WTI $93.67 +24c, Brent $107.35 +62c, Differential $13.68 +38c, NG $4.30 -1c

Oil price

Not much going on although my traders tell me that its not for lack of trying! Brent starts each day at about $107.50 and after a bit of two-way, ends the same. There is a big trading house sitting on the offer all the time at the moment but will he blink first? Next week sees the rollover of the contract and March is statistically pretty strong for Brent so he may have to but lets see…

The FOMC minutes come out tonight but don’t expect any fireworks, more important is the EIA January short term energy outlook, always a compelling read, this month is no different. US production numbers are still strong although the EIA is always conservative, 2014 is expected to grow by another million barrels a day and with a cautious 9% increase for next year taking output up to 9.3m b/d  for 2014.  In addition, natural gas production will reach a record high by 2015.

Another crude oil train has caught fire, this time in Plaster Rock in north west New Brunswick, Canada. I think that although no one was injured here the fact that incidents are becoming so regular may mean that some sort of investigation into safety may well be not far down the track, so to speak.

The polar vertex has closed five refineries so far with Marathon shutting in Detroit and Exxon in Illinois, I guess that with not much driving in the big freeze then the fuel wont be missed. Last nights API stats showed a big fall in crude stocks of 7.3m barrels, the economists forecast was for a build of 2.2m barrels, first wrong sign of the year.

Ithaca Energy

A Stella update today as favourite stock Ithaca announces a good flow from its latest development well and a de-risking of the GSA numbers. The well produced 10,442 boe/d restricted by equipment capacity of which 7,281 barrels were oil with 19m cf/d of gas. The de-risking of the production is very good, 30,000 boe/d is on the cards and first production will be by the end of this year. Although there are some delays to the production facilities there are no major league worries and all is going well at Stella. I remain strongly of the view that Ithaca is in very good shape with production in prospect, lots of upside and very strongly financed.

President Energy

Another favourite and likely to continue its winning ways in 2014 is President which has managed to combine the cash flow of the US with the potential from Argentina and the added appeal of Paraguay. It is likely that it is the latter that will drive President this year and with so many potential prospects I am very excited by the scale of the projects. Funded you will remember by the World Bank and well run by good local and senior management for President the world just might be your lobster.


Problems for Salamander at the Bualuang field in Thailand as in bad weather anchors got away and the production riser was damaged resulting in an oil leak to the surface. It looks as if it was very minor and all was cleared up but it is shut-in at the moment.

And finally…

Last night saw Man Who head off to Sunderland and their latest defeat although unlucky to get another shocking decision, funny that, a home town call, not something United were used to under Fergie…

Tonight sees the Hammers travel to Middle Eastlands for their Clueless Cup semi-final first leg, with big Sam desperately short of fit players anything could happen but he says all he wants is a manageable score to take back to fortress Upton Park.

Swansea are signing young Tom Ince by the looks of it, interesting to see how he does on the big stage, being son of the ‘governor’ as it were.

And Andy Flower has denied insisting that English Kev goes if he is to stay as England cricket coach, after this winter I’m not sure the coach is in a position to be making demands, especially about England’s leading run scorer in the series…

Don’t forget that other stuff is slowly coming up on the website, www.malcysblog.com including my CNBC interview from Monday and of course you can register for free to receive the blog in case you are getting it second hand…