WTI $66.15 -$7.54, Brent $70.15 -$7.60, Diff $4.00 +70c, NG $4.09 -27c

Oil price

The oil prices above are the US close on Friday, this morning in Far East trading it is easier again, at present I have $66.15 and $68.25 respectively. Chinese PMI numbers rather scarped over the line being 50.3 for the official number and dead on 50 for the HSBC make up, hardly exciting but just think how helpful the new oil price environment will be.

Over the next few days I will take a look at what the Opec decision means but it isnt massively changed from my view on Friday, ie short term pain for producers and companies but for the longer term this may be a blessing in disguise, the strong will get stronger.

Range Resources 

On Friday at the AGM a number of resolutions were turned over including not re-electing four of the most important directors including the CEO and Chairman. I do not intend to go into any detail here and now, indeed this may be my last transcript on the company as its future must now be in jeopardy one way or another. Word is that Abraham were behind the vote which given their size appears understandable and there has been a copy of a letter to shareholders going around albeit uncorroborated as being genuine. I have seen the letter which apparently was given to the Nomad at the meeting but who refused to publish and if it is genuine then it does indeed contain many gripes and complaints, some pretty questionable in terms of accuracy.  Whether the action of turfing out the board is quite the right way to go about sorting out  these issues is the right way of doing things I have my doubts but it’s done now and seems irreversible. I wouldnt be surprised if there hadn’t been a number of cheeky bids  over the weekend and having thrown the baby out with the bath water this may be all the shareholders can expect now.

Dragon Oil/Petroceltic

On the list of things you thought might happen, as absolute certs was the walking away of Dragon from their bid for Petroceltic at the weekend. Whilst there may be a return at a lower price some day, with the oil market in such turmoil negotiating the price down at the moment is probably a waste of time until some semblance of stability returns. Ironically Petroceltic may be one of the most immune to the troubles and we shall see that at the Capital Markets day expected to be rescheduled shortly, more after that.


BG has announced this morning that part of Helge Lund’s pay package has been altered to that the shares part of year one remuneration has come down from £10m to £4.7m. It was probably necessary to give some red meat to the assembling sharks from the IMA and so on and if this means that it can all go ahead then its a smart enough move.

One thing to think about post the oil price fall is levels of payout by oil companies and a few months ago I suggested that the increase in the dividend by BP was even then an irresponsible decision given the risks the company was taking in Russia and in the US courts. That decision now looks significantly worse and whilst the long term more modest payout by Shell sometimes looks a touch parsimonious it suddenly looks quite sensible…

President has been the first gainer from the oil price problems it seems as its purchase price of the Puesto Guardian concession in Argentina has just come down from $17.88m to just $5.80m…

And finally…

Good wins in the rugby by both England over the Wallabies and Wales, arguably even better against the Springboks on Saturday.

In the football the Maccams who must have been fearing the worst held Chelski to a draw and with the Noisy Neighbours thumping the Saints, battle is definitely back on. Elsewhere the Hammers had a hard fought win over the Magpies, Utd beat the Tigers easy enough and there were wins for the HubCap Stealers, Spurs and the Gooners at the Baggies.

Christopher Eubank jnr got beaten by Billie-Joe Saunders and Tyson Fury beat Dereck Chisora on the same card.

Hopefully I will have a full run down on the US sporting action from Thanksgiving through the weekend tomorrow…

I am lucky enough to be off to the Lords Taverners Christmas lunch with the delightful Jonathan Gregory so back tomorrow, a v busy day…