WTI $100.30 -5c, Brent $108.73 n/c, Diff $8.43 +5c, NG $5.21 -1c

Oil price

Be first to spot the padding in todays issue, its Presidents Day so a holiday in the US and the start of IP Week where the worlds petroleum masterminds gather to lecture and be lectured, drink and be drunk…

The oil price is still unmoved, influences still weigh but have no effect, the worst manufacturing stats in the US for over four years did nothing, even being in negative territory vs consensus of a black number didn’t sway, neither did the Japanese GDP figure, itself expected to be +2.8% came in at a paltry 1%. In China, better news as bank loans rocketed but that didn’t help on the upside. Normally Libya rescues us and as exports have now fallen from last weeks 460/- b/d to 390/- we might expect jitters in Brent but not so.

It must be time for another Prime Minister in Italy so enter Matteo Renzi to add to the confusion, you know what I think about the infrastructure…


If like me you were brought up on Armand Hammer and T Boone Pickens, a split up of the great Oxy demands attention although to be fair this has been in the wind for ages. Following a somewhat ‘unpredictable’ change in the management last year the Oxy board has been under pressure to restructure and here it is, Oxy petroleum Corp is off to Houston leaving the Californian business alone. It will be the largest natural gas provider and with the biggest acreage with PTP of $1.5bn, Ebitda of $2.6bn and a capex budget this year of $2.1bn. Houston takes the US E&P in the Permian basin as well as the Middle East and Colombia in addition to the midstream and chemical businesses. The market, whilst not really surprised on the news gave the stock a further rally and I suspect this will continue, at the moment shareholders like these sorts of moves.

Essar Energy

Longer term readers will know that this is a Malcy ‘black list stock’ its never been off the sell recommendation and even now I wouldn’t be surprised to see more skulduggery. I can only agree with David Cumming when he says that this is ‘cynical opportunism’, remember that the float four years ago was at 420p, last November the company were ‘prepared to sell shares to meet UK listing requirements’ and now they are ‘considering a bid for the remaining 22% ‘at 70p mind you. The sooner this stock departs these shores and this market the better for everybody.


Nipping in just after the transfer window, Lansdowne have announced that Richard Slape, formerly of analytical persuasion but most recently in the same role at Rockhopper Exploration has joined as Commercial Director. Now, I commented on Lansdowne recently and along with Providence it has been waiting far too long for the farm-out at Barryroe and that recent comments from both companies had been ‘unhelpful’. The appointment on this occasion is only any good to anyone, particularly long suffering shareholders, if he can get commercial and make it happen. Today the price of Lansdowne has fallen 4% so the market is unconvinced, ironically Rockhopper’s shares  have risen on the news, proving nothing but is quite amusing…

HydroCarbon Capital

Today sees the official launch of the website for Hydrocarbon Capital where myself and James Pinner are the founding partners. Feel free to check out our website on www.hydrocarboncapital.co.uk and see the background to the new independent advisory firm in the oil and gas space.

And finally…

The Gooners managed to knock the HubCap Stealers out of the FA Cup yesterday but even I have to say that they were very lucky, that was the most solid pen shout seen for many a long time. The chosen one may have to hold back for a while on his ‘specialist at losing’ comments but he aint far wrong, in 8 years Chelski would have had 8 managers even with silverware… Talking of silverware a potential treble is on the cards for the Maccams, how about winning the Clueless Cup, the FA Cup and get relegated, takes Wigans performance last year one stage better…

The East beat the West in the NBA All Star Game for the first time in four years. Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving was voted MVP after scoring 31 points with 14 assists. Carmelo Anthony also made a record eight 3-pointers.

In the Olympic ice hockey a match between the USA and Russia (always special even from my childhood) turned into a penalty shoot out after a very brave referee disallowed a Russian ‘goal’ in the last seconds. After many attempts the USA won with T J Oshie finally scoring the winning goal. I like the way the same bloke can take almost all the pens!