The AshesWTI $96.04 +2.22, Brent $112.62 +1.17, Differential $16.58 -83c, NG $3.98 -1c


Oil Price

It is the Opec meeting today so there have been many speeches etc. ahead of that but as it is an uncontroversial one I expect an almost immediate agreement around a 30m b/d target.

In Iran Oil Minister Zangareh has been quoted on Reuters as saying that a good list of companies to do business with would include Total, Shell, Eni, Statoil, BP, Exxon and Conoco and see invest in Iran after sanctions. He is, apparently already talking to some and would welcome others, particularly other US companies.

The oil price has firmed up a bit in the last day or two, traders are telling me that yesterday after a dull start in Asia it sparked with buyers in London and went on in the US market.

The API inventory stats showed a large draw of 12.4m barrels  (consensus build 300/-!) but we should wait for tonight’s EIA numbers to corroborate them, probably more of a contribution came from the news that the southern section of the Keystone pipeline will be open on January 3rd. The pipeline will have capacity of 700,000 b/d from Cushing to Port Arthur and should help out, although Midwest refiners will be sad to see the glut go  to the Gulf coast. Maybe it will just move the bottleneck to Texas where refiners there will make out instead!


If The Times and the FT are to be believed, and one hopes one can, then BP has got top level support of the British Government in its fight against being excluded from US contracts. The US Environmental Protection Agency suspended BP last year citing its “lack of business integrity” as demonstrated by its conduct in the Gulf disaster and since then the company has been trying to overturn the decision. It has clearly lost patience and has resorted to wheeling in Downing Street to help its cause although DC and his minions should be careful, pulling a tiger by its tail can often have unpleasant repercussions. BP still has many court appearances to make and should it lose the case under the Clean Water Act for environmental harm and face huge fines as a consequence the EPA might feel justified in its move……..


The company has been awarded a contract worth £124m by the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company for the Umm Lulu Phase-2 full field development projects offshore the UAE. This contract is further evidence of Amec pushing out for contracts in the Middle East and it is showing some success in the region.


 And finally…

Last nights football saw Palace climb off the bottom of the table with a win over the Irons who desperately need a striker in the window. Tonight the big match is Everton at the Theatre of dreams as Moyes hosts his former club whilst Fulham avec new manager host Spurs which might be interesting.

Of course its all about the Ashes again as at midnight tonight and with added intensity battle commences again. No sign of the England team yet but Root at 3 and maybe a surprise at 6 and also Bresnan may also come in. This time the short-pitched stuff should come as a surprise and the boys should learn to take a few hits for the team as it were.