WTI $102.56 +$2.12, Brent $107.67 +$1.85, Diff $5.11 -27c, NG $4.53 +6c

Oil price

A decent bounce in the oil price last night as the news filtered through from the Ukraine of further unrest. Armed activists occupied Government buildings and there was concern that further military activity by the Russians would follow. In addition as rather expected, the ports in Libya have not opened all in one go and conspiracy theorists are doubting the deal as announced.

Most interesting were the API inventory stats which proved my theory that somewhere over in Wall Street incompetent analysts are pulling the wool over the eyes of their bosses as yet again they were so far out in their forecasts it staggers belief. Crude stocks built by 7.1m barrels against a forecast of just 1.3m, I suppose they did get the sign right but gasoline stocks fell by 3.6m barrels against guesses of 700,000 barrels. The fall in the gasoline stocks can be, only can be, a sign of economic recovery but as I often say here, in April when refineries are in maintenance mode it is not always a reliable indicator, lets keep an eye on it.

Finally apologies, yesterday some people got a blog early and twitter worked fine but I had to re-send later as not all had worked. Today its another brief one, I am off to see two new companies, one of which, Thalassa Holdings looks very interesting. Comments below are very quick and dirty and only on announcements, I will follow up with hopefully reasoned comment and analysis tomorrow.

Tower Resources

Its a long time since I saw Tower and after todays announcement it looks like they are back in focus again. With the acquisition of Rift Petroleum, a raise of £19.3m at 3.5p and a farm-in to the Taipan/Premier block 2-B in Kenya its certainly all happening! Much more when I have spoken to the company (and Taipan whom I know pretty well)  but they seem to have ‘created a pan-African play on Aim which exposes them to Namibia, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Madagascar and Cameroon’ to quote an advisor which looks interesting. With the raise they are funded for the Namibia well and the Kenya well so from now on its down to them.

Recommendation for this stock which hasn’t been a favourite, will wait until I have seen the company but the placing has at least got away, albeit at a huge discount which gives it every chance assuming they have bought the right assets at the right price, watch this space…


Gulf Keystone has announced that it has completed the $250m debt issue at a rate of 13% with warrants attached. Again, until I speak to the company, hopefully later today or tomorrow it would not be right to comment except to say that at least the financing has been completed and some sort of normality can be returned to, again, more after conversations.

Northern Petroleum have announced some re-jigging of UK onshore licences and I expect to get much more from them soon as analysts meetings must be being arranged……?

Tangiers have announced a couple of new board members but this stock needs more than a couple of new directors I think, again one for more analysis after recent performances..

And finally…

So, as predicted (!) Chelski got through against PSG as did Real who made a bit of a meal of it after a comfortable first leg. Tonight sees the exit of Man U at Bayern (!) and Athletico play Barca which might be a real hummer. Worth noting that the Football League continue to make a horses wotsit of the Leeds United situation and now appear to be about to allow the bloke with a record to take over at Elland Road. Now,  I’ve never hidden my thoughts about Leeds but surely the fans deserve better than something from the Godfather appearing and the authorities, as ever, are a disgrace…

So nice to see that our abject failures from the winter have settled back into the soft game that is county cricket in England. Matt-couldn’t get a run- Prior, scored an easy century and even Finn took six wickets when he couldn’t get a game in Australia, after yesterday, I’m sure that they now think it is an easy game….

We have now seen the answer to the question, ‘what do you do with someone like Maria?’ and a return to the back benches is still too close for comfort…