WTI $100.35 -2c, Brent $108.73 -6c, Diff $8.38 -4c, NG $5.22 +40c

A very quiet day in all respects, hardly any company news and even the oil price is stagnant although as they say, ‘never take a big position ahead of IP week’. Indeed it is time again for that round of parties and dinners and of course lectures and speeches that bring the industry together in London although the blog doesn’t get involved in all this!

The oil price is being pulled in different directions, this week Opec and the IEA have both increased their demand numbers with the latter seeing a call on Opec crude of around 30m b/d still as the need to rebuild stocks occurs. The economic stats, certainly from the US were a bit battered last night as unemployment numbers disappointed as did retail sales, causing forecasters to reduce 4th quarter GDP estimates down quite sharply.

Against that two supply glitches reared their heads, in Libya, strikers managed to close down a key pipeline taking exports down from 567/- b/d to 460/- b/d and in Angola BP declared force majeure after unexpected maintenance dropped exports by 180/- b/d. After all this the oil price hardly changed, indeed only the natural gas moved much, getting back well over $5 with more cold weather driving the price.

Finally there has been yet another train accident in the US as 21 tank cars were derailed in Vandergrift, West Pennsylvania spilling 71-85 barrels of crude oil. Norfolk Southern Railway were the operator here and the increase in rail transport for crude is surely being scrutinised as never before.

Nighthawk Energy

Nighthawk continues to bring more wells on stream and slowly increase production, January was a record 1701 b/d even allowing for adverse weather and treatment to the John Craig 1-2 well. With 2/3 wells coming up I suspect Hawk will continue to increase production without, as of yet, showing signs of the massive discoveries once dreamed of.


Chariot has had a little run lately but ran into the buffers as the management hosted an analysts presentation yesterday. With a very chequered history Chariot has a lot to make up and the phrase they now use ‘from play opener to fast follower’ sounds very business school. They are apparently ‘learning from the drilling programmes of nearby rivals’ which in Namibia might send them back to the drawing board at best. Chariot need partners which as we know tales time and farm-outs will not be easy and accordingly I suspect the drilling programme in the next year or two will be at the whim of others. At the moment I think that Chariot is best watched as we find out what is due to spud and when.

And finally…

Wish the very best to Lizzie Yarnold this afternoon, just needs to keep cool and she should win a medal…

The FA Cup returns this weekend and good to see two huge fixtures, tomorrow is noisy neighbours vs the Russians and on Sunday the Gooners take on the HubCap Stealers, again!

Froch vs Groves take two has been announced, after the debacle of the last fight Groves will fancy his chances.

And Oscar Pistorious has, just before his trial, talked of his ‘immense sorrow’ for what he did….