US crude production has flatlined since the start of 2019. May’s 12.11mn b/d output figure, the most recent ‘final’ number, is up just 70,000 b/d on December: storms in the Gulf of Mexico mean provisional June and July numbers are actually down on late-2018. The 11.72mn b/d July figure is a whopping 760,000 b/d lower than the 12.48mn b/d the US government’s Energy Information Administration was forecasting for July four months ago.

But despite this, and a collapse in output from Opec members Iran and Venezuela which saw Opec’s overall output fall to a five-year low for July (MEES, 9 August), oil prices have trended lower, not higher. Benchmark Brent has averaged below $60/B since early August (MEES, 16 August). (CONTINUED - 1402 WORDS)