WTI $106.90 -1c, Brent $113.22 -19c, Diff $6.32 -18c, NG $4.71 -3c
Traders report a quiet market yesterday as buyers withdrew and Brent stayed in an 80c range whilst WTI was up a touch ahead of API inventory stocks today in which inventories are forecast to fall modestly. Both crudes are slightly off this morning as the market digests the IMF cut in US GDP forecasts.
Although Russia finally cut the supply of gas to Ukraine and European prices firmed 8.8%, a record for the July contract, there is no panic as stocks are high after the mild winter.
I would love to take credit for predicting some time ago that Shell would sell its stake in Woodside but it was a no-brainer of epic proportions. The company has today sold 19% of Woodside taking a net $5bn off the table in the process. Half of the shares are being sold into the equity market and half are being bought back by the company, another tip here a few weeks ago, again a bit of a no-brainer as Woodside have withdrawn from or abandoned investment plans in three major projects lately. Shell now has a sub 5% stake in Woodside which has a short non-sale agreement but wont be there for long.
Shell has also been involved in this weeks talks with the Chinese delegation visiting London and are poised to confirm the signing of a global energy alliance which will include drilling a number of wells in the South China Sea, one of which will happen later this year.
BP have also been in on the talks with the Chinese delegation and they too are expected to appear at a signing ceremony later today. For their part they are expected to sign up to sell CNOOC $20bn worth of LNG which will go to the Shenzhen City Terminal in which BP has a 30% holding. Whereas the deal signed recently with Gazprom was for much longer out, this deal will see China’s shorter term need for LNG satisfied.
Ithaca has announced an operational update to go with a new presentation to shareholders at its AGM later today. I see nothing new in there and after the disappointment of the Petrofac delay of Greater Stella which brought the shares back from the 157p high the shares looked very oversold at 133p, I expect the stock to retest those highs and remain confident about Ithaca.
Premier has announced the sale of a 30% equity interest in block PL 359 offshore Norway to Lundin Group as part of its tidying up operations. Although the sale raise $17.5m it will end up raising around $10m for Prems.
BG has sold its interests in the CATS system and if gossip is to be believed have found a decent discovery with the Sunbird-1 well offshore Kenya.
Over in Brazil the Germans showed that as ever they mean business by spanking the Portuguese 4-0 but although I know it was a sending off offence don’t you just get fed up when players go down like they have been shot after no contact, and that was before the alleged head butt, that German bloke should spend a few Saturday nights in Glasgow… The Shermans got up to score at the death to beat Ghana whilst their new mates Iran got a bore draw.
On the domestic front word is that Arsenal are ready to swap Thomas Vermaelen for Tom Cleverly of Man U, I know which Tom I would rather have…
In the cricket it was a draw as leaving the declaration late meant that England only had 10 overs with the new ball, it was mighty close though and if they had lost Herath might have been drummed out of the brownies for walking…
Michael Schumacher has left his intensive care hospital and is out of the coma following his skiing accident which is good news, a long recovery beckons but thinking back it might have been much worse.
And one of the first Frankel foals sold yesterday for £1.15m, with 130 coverings a year at $125,000 each he is a money making machine…