image006WTI $105.95 +1.04, Brent $108.76 n/c, B/WTI Diff $2.79 -6c, Natural Gas $3.64 + 3c

Good morning

Tropical weather continues to grace the UK and on St Swithin’s Day that means that we should have 40 days of sunshine…………….

Oil Price

The oil price has rallied a little after the Chinese GDP numbers came in exactly in line with expectations, funny that. The USCFT figures showed that the net long positions in futures and options were high again as punters worry about geopolitical problems regarding Egypt as well as Israel and Iran sparring. Also concerns are still around about inventories which have been drawing down lately, none of these actually indicate that the USA is running out of stocks!

Brent crude Oil 1 Year chart

Brent crude Oil 1 Year chart


BG has announced that it has appointed Simon Louth as CFO for the group, at present he is CFO of AstraZeneca and before that he was at Scottish Power as Corporate Strategy Director so he must be good! He is also a non-executive director of Standard Chartered PLC.


Rule No 1; Never, ever underestimate the incompetence or ineptitude of the DECC.

Rule No 2; Never, ever forget rule No1.

The Sunday Telegraph ran an article yesterday suggesting that Centrica’s plan to convert an empty gas field into a storage facility to help with any future energy crisis has run into trouble. Apparently the Government has indicated that Britain does not need any more gas storage which is like saying that you don’t need any water in a fire hose. Arguments in the industry revolve around Government intervention but most are self-centred and extremely short sighted and despite reports from the inevitable ‘consultants’ don’t think about the long-term national interest. It is in the public interest to increase storage and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune, Centrica should be encouraged in this £1.4bn investment just in case the wind isn’t blowing the next time we need some power equipment.

Centrica 1 Year chart

Centrica 1 Year chart

Dart Energy

Dart has announced the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary, Dart Energy (FLG) Pte Ltd, to Hong Kong HuiHua Global Technology Ltd for $20.88m in cash. The Singaporean subsidiary is the holder of 50% of the issued share capital of Fortune Liulin Gas Ltd, a Hong Kong company which in turn holds a 50% interest in the Liulin PSC in China. The sale is subject to the usual conditions but it should be noted that Dart retains its interests in shale in China which makes this a very attractive deal.

Dart is in the process of restructuring its international interests and we expect more announcements like this in due course. The jewels in Dart’s crown of course are its UK CBM and more importantly shale assets and as every sale or farm-out is announced the cleaner Dart becomes and the more likely it is to be taken out for the inexplicably cheap asset that it is.

Dart Energy Ltd (DTE-ASZ) 1 year chart

Dart Energy Ltd (DTE-ASZ) 1 year chart

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

The meeting between GKP and the M&G clearly didn’t go swimmingly and the company is recommending shareholders vote against the M&G slate at the forthcoming AGM. The company also point out that they are in the process of interviewing, with a view to hiring, three non-executive directors, all of whom are ‘better qualified to serve on the GKP board’. The process that GKP has started, with the new Chairman who also chairs the remuneration committee, looks to be pretty sound but the timing is not brilliant, in my view shareholders have to determine whether the three appointments they are planning to make will indeed be independent and better than those tabled by the M&G, if that is correct, and it probably is, then that’s the way to carry on.

At the moment the vote could probably go either way and voting for either camp might end in tears, what is not in any doubt is that the business that has been built up in Kurdistan is a truly world class asset and it’s a bit of a shame that this bickering should obfuscate the potential that the shares still offer to investors.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum 1 Year chart

Gulf Keystone Petroleum 1 Year chart

Salamander Energy

Salamander has announced that the G4/50-4 exploration well in the Kra Central sub-basin in the Gulf of Thailand has encountered 119 metres of P20 Miocene sandstone which was unfortunately water wet in the primary target. In the deeper Permian carbonate target the well encountered a 34 metre section of Ratburi limestone which was not deemed to be of reservoir quality. Interestingly there is no comment by any of the management team about this, its implications or effects on the drilling programme in the announcement which was only on the screen, I didn’t receive anything from the company or its spinners.

The share price continues to fall after further bad drilling news, I hope to see the company before too long but in the absence of any guidance of any sort one should probably still avoid.

Salamander Energy 1 Year chart

Salamander Energy 1 Year chart

And finally…

England won a truly amazing test match at Trent Bridge as the Aussies just failed in their attempt to chase down a record score. Off to Lords on Thursday with the same squad but most likely without Finn who had a complete mare in all departments, arise Pierce Brosnan….?

England’s women narrowly lost to Spain in their opening match in the Euros on Friday night, after equalising with 1 minute to go they lost in injury time. Tonight they play Russia in a match you must think they have to win to get through to the next round.

In athletics it’s a bad day for some sprinters as both Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay failed drug tests but on a more positive note (geddit?) James Dasaolu clocked 9.91 giving the British sprinter a place above Usain Bolt in the world rankings this year.

And Chris Froome tore up Mont Ventoux yesterday to go over 4 minutes ahead of his rivals, what a great summer of sport this is turning out to be.