/m in July at 1.06 mb/d, lower y/y by 36 thousand b/d, and will struggle to strengthen in August and September due to outages. August Forties loadings are down to 0.25 mb/d, lower than the 0.31 mb/d initially scheduled, due to unplanned restrictions on the Forties Pipeline System (FPS), after INEOS curbed throughputs to 0.24 mb/d from 17 August until 5 September. Reduced Forties loadings cut the overall Brent/Ninian, Forties and Flotta programme by 37 thousand b/d m/m, versus the planned 21 thousand b/d m/m rise. On 15 August, Equinor began production at the 55 thousand b/d Marnier field, which will support September UK output with a new heavy crude stream. September Brent/Ninian, Forties and Flotta loadings are planned at 0.44 mb/d, now higher by 33 thousand b/d m/m due to the August cut. The September Forties programme is down to 0.3 mb/d (vs the 2019 average of 0.34 mb/d) due to week-long maintenance at Buzzard. As a result, the Forties differential reversed from a 70-cent per barrel discount to Dated (13 August) to a 25-cent premium (28 August), and Dated Brent should stay supported until FPS issues have been resolved. Lower US exports to Europe due to a closed early September arb (even amid rising US supplies) and increased flows of North Sea crudes to Asia on a weaker Brent-Dubai should also support the Brent complex.
UK oil demand decreased by 50 thousand b/d y/y in June to 1.49 mb/d. Demand for diesel (+19 thousand b/d) and kerosene (+18 thousand b/d) picked up y/y, while gasoline fell by 17 thousand b/d y/y and LPG fell by 30 thousand b/d y/y. Runs were lower by 48 thousand b/d m/m in June at 0.98 mb/d (-91 thousand b/d y/y) due to planned maintenance at Lindsey and Grangemouth.