WTI $93.96 +51c, Brent $102.63 +35c, Diff $8.67 -16c, NG $3.89 +7c

Oil price

As one might expect on the day before the August Bank Holiday weekend company news is a bit thin on the ground. I have just come back from a couple of days in Aberdeen (more later) where business is still booming. One interesting point came out whilst I was up there and that was in comments made by oil legend Sir Iain Wood, in an interview with an industry paper he confounded the hopes of the Yes campaign on future potential of ‘Scotland’s oil’. As mentioned in this blog earlier in the week when I looked at the findings of the N-56 group, Sir Iain also said that there was nothing like the amount of oil they suggested and warned young Scots that there would be no bounty even when they are in middle age. As I said, and the moon is made of green cheese…

As to the oil markets yesterday saw a very slight breather in the recent falls, Brent bounced off the $101.40 support and the follow through from the EIA stats with the bigger than expected draw of 4.5m barrels of crude supported WTI. On the subject of the EIA they announced yesterday that US oil production is at a 28 year high with imports at a 19 year low. This will come as no surprise to readers as I have been packing these stats in at regular intervals lately. The outlook remains bearish though as poor economic stats from China and Germany in my absence may hit demand whilst supply just gets more and more. Libya is now exporting over 600/- b/d and as reported earlier July numbers from Opec were up again with Iraq still over 2.5m b/d and Saudi Arabia over 10m b/d.


Yesterday saw results from Premier where production  stayed high enough to produce a 7% rise in profits at $172.2m. The shares dipped a bit as the Solan field installation has been delayed by bad weather, hurricane Bertha has put that back a bit but the company remain guardedly optimistic that it will happen this weekend. I myself am feeling a bit more positive about Premier and I have a slot with Tony Durrant coming up so will be able to write chapter and verse after that.

Falcon announced that they had completed the farm-out in Australia to Origin and Sasol, this is good news but only to be expected and de-risks the very substantial acreage position the company has over there. I am also expecting to hear more from South Africa before too long which should also help matters. On the blog website (www.malcysblog.com) you can find my interview with CEO Philip O’Quigley.

IGas announced that they have found a rig and will be drilling a vertical well at Ellesmere Port before the end of this year. From now on there is going to be more excitement on the shale and CBM front and I notice that Ineos did an interesting deal farming into BG acreage near Grangemouth, the other  participant in that licence is……..IGas through Dart. Finally, and going back to Sir Iain Wood’s comments I have to be a bit tongue in cheek but he did say that it was possible that in the future Scotland might be importing gas from England….

Petrofac has announced that Rijnhard van Tets is taking over from Norman Murray as Chairman, I would like to pass my very best wishes to Norman who is a really top bloke and PFC will miss him.

Sefton has a statement out today but there is still precious good news about for the company. They badly need the Hawker deal to complete after which they can assess Kansas and the rest of the portfolio. The non-execs and ‘field operatives’ have been running the company in the absence of any executive directors and without being paid either. (I’m not including the monopoly money handed out recently) As the announcement says, lets wait for Hawker and have another look then.

Going back to Aberdeen and I did get to see a couple of cracking private service companies both doing very well. HCS Control Systems is in design, manufacture, assembly of hydraulic production as well as testing equipment. With very strong growth ( almost too fast!) this company is looking most interesting. Also I saw RMEC Group which provides well service equipment and services to the oil and gas industry from its base in Forfar. With strengthened management and a blue chip customer base I expect to hear more from this company and it will already be on the radar screens of bigger fish in the oil services sea…

And on oil services next week is manic with PFC, Cape, Lamprell and Hunting reporting amongst others…

And finally…

Being in Scotland and it was all about Celtic who had fluked their way into the next round of the Champions League, well they got a 1-1 away so now they might even get into the next round..

The HubCap Stealers have jumped out of the Suarez frying pan into the Balotelli fire but there’s no doubting he knows where the goal is, as they say…Apparently not registered in time for the noisy neighbours game this weekend though.

They’re changing the guard at Crystal Palace, Malcky Mackay  went down with malice, as they say. How much can an owner mess up a club in such a short space of time one asks? But we are never, ever surprised at owner incompetence are we, Palace owners making Vincent Tan look quite smart now eh?

Spurs won in the Boropa Cup but Hull City Tigers went down, better off going out now Stevie, its going to be a long hard season.

The Grand Prix season resumes this weekend in Belgium with Bernie back having managed to get out of his court case, ahem.