Despite recovering from the record lows in September, UK oil output remained weak in October, totalling 0.72 mb/d, with the y/y decline an even sharper 0.35 mb/d. This comes on a 2011 base that was already lower y/y by 0.22 mb/d, taking the cumulative decline since 2010 to 0.57 mb/d. October's fall was primarily underpinned by the delay in the return of country's largest oilfield, the 0.2 mb/d Buzzard field. The restart of the Buzzard field in early November has helped revive UK output over the past two months. However, the restart has not been without problems, with periodic production issues continuing to impact output. In the year-to-October, total output averaged 0.94 mb/d, lower y/y by 0.16 mb/d (14.9%). Overall, even with seasonal improvement from the end to field maintenance, we expect UK production to remain weak and continue declining y/y. Moreover, delays to the start-up of Maersk's Gryphon (start-up now expected Q1 13), Conoco's Jasmine (start-up now in H2 13) and E.ON's Huntington fields are likely to add to further woes in the UK.
Meanwhile, UK oil demand for October came in at 1.38 mb/d, lower y/y by 0.1 mb/d (7%), with the heaviest declines seen in LPG (down y/y by 40 thousand b/d) and jet fuel (down y/y by 30 thousand b/d). Nonetheless, we expect October's data to get revised higher, given the large discrepancy with the October JODI data, which placed UK oil demand lower y/y by just 42 thousand b/d (2.7%). Given the colder temperatures this year compared to last, we expect demand growth figures to have picked up since November and the trend to continue into early next year, supported by expectations of the winter continuing to be colder than last winter.