Opec crude production rose once again in July to breach the 32mn b/d mark for the first time in almost three years, adding to the excess supply that has been roiling world oil markets and putting downward pressure on prices since the middle of last year.

Brent crude futures, which have been trading at between $55-65/B for much of the year – down from a 2014 peak of $115/B in late-June – fell further to a near five-month low this week on a combination of weaker demand data from China, the world’s second largest consumer, and an uptick in US drilling activity. Brent was trading at around $49.80/B as MEES went to press, just $2/B above January’s six-year low. (CONTINUED - 1240 WORDS)