WTI $95.96 +$1.41, Brent $103.19 +73c, Diff $7.23 +68c, NG $4.07 +2c
Starting quite slowly this morning in the hope that something might come up, its Labor Day in the USA today so oil markets will mainly be closed over there. Its also the start of a new month, August saw WTI fall $2.21 despite Fridays bounce and Brent fell $2.83 on the month. Today’s news would tend to push prices back down a bit for choice, Opec production in August was 31m b/d up 891/- b/d with Iraq up to new high levels and Libya is now pumping over 700/- b/d onto the market. The Baker Hughes rig count rose by 18 last week as activity remained robust.
Labor Day normally signals the start of Autumn and of course the end of the driving season in the US, gasoline prices have been subdued, last week’s price of $3.45 was the lowest since 2010 and 25 cents lower than the end of June but haven’t triggered a dash to drive, certainly not this summer. On the demand side there are no great signs either, todays Chinese factory figures disappointed as did German numbers recently and with worries about deflation in Europe Thursday’s ECB Monetary Policy meeting will probably point to some sort of QE.
Plexus has found another major to join its Joint Industry Project, BG Group becomes the 6th major in the JIP which aims to develop and commercialise a new, safer wellhead, HGSS using its POS-GRIP technology. Others such as Shell, Total, Maersk, Wintershall, Tullow and Eni are in the JIP which hopes to have a prototype ready for the end of this year and action next. This has been going on for some time now and if it works, and there is no reason why not, Plexus will have found another serious string to its bow.
AGM time for IGas and the Andrew Austin corduroy jacket may even have had a dry clean for the occasion. A good opportunity for the company to sum up where they are at the moment and although the Dart transaction is taking its time, there is no reason to believe that it has been derailed and will proceed later this year. With further seismic going on in the North West the data is being assessed and as recently announced they have secured a rig to drill at Ellesmere Port later in the year. In the East Midlands, seismic is being interpreted for a well in 2015 and IGas are looking at a number of partnering options in the 14th round currently under way.
There were a number of reports doing the rounds recently of a fire at BP’s newly refurbed Whiting refinery where capacity is understood to be down by around 30% from its normal level of over 400/- b/d but as of yet I haven’t seen anything from the company.
Expect much claim and counter-claim about Scotland’s oil reserves and production in the next 17 days as we countdown to the vote but so far I think that Sir Iain Wood has probably given the wisest guidance.
England have played two games of 50 over cricket against India and so far are looking atrocious. With these next two or three series meant to be a run-up to the 2015 World Cup we still have a number of out best one day players absent from the squad. Selectors could have given Captain Cook a really good rest after pulling the test series out of the fire but didn’t and he looked caught in the headlights after the last mullering.
Muzza is on deck tonight at the US Open and having cruised through so far it will be a different matter against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who probably really fancies his chances…
The weekend football was a bit of a mix, who would have Villa up there, any chance of selling seasons points should not be resisted…Stoke seemed to have mastered the Noisy Neighbours and that tape will be watched by managers all through the league. The HubCap Stealers came back from their defeat at Middle Eastlands by doing the usual and beating up hapless Spurs. It is also fair to say that LvG is going to take a while to get Man Who up and running although the squad is changing significantly. On that note it is transfer deadline day today and worth looking at the Bentleys leaving Carrington today as the clear out is under way with Kagawa gone and Welbeck, Cleverly, Hernandez, Anderson et al on the to go list, coming in to Old Trafford is Falcao who was expected to go to the Gooners or City. Finally, last night Real Madrid were 2-0 up at Real Sociedad after 11 minutes and managed to lose 4-2…
It’s a big 24 hours in European golf as the Ryder Cup looms large. With Graeme McDowell claiming the last automatic slot in the European team yesterday, tomorrow sees the Captain Paul McGinlay choose his three picks, this wont be easy as Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood haven’t qualified, neither has Molinari nor Stephen Gallacher who had to finish second yesterday and came third….and he only lives a few miles from Gleneagles. On that note I am a little concerned that I still haven’t received my invitation, how can my friends at the Standard Life forgotten me…!