WTI $106.53 +42c , Brent $109.34 +27c , B/WTI Diff – $2.81 -8c , Natural Gas $3.31 n/c

Good morning

A shortish blog today, v quiet on the announcement front.

Yours truly had a letter published in the FT today, not something I have ever done before but the level of naivety/ignorance around shale gas is beginning to get to me and I couldn’t put up with it anymore!

The US retail sales figures kicked off a big week for economic stats and came in overall slightly better than expected, whilst the headline number was only 0.2% vs forecasts of 0.3% the June number was revised up and the breakdown was also helpful.

Oil Price

The economic figures above, plus the rest of the week’s figures could possibly exert some downward pressure on the oil price should they be good enough to start talks about the end of tapering starting in September. This might run all the way through to the Fed meeting on September 17th.

The API inventory stats showed a smaller than expected draw last night and analysts were only 66% shy, actual of 900,000 barrels vs consensus of 1.5m…..


A lot of press following the Mexican Presidents decision to reform energy policy to open it up to foreign investors, all pretty positive. A number of international oil companies have expressed interest although understandably most have wanted to ensure that the terms available are in line with international standards. My comments yesterday about Petrofac were added to by CEO Ayman Asfari who suggested that ‘whilst terms are not ideal, the country’s reserve potential is so great that it will definitely be attractive to the majors’. Additionally he suggested that Pemex and the Mexican Government had been in talks with the SEC to ensure that foreign investors could book their profits from Mexican contracts as reserves.


–Increasingly becoming a litigation play

BP, not content with being involved on several fronts litigation-wise already, has decided to sue the US Government for barring the company from obtaining new federal contracts. The US Environmental Protection Agency unsurprisingly banned BP after Macondo, citing their “lack of business integrity” after the well blew out and killed 11 people and caused the worst offshore oil spill in US history. BP claim that the “EPA’s action is inappropriate and unjustified as a matter of law and policy , and we are pursuing our right to seek relief in a federal court”.

At the last investor conference call Bob Dudley gave the impression of a man possessed, nay paranoid about the US legal system and its pursuance of BP, I think the words reap and sow come to mind.

More tomorrow.

And finally…

Greg Rutherford has failed to qualify for the long jump finals in Moscow having only recently come back from injury.

England take on Scotland in a ‘friendly’ match at Wembley tonight although it will be even more meaningless than most friendlies as half the best players have been withdrawn.

And free of the shackles of Stuart Pearce, the England Under 21 side beat Scotland 6-0 last night looking like a different side that were ignominiously knocked out of the Euros in Israel.

And OK, I knew not what I was starting when I got involved in golf lingo and for all those people who picked me up on my dormie line, I’m very sorry, truly pink-faced but learning fast!

Apparently the dressing down given to the Aussie batsmen peeled the paint off the walls in the Durham dressing room, interesting to see how next week turns out…