My apologies, the blog has been waiting all day to go out after hackers attempted to get in over the weekend which resulted in the hosts not even letting me in until 1905 hrs.

WTI $105.74 -10c, Brent $113.30 +9c, Diff $7.56 +19c, NG $4.41 -3c

Oil price

The oil price has adopted a ‘risk-off’ strategy at the moment with Brent staying around $113 and WTI at $105.50. As we are at the last day of the month and the quarter it is interesting to note that the two markers are only up 3.5% and 3% on the month respectively. This is despite ISIS claiming that it has held Mosul and declared an Islamic State running from Syria through central Iraq. At the weekend Russia delivered five SU-25 fighters with twelve more on the way and has provided trainers so the Iraqi air force can learn how to use them.

John Kerry met with King Abdullah and the Saudi King guaranteed adequate supplies of crude oil should it be needed. In other areas Libya is claiming to be ramping up production gradually with another port opening at the weekend, I would, as usual, treat this extra crude supply to the market with a degree of caution. Kurdistan is finding allies all over the place and not necessarily from where they would like as both Turkey and Israel have nailed their colours to the mast of Kurdish independence. For Turkey, who have been close to the KRG recently, this is an easy call as they have already helped the country with their energy export routes and the Kurds provide a useful buffer along the border with Iraq.

At home it is interesting to see the comments by Boris Johnson in today’s Daily Telegraph where he gets involved in the debate about fraccing in the UK. He is in favour of giving landowners mineral rights as per the USA as he feels that at present the law ‘fuels opposition’ and causes paralysis in attempts to explore for oil and gas. Although this is not apparently favoured by ministers in cabinet, it should be as it would change things for the better in the whole process of unconventional drilling.

Premier Oil

Premier has announced the sale of Scott, Telford and Rochelle to MOL for $130m in cash. These UK North Sea licences produce 3.7 kboe/d net to Premier and whilst once they were useful cash producing assets now the company can free up management time to concentrate on bigger opportunities.


Lamprell has announced in its pre-close statement that its earnings for the year will be ‘ahead of expectations’ but still heavily weighted to the first half of the year. After a period in which it was more normal for the company to be bearers of bad news this is most welcome and rubber stamps my bullish view on the stock. The company note that the bid pipeline remains strong and they are focused on conversion to contracts and revenues. The first half of 2014 has seen strong project execution with all four projects delivered ‘ahead of budgeted margins’. With the rights issue tucked up nicely last week and cost savings already starting to come through the future is very rosy indeed, I am incredibly confident about the company’s addressable market particularly following the recent re-financing and as ever think that the rig market in the Gulf can go only one way. Top notch new management keep this one right at the top of the buy list and in very good shape for the future.

Madagascar Oil

This stock was an interesting buy at the end of last year and virtually doubled to just over 20p in the process. It is now 15.75p although the news flow has been pretty positive so far this year. I am still waiting to meet with the company but remain positive as the upside still looks intact and there is much to do. 2013 was a building year for the company but 2014 has shown excellent progress as the steam flood pilot gets going and Tsimiroro crude is now being sold domestically as a test. More to come I think from MOIL and I hope to fix that meeting before too long, in the meantime I am happy still to be recommending the shares.


A bit more confidence in the US as the Baker Hughes rig count showed an increase last week of 15 rigs of which 13 were oil and 3 were gas with one miscellaneous dropout.

San Leon has announced its 2013 results which it probably wants to forget with a loss and a bad time on the corporate and drilling front. There is more confidence in today’s statement but the market views the company as only one step from disaster which may be rather maudlin and a view I don’t share but confidence is hard to maintain at the moment.

Thalassa has been a bit quiet recently but you will remember that after meeting with the Chairman I was very impressed with the set-up. Today sees the appointment of David Grant as CEO at GO Science, he is highly experienced and I suspect he means business in the AUV market and this appointment probably says more about confidence in this subsidiary going forward.

And finally…

Now we are in the last sixteen things are beginning to hot up, in some cases literally so as yesterday saw the first mandatory drinks breaks as temperatures rose above 30c on the pitch. The Netherlands looked in some trouble losing 0-1 with less than 5 minutes to go but eventually the pressure became too much for Mexico and they conceded two goals in the late stages and couldn’t even take it to extra time in the end. The amount of diving by Mr Robben was worthy of Jurgen who was watching in awe… With Costa Rica beating the Bubbles on pens it was only possible to lament what might have been for England… Tonight sees two of the remaining European big guns out as France take on Nigeria and Germany face Algeria.

At Wimbledon, Muzza takes on the tall South African, Kevin Anderson but no Rafa or Roger today as the rain on Saturday combined with the desire not to play on a day fans would like to watch on, viz a Sunday, means fixture congestion already.

Justin Rose warms up for The Open by winning the Quicken National, Tiger bringing forward his reappearance didn’t make the cut.

And the Oscar Pistorious trial starts again today after a six week break, what more can we possibly hear?