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Global Energy Advisory – August 31st 2018

Oil Rig

There are a number of developments putting upward and downward pressure on oil prices this week, ranging from NAFTA talks and Trump’s most recent Chinese tariff threat, to the prospect of removing up to a billion barrels of Iranian oil from the market very soon. So far, the upward pressure is proving strongest, but the downward pressure is keeping things at bay. Oil prices have climbed more than 10 percent in the past two weeks, but that has been driven more by bullish sentiment than real-time bullish fundamentals.

Thursday saw oil prices dip slightly over the trade war, particularly with Trump’s threat to pull out of the WTO and to make good on a promise to slap tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese imports as early as next week. These two developments led analysts to slash price forecasts for this year, fearful that the trade war will dampen global growth and energy demand along with it. The forecast is significant because it’s the first time in nearly a year that analysts have slashed prices downward.

But fear not … Sentiment was already working its way back up by Friday because the supply surplus is draining, and it’s about to drain much more significantly. Venezuela is a constant drain, and everyone expects Iranian crude supply on the market to be cut significantly even before the second round of sanctions take effect in early November. All in all, potential gains for Brent and WTI are lining up and there seems to be every…

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