WTI $102.58 +$1.02, Brent $109.00 +90c, Diff $6.42 -12c, NG $4.62 -4c

Oil price

The gains made by crude on Friday have all been washed away this morning following the Chinese export data numbers which at -1.6% for the first two months of the year were weaker than expected after a positive of 7.9% for 2013. Ironically, the total crude import figure for the same period was up 11.5% with a stronger than expected inventory build.

In the US there is a continued and building effort to lift the ban on crude oil exports, even some of the refiners are now backing to movement. The BH rig count on Friday showed a rise of 23 rigs which is meaningful particularly as 20 were in Texas where the Permian Basin is drawing in the drillers.

San Leon

Fraccing and testing has completed at the Rogity-1 well in Poland’s Northern Baltic basin and mobile oil has been recovered from both the shale and the Cambrian sandstone. Further testing will be required and once the next best target is identified the exploration programme will continue. Despite being fully funded and with news getting better, albeit slowly, San Leon remains pretty friendless but I wouldn’t rule this one out quite yet.

Nighthawk – Performing Arikaree

Nighthawk got to 12p and felt the air just a bit too rich for it and newsflow has become rather pedestrian since then. Todays announcement that showed a fall in production, should be tempered by the update on Big Sky 5-11 which flowed 1,888 b/d gross and will add to the position from March 1st. Whilst 5p saw me get more positive, 12p was probably too high so until more news comes in its probably about right just here.

Essar Energy

Only a week to go before the Ruia’s decide how much to offer the minority shareholders for the privilege of owning the shares from 420p down to 60p. It would be facile and unprofessional to be just rude about the situation as investors have been led unceremoniously up the garden path, but it is impossible to see how any reasonable price will be offered and therefore only a continuation of the minority position is realistic, unless you know better…

Nostra Terra  

The 9th horizontal well in the Chisholm Trail in Oklahoma ‘exceeded’ the boards expectations and added to net production by 57%. Although this is pretty modest stuff it may be that NTOG is just beginning to re-join the real world and I am going to look into it in some more detail, just in case.

And finally

Where do I start? Well in Sochi for starters as the GB team has won gold and bronze this morning on the slopes in the Winter Paralympics.

In the FA Cup Wigan managed to do what nobody else can and that is win against the noisy neighbours and at MiddleEastlands and in the cup, twice. With the Premier League sides separated in the draw Gooners fans will have high hopes, at least of two appearances at Wembley in the Spring but all three others will also be very excited.

The Prem also saw another top notch performance by Chelski but Spurs did rather make it easy for them by not turning up on the day, in the battle of the two shortest-odds managers for the chop, the Baggies were abysmal and Moyes got a let off, if you believe that he is in any danger.

The cricketers lost the first T20 against the West Indies, not by as much as their suicidal batting and buffet bowling might have been in the end but a few things need to sharpen up from here especially  ahead of the World Cup.

The rugby was most exciting, look away now if you are Scottish as they unceremoniously managed to drag defeat from the jaws of victory against France in a reversal of the Italian game. At Twickenham England were immense and but for a hat full of pens which is always a mistake against Halfpenny would have won by much more. Next weekend will be interesting but probably green unless Les Bleus can do us a favour.

And who said Leopards don’t change their spots as St Antony of Barclays caves into the investment bankers as he worries about a death spiral. So on the oily trips we will be able to welcome the Barcap analysts who turn left onto the plane and have successfully pulled the wool over St Antony’s eyes, not sure the major shareholders who saw the bonus payments of three times the divvi and rose when profits fell will be so accommodating…

Finally, well done to Holly G-W who completed her first half Marathon yesterday in 2.20 in the searing heat!!