WTI $57.12 +$1.86, Brent $61.69 +$1.58, Diff $4.57 -28c, NG $3.17 +3c
The oil price is certainly consolidating at around these levels, at least for the time being but that as they say, is no indication of future performance. Whilst Ali al-Naimi said on Monday that Opec, sorry, Saudi Arabia, would defend market share ‘at all costs’ and that means down to $20 oil I think he had his tongue firmly in his cheek at the time, its great to have people listening to what you are saying again eh?
Yesterday the oil price rose on US GDP figures that showed the fastest pace of growth for 11 years, what will that be like when the lower oil price feeds through I wonder? The better than expected numbers produced a rally in the greenback which has repercussions in a commodity priced in dollars. It is worth having a further look at the retail gasoline numbers which I have been reporting virtually weekly of late as last week was another significant fall. At $2.40 a gallon gasoline was down another 15.1 cents on the week and 86.8 cents on the year which just shows what effect the lower crude price is having on wallets right across a continent that drives 50 billion miles a month…
Finally those teenage scribblers have been at the root beer again as they end the year with another shambles in the forecasting department. API inventory stats last night showed a build of 5.4m barrels whilst the overpaid buffoons in Wall Street banks had a consensus guess of a draw of 2.3m barrels, oh well lets hope Father Christmas delivers some brains in their stockings tonight…
Natural Gas price
It is worth noting that the natural gas price has fallen sharply in recent days as weather forecasts have showed that it may not be a cold winter after all. Remember that only as recently as 21st November when as the snow fell over most of the States the price was $4.49, quite a fall in such a short space of time but yet again a bonus for the consumer.
Chariot has announced that the Woodside farm-out in Morocco has been approved and accordingly the majority of the funds have come in. These cover the seismic work, back costs and a future carry and now the company has $52m of cash on the balance sheet with I assume, around $3.5m due from partners. This is very good news and I echo my bullish comments from last week, Chariot is very well placed to weather the storm with plenty of cash, long licence periods and few if any remaining commitments.
The festive season has not stopped BP’s lawyers from pushing for a lower spill penalty as they cite the drop in the price of crude oil in their attempt to mitigate the fine for the Macondo disaster…
Nostra Terra has been a good performer recently, this Aim minnow which has a good retail following is definitely on my radar screen and the recent rise follows an article by Matt Lofgran suggesting that the company remains cash flow positive at below $50 oil.
Range Resources has sold its US operation for $500/- in cash plus some Citation stock and debt waivers, I suppose they did say sell at any price…
And Bowleven appear to be heading for the final stages in the Etinde farm-out as the Presidential signature is ‘imminent’. Providing this finally clears the hurdles then my big turn on the stock last summer will have been worth it and a very bright 2015 beckons.
Who would have thought it, the Boxing day top of the table clash is at Stamford Bridge where the Happy Hammers are the visitors, no I didn’t expect Chelski to be up there either…only joking! Elsewhere the Noisy Neighbours are at the Baggies, the Magpies go the the Theatre of Dreams and the Super Hoops go to the Gooners looking for their first away points of the season.
In rugby the big fixture is at the Stoop where the Quins host the Saints but there will be a high octane encounter on Boxing Day as it the London Derby between the Irish and Welsh exiles, bring your hip flasks..
And as ever, a cracking card at Kempton for King George day so settle down for a relaxing day of sporting excitement and a bit of cold turkey, as they say.
It only remains for me to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year. The blog celebrated its first birthday as an independent publication two weeks ago by achieving a five fold increase in readership for which I would like to thank one and all.