8/12: (6:30 pm) Crude Markets Retreat on Friday on Conflicting Forecasts; Natural Gas Flat

Crude markets were in retreat on Friday, with WTI settling at $92.09/bbl, down $2.25/bbl.   The general sense is that supply is a bit healthier than demand, resulting in a somewhat long balance – enough to pull prices lower.  Forecasts from OPEC and IEA out this week went cross purposes, with OPEC lowering demand due to concerns about the economic outlook while IEA increased demand due to the impact of gas-to-oil switching.  The EU continues to promote a nuclear deal with Iran, which would be bearish if it ever happens.

Natural gas ended the week with a relatively flat session.  The Henry Hub September contract moved $0.106/MMbtu lower to settle at $8.768/MMbtu.  Weather forecasts were little changed.   Daily lower-48 production from pipeline scrapes in low again for Friday at the 96.5