WTI $101.12 -$1.46, Brent $108.08 -92c, Diff $6.96 +54c, NG $4.65 +3c

Oil price

Desperately trying to find some news today, oil price drifty, WTI worse ahead of stock numbers later and traders tell me Brent very quiet. Company news equally thin on the ground. I think we can now say for certain that albeit late, refiners will now start maintenance programmes that will ease demand for crude until May. Those API stats by the way, analysts are expecting a crude build of 2.2m barrels with a draw in both gasoline and distillates.


Cape has announced that it has acquired Motherwell Bridge for £37.65m in debt and it will be earnings enhancing this year. The company is a leader in the specialist storage tank market and a market leader with customers such as BP and Petrofac. Cape will hope to be able to expand the business, primarily globally and looks like Joe Oatley’s first foray after the reorganisation took much longer than he first thought. The good reaction in the shares today is certainly justified and looks like Cape is turning the corner, at long last.


Caza has announced that the second horizontal test well in the 3rd Bone Springs Sands on West Copperline, New Mexico has been another significant success. The 3H well reached TD and fracced with a peak flow of 879 b/d of oil and 1,374 mcf/d of gas, cumulative flow of 1,108 oe/d of which the gas is already being sold. The company say that there is “significant upside” in separate intervals and in the deeper Wolfcamp. The key here is that it has discovered meaningful hydrocarbons in the 3rd Bone Springs and that, economically the find is enormously efficient. The market have so far failed to appreciate the value in Caza, maybe this is due to its size, having few institutional holders, or maybe the long memory of the retail investors. Either way, all should revisit this play, my asset value following this will be in excess of 30p a share, possibly much more and as a trade sale in the medium term is the managements plan an exit route is being considered. If the drilling programme now possible with these successes is carried out the takeover wont be at 8p a share I am assured of that.


Interims this morning from Dart who have had a frantic few months, successfully raising funds in a placing and offer, profitable farm-outs to GDF/Suez and Total and sale of Liulin plus other assets in the period not to mention board changes. With all the company’s key assets in the UK following the disposal programme, it comes as no surprise that the board have decided to seek admission to Aim for a dual listing. As you will know I have been a strong advocate of investing in the UK’s unconventional resources and that there have been few opportunities to do so. Dart will be a meaningful investment opportunity with coal bed methane exploration with GDF, and in Scotland at Airth (assuming planning goes ahead after the independence vote)  plus of course its significant Bowland shale position alongside Cuadrilla and IGas. watch this space as institutions and retail should find the opportunity very interesting.


News today that Seplat is planning to float in London and Lagos with the aim of raising between $350-500m, giving it a value of up to $2bn. No surprise here and investors should expect to see a raft of companies listing in London from companies that have bought fields from the majors fleeing Nigeria having lost patience. It will however, be an interesting test of valuation and investor demand for what will be one of the biggest energy floats in London for some time.


Another listing as this company has raised $2.5m and will come to Aim on 20th March. The money raised is to fund drilling in New Zealand and the directors, John Barr and Andy Carroll (?) will I hope be over here to meet analysts and investors at the end of the month.


What on earth is going on at Chariot as the share price rises another 12% this morning? Well I hope I can find out as I am meeting the senior management team tomorrow, hopefully I will be able to share my views in Thursdays blog.

Tomorrow, any blog will be late as before I see Chariot I am making the keynote speech at the Appex Global 2014 conference in the first, financial  session which is interestingly about funding and success or failures of IPO’s from energy companies in the London market. After that its off to TipTV ( TipTV.co.uk) to discuss a few favourite stocks with Nick ‘the moose’ Batsford…

Also tomorrow are the figures from Alkane Energy, a stock that I have been keen on for a very long time. Although I wont be at the meeting I am hoping to meet with the management soon now that my purdah is over, if you watched ‘Bang goes the theory’ on BBC 1 last night you will know just why Alkane is very much in the pound seats as they say. With a very sound and profitable business model based on its coal mine methane business it also has an interesting shale portfolio which I don’t believe is in the price, stand by for some intimation from the company that they are prepared to start to monetise these assets in the future. Having reached 50p back in January the shares have taken a breather but at these levels they are most definitely very good value and should be bought, the management here is first rate.

The SKS Business Services survey of 134 companies on Aim doesn’t make very good reading with the significant rise in G&A costs particularly evident in oil and gas companies…

And finally…

Its that time of year, Cheltenham starts today with the mighty roar as the Supreme Novices Hurdle goes off at 1.30. The Champion Hurdle looks to be as competitive as I have seen it for years with almost any of the contenders potentially in the frame.

The Gooners travel to Munich full of confidence and although the task is an uphill one they must believe they have a squeak and to stay in with the chance of a treble. (like Man U did in ’99) And the new owner at Charlton Athletic has wasted no time in sacking manager Chris Powell as they are at the bottom of the table albeit with games in hand after the recent cup run.

More injury problems for England’s cricketers as Joe Root, batsman and not a bad bowler is out of the World Cup, Ian Bell is in the West Indies and will play but one thinks of a wonderful batsman who can bowl a bit who will sit this one out……….Only joking…

Andy Murray survives a shock but wins in Indian Wells, a good performance given he said he was not playing well.