WTI $91.66 -67c, Brent $106.39 -76c, Differential $14.73 -9c, NG $4.01 -21c

Oil price

A quiet morning on all fronts, probably a good thing as I’m off to do my first major predictions interview of the year with George at Interactive Investors this morning, watch out for that on their website or here next week.

A small dip in the oil price ahead of the Non Farm payroll data later on, consensus is +196/- I understand. In China data was a bit mixed, trade saw exports missing forecasts and higher imports but for crude oil December saw imports up 13% to a record 6.31m b/d although year on year figures were only up 4% against 7% for 2012 on 2011.

Natural gas came down with a thump as the cold weather eased, inventory stats there showed a draw of 157 BCF against a forecast of 154 BCF.


I will be discussing Kurdistan at greater length next week as I unfold my international areas of excitement for 2014 but I should comment as the mighty Lex column has entered the fray after years of the story being known to the energy world. As the blog and a number of others have noticed, Kurdistan has now finally confirmed that the pipeline is up and running, a political deal has been agreed with Turkey and companies like DNO, Genel, GKP and others can start to  monetise its assets in the area, something cynics thought might never happen. According to Lex revenue agreements need to be signed before the toasts are poured which would be fair comment  if it wasn’t so facile…


A 4th quarter production update from Chevron last night which didn’t really rock the market although the quarter will show slightly less than previous profit expectations. The Gulf of Mexico will be lower due to expected downtime as will Angola and maintenance in Australia will reduce numbers slightly there too. Overall no great change to the numbers and Chevron, along with Exxon remains amongst my favourite supermajor.

BP-Buy back watch

One of the reasons BP should be a defensive share to equal few others in the market is that the treasurer pops out of his office every day to give an order to buy back a few shares. Given that they will be doing this until 2016 its worth keeping an eye on it at least for a bit of fun. Yesterdays purchase was 7.3m shares at prices up to 499.8p making 43.52m shares this month so far which gives you an idea how the board are supporting the share price.

Gulfsands Petroleum

Gulfsands has been a favourite of mine since I changed my view a few months ago and Morocco is going to be of significant interest this year but this morning is a disappointment, a dry hole in their gas well Ben Fidal 2 as gas was found but not in commercial  quantities. On the radar screen but I now need to meet Gulfsands which I will endeavour to do shortly.

And finally…

Its a pretty dull weekend in the Prem with the standout fixtures looking like the Man Who v Swansea rematch and the Hammers at  Cardiff being the stand out games.

The Baggies have signed Pepe Mel who has had the sack more often than Father Christmas but we shall have to see…

And hope that the women’s Ashes can get a bit better, a slightly disappointing start overnight.

Enjoy your weekend, I’m off to III