WTI $57.81 -$2.14, Brent $61.85 -$1.83, Diff $4.04, NG $3.80 +16c

Oil price

Friday was another down day for a couple of reasons, economic commentators are now panicking about something different, viz is lower world economic growth the reason for the fall in the oil price. Well, its part of that funny old supply and demand equation that some of you must have been taught at some stage in your lives…The bigger question is when demand will pick up as a response to lower oil prices, now if they can answer that then things are falling into place. On the supply side, the Baker Hughes rig count, released on a Friday is about to have its moment in the sun as much as inventory stats have been lately. Last week the count fell by 29 rigs to 1546 making it the biggest decline in two years, interestingly almost all those rigs were in Texas.

Finally, the UAE Energy Minister added fuel to the flames by saying that Opec would not change its current policy ‘even at $40 a barrel’ so only a few weeks to wait then. The result of all this is to assume that even the finest of forecasters cannot tell anyone at what price the oil price is going to bottom out, only that we will know it when we see it which I doubt. Marcus Ashcroft’s marvelous blog  this morning takes aim at the oil industry from top to bottom and with not a sign of a tongue or a cheek to put it in…apparently in the bond industry markets work perfectly…..(By the way Marcus, todays oil price performance is technically known as a dead cat bounce)


IGas has announced this morning the preliminary results of the Ellesmere Port well which has finished ahead of time and under budget. As these wells continue and the drillers more knowledgeable, then the process will inevitably get more efficient and cheaper.

The initial results appear to be every bit as good as they look, a thick section of coal measure interval and a shale sequence were found before penetrating the key Dinantian limestone marker. The CMI was over 800 feet thick and contained several seams. A ‘very significant’ shale section of approximately 1,400 feet was drilled and the Sabden and Bowland shales were encountered and cores acquired. It is interesting to note that ‘significant gas indications were observed’ across this shale section.

I may be wrong but this well result, albeit early days looks very encouraging and will provide significant optimism for the company and the nascent industry going forward. Whatever the alleged ‘Sheriffs’ of the Aim market may say in their columns the future just got a bit brighter for unconventional hydrocarbons in the UK.


Good to see that this years hero, BvB did not just sit back and take the rubbish aired by Ed Davey last week lying down. The Shell CEO has a letter published in todays FT which is mandatory reading for the industry, mandarins and politicians…

And Alan Semple, still CFO at Wood Group who recently announced his retirement due next year, didn’t waste much time in making up for the missing time and wages by being appointed this morning as a non-exec at Cobham

And Yodel have slipped up in the most basic of ways, next year I will offer my services to the board and impart some crucial but clearly top secret information. Namely that as a delivery business it is important to remember that Christmas comes but once a year and that is when lots of people go out and buy presents and expect them to be delivered. A massive failure to work out this basic correlation and a virtually unexpected order for poppy deliveries post the Tower of London display clearly foxed the brains trust round at Yodel, you ask people to do one simple thing….

And finally

England lost the cricket and the series with Captain Cook dropping the local hero Sanga on 40 odd letting him to add another 60, following that he himself was out for about 1. Sky commentators were like all of us not understanding the bit about what selectors have to do, ie choose the best team available and whilst KP is not in country AC is and shouldn’t be.

Amir Khan looked like he beat Devon Alexander easily and now looks forward to a round or maybe two in the ring with Mr Mayweather…

In the Prem there were wins for Chelski, Noisy Neighbours and the Gooners whilst the Hammers drew with the Maccams and the Saints lost to resurgent Burnley. Finally a quick shout out to Craig Yeaman, Investment Director at  Saracen who confidently predicted that the HubCap Stealers would ‘take down Man Who 2-1’ yesterday, as it happens The Who ran out of the Theatre of Dreams 3-0 winners I think  you will find…

Champions league draw this morning, more comment tomorrow and Lewis flew into the UK to pick up the SPOTY last night. The rugby went pretty much to form, whoever asked me to start watching the Glasgow results is probably wishing I didn’t right now…

A long overdue American sports update…

In the NBA,

The Warriors beat the Pelicans in overtime to extend their winning streak to 16. Kobe Bryant moves to third place in the all time NBA scoring list, moving above Michael Jordan.

OKC win their sixth straight game after beating the Suns. Russell Westbrook with 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The Cavs are 13-9 after a loss to the Pelicans. They face the Hornets tonight.

In the NFL,

Johnny Manziel faced an embarrassing start to his NFL career after the Bengals shutout the Browns 30-0. The Patriots take the AFC East with an easy win over the Dolphins. Alex Smith led the Chiefs to victory over the Raiders.

The Colts clinch the AFC South after beating the Texans. The Bills managed to keep Aaron Rogers quiet as they handed the Packers a shock defeat.

Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a fourth straight AFC West Title with a win over the Chargers in San Diego. The 49ers are officially out of playoff contention after losing to the Seahawks in a repeat of last years NFC Championship game.

The Lions, Eagles and Steelers also won.