WTI $97.76 +99c ; Brent $109.27 +2.50 ; Natural Gas $3.36 -18c

Good morning

The oil price is actually behaving pretty well staying in the Goldilocks zone of being just about acceptable to all parties whilst occasional disruptions are coped with. Today’s disruptions are partly from the Iran tension, although we believe that most buyers of that crude will remain buyers regardless of the French intervention. We have the Arab League joining in the sanctions on Syrian crude, which might affect their 330,000 b/d, and we have further problems in the Sudan with disagreements between them and South Sudan hitting the 200,000 b/d from there, reports are already showing a Unipec cargo of 600,000 bbls and a Vitol cargo of 1m bbls being held up.

It’s diesel and gasoline retail price day and both are down this week but only a little, an interesting article in the WSJ this morning is grumbling about the fact that whilst prices are not $4 a gallon but are stubbornly high still, I’ve got bad news for them, things ain’t gonna change much, unless of course the IEA have a brilliant wheeze up their sleeves involving selling somebody else’s strategic reserves at the wrong price.

In company news EnQuest is having an investor day which I should be at right now, the announcement is out though and it tells us that production is targeted to be over 40,000 b/d by 2014 with 20-24/- next year and 25-30/- b/d in 2013. Also in the announcement was a discovery of a 52ft of net oil pay at Crathes/Moon which will be useful but modest to them as it will be to Ithaca who are also in that block.

Longreach, a TSX listed stock with interests in Morocco has announced its results for the three months to end September, highlights include the completion of the Sidi Moktar farm in for a 50% interest and operatorship, the completion of 608km of 2D seismic on the Tarfaya licence as well as commencing 2D seismic on Zag and the reprocessing of 2D and 3D seismic on Foum Draa and Sidi Moussa. Following its raise the company has cash of CND$11.8m and is fully funded for its current work programmes.

Argos Resources has taken a beating today and no surprise there at all as the company has declined the chance to use the last remaining slot available before the Ocean Guardian heads off to the North Sea with Shell. In deciding that one well wasn’t enough the company has raised the white flag on capital raising and missed the chance to start the process at least for the time being. It is difficult to think of how this stock can out-perform in its current state as there is little to look forward to until the company is refinanced and a drilling schedule arranged.

Sometimes things just fall in your lap and when Aurelian Oil and Gas heard that their CFO was leaving to pursue other opportunities they were able to turn to one of their own Non-execs, John Matthews, a highly rated CFO in his own right to move over and fill his shoes, now that’s what I call seamless!

Ascent Resources has fallen a bit today after its sharp rally recently, I listened to most of its conference call yesterday which was, at least for the formal part, highly informative and I believe that the Slovenian project will be a great success. As for the heroic attempts to make the Q&A session work well I gave up after retail investor no 658 appeared on the line!

And finally, appropriately enough on the front page of the FT, it was announced that David Mayhew is stepping down as Chairman of JP Morgan Cazenove. Over the years I have worked alongside David on deals in the oil sector, particularly on the British Gas privatisation but also on Enterprise Oil among others, there can be no one I respected more working with as a member of another firm, a truly amazing broker.