WTI $100.29 +57c, Brent $106.15 +$1.36, Diff $5.86 +69c, NG $4.47 +11c

Oil price

Well, the oil price did rally but according to traders in a most technical fashion, I don’t get the impression that it was on much volume. That is probably because its Non-farm payroll day today in the States and as usual everything hangs on this number. Today, although the consensus is for a rise of 200,000 jobs the range is wider than usual and the top end is 275,000.

More interesting but no great surprise were the natural gas inventory numbers if such a thing can be called interesting without being considered a geek. The stats showed a fall of 74 bcf which is high  by this time of year standards and leaves natural gas in storage at 822 bcf which is the lowest since April 2003 and to put it into perspective compares with 1.7 tcf this time last year.


Anadarko is on the move again, this time as it finally settles the huge environmental claims against Kerr McGee which it acquired in 2006. Anadarko will pay $5.15bn, less tax of course, in the Tronox Advisory Proceeding. Along with other statements recently I  suspect that Anadarko is looking good now and remains on the radar screen for investors in US stocks.


This is a ‘Year-end update’ from Rockhopper but has come out with few fireworks, all seems a bit subdued there at the moment as the events at Premier continue to cast a pall over the company. For a long term fan of RKH and for all it has done it is a shame that this can overshadow what is whatever anyone says, a highly successful development. Sea Lion progresses, RKH and partners will drill four exploration wells early next year and a rig is close to being signed we hear. But as I keep getting told by market watchers, until a new CEO is enthroned at Premier, uncertainty about the development and its timing will persist. I think that the market is taking this too much to heart but I do understand the sentiment especially with so many oversold stocks around in the sector. Rockhopper has a market cap in English pounds of 264m and cash in US dollars of 247m, plus a profitable development and what I consider a better than average exploration hand to play so I guess it leaves it, like a few others looking very cheap with scope to rise sharply when one or more of the overhanging uncertainties depart.


Genel has formed a JV with White Rose Energy to farm-into a 15% stake in two Statoil blocks offshore and in deep-water Angola for $281m.

Kentz Corp has announced that CFO Ed, ‘The Ranger’ Power is to retire at the end of next month, a new CFO has already been found, Meg Lassarat joins from Universal Pegasus and before that Wood Group Mustang. I have to say that it will be sad to see Ed go as he has been around, and one of my Kentz contacts, since the IPO  when few people grasped the Kentz story. Ed never deviated from keeping analysts’ feet firmly on the ground and going above the top of his consensus range was frowned upon even if we knew Kentz was doing better than he was prepared to admit. I wish him the very best in his retirement.

Gulfsands Petroleum has announced 2013 figures, this company came off my blacklist rather reluctantly last year and is making a big effort to diversify from its Syrian portfolio. With seismic and drilling coming up this year in fashionable Morocco as well as seismic in Tunisia and Colombia, Gulfsands has some interesting addresses in the portfolio and it remains on the radar screen and one to be watched.

Tullow Oil, yet another of the stocks in the sector to be perceived to be oversold, I notice that following the raise in the debt market this week that a couple of scribblers have emerged from the darkness to put a buy recommendation on the shares. Although I have had this one wrong for a while I do feel that it is too cheap and would concur with the buyers although the market as of yet, doesn’t share that opinion!


And finally…

I thought that todays and finally might be longer than the news but fortunately I have been saved by a few announcements. It will enable me to get down to writing up a piece on Fastnet hopefully for Monday.

Its worth highlighting first of all that the English Women’s cricket team are playing today in the semi-final of the World T20 against South Africa and I wish them luck. Elsewhere in cricket English Kev was unsurprisingly picked first in the draw for the Caribbean Super League and will play for the St Lucia Zouks, great name.

In tennis, its Italy v Great Britain in the Davis Cup, team GB will have altitude sickness having not been in this round since god was a boy, Muzza is feeling poorly. probably sick from laughing at his wonderful April Fool joke about getting this years coach!

Where sport and fund management meet, the FT today called Mark Barnett ‘the David Moyes of Fund management’ as he takes over from Neil Woodford at Invesco. With St James’s Place taking £8bn out of the fund and Woodford, unlike Sir Alex still a competitor, it will be a hard first season.

In the Premiership its a very interesting weekend as we get to the last few games of the season. At the top the interesting game is Everton vs Arsenal in what might be a 4th place shootout and the HubCap Stealers go to the Hammers but all the big action is at the bottom this weekend. Villa, without their only striker now host Fulham who are desperate, Cardiff host the Eagles who beat Chelski last weekend, Hull play Swansea and the Baggies go to Norwich, those are all incredibly exciting games.

Don’t forget the Grand National at Aintree tomorrow with good going and no rain it will be a very open contest and I’ve stopped giving tips if you remember, the touch has gone, I may tweet!

Talking about Scottish Independence as I was yesterday about Weir Group, I notice that tonight comedian Eddie Izzard stages a ‘please don’t go’ concert in Edinburgh and the organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow are saving money on the fireworks bill by blowing up five blocks of flats on the famous Red Road, will bring a tear to the eye the noo.

Finally another farewell as the legendary David Letterman announced his retirement from CBS’s late show yesterday.

Enjoy your weekends.