•  Cuts to Opec output from the start of 2017 have focussed on the grouping’s Mideast core. This has tightened markets in Asia, raising the value of the Opec crude basket against Brent, and especially US marker WTI. The latter is priced at Cushing, Oklahoma, an inland location just to the north of the Permian shale heartland of northern Texas.

•  Not only have benchmark grades strengthened in recent weeks – Brent was trading at $61/B as MEES went to press,...