WTI $56.52 +$2.41, Brent $61.38 +$2.11, Diff $4.86 -30c, NG $3.46 -18c

Oil price

My comment on Friday that we had seen the faintest signs of a base forming in the oil price were backed up by a further rally then and again this morning. Today has seen another dollar or so added to the prices but I am not for one minute suggesting it is anything but a technical rally combined with some year ending short closing. Indeed, Opec Ministers meeting in Abu Dhabi at the weekend continued to hold the hard line from their last meeting with Ali al-Naimi saying that ‘we are not going to cut’ and that he was ‘not pleased’ with prices. Having said that he expects some sort of recovery based on a more positive view of world economic growth, in the meantime he suggests that ‘the most efficient producers be allowed to produce’ which is a bit chilling outside of the Middle East…

The Baker Hughes rig count which we are all watching again showed another fall on Friday, after last weeks drop of 27 rigs this week it was down by 18 to 1875.


Never in any doubt………….Rosneft has announced this morning that it has repaid the $7.6bn due on the TNK loan and into the bargain Igor Sechin has said that ‘to service debt the company does not need to enter the currency market’ which is excellent news…


After all the recent speculation it comes as no surprise that the first ‘highly preliminary’ approach has been made for the company. Mind you at 51p this approach from SEPLAT is hardly likely to be the last indication of interest in the company and investors should expect this just to be the starters flag being lowered in the battle for the Afren portfolio at bargain basement prices…


Circle Oil has announced that it has made a ‘significant gas discovery’ with the KSR-12 well on the Sebou permit onshore Morocco.

Premier Oil has confirmed that previously announced asset sales have now completed for a total consideration of $147.5m. Stakes in Scott, Telford and Rochelle fields have been sold to MOL and PL 359 offshore Norway to Lundin.

Over at Providence Resources they are celebrating a courtroom victory over Transocean who had hoped to charge them for use of the rig when PR said that it was not fit for purpose. Whilst this is good news for the company it pales into insignificance compared to the long-awaited farm-out of Barryroe which the statement alludes to, but dont hold your breath, the market has long ago stopped counting any chickens on that deal.

And finally…

The England cricket selectors met on Friday and concluded that Alastair Cook didn’t merit a place in the squad for the cricket world cup next year. This wasn’t a surprise to anyone except the ECB but it should mean that he will be able to rest up and be ready and fresh for a big year of test cricket in 2015 which he most certainly is qualified for.

The Prem threw up a couple of good games yesterday, Liverpool nicked a draw at home to the Gooners with a goal in the 97th minute and talking of last minute goals there would have been huge celebrations round at OFGEM as the Maccams got up to beat the Magpies in the Tyne-Weir derby. The Noisy Neighbours beat the Eagles and the Saints came back to form with a comfortable win against the Toffees. There were also wins for QPR, Swansea, Spurs and the Hammers who remain in the Champions League places…Stoke host Chelski tonight.

In their first game at home in Coventry London Wasps beat London Irish 48-16…

And I keep getting better news about Andrew Whittock, here is an e-mail I received on Friday.

Morning F, I visited A recently: he is now looking far more alert and awake, able to speak with short sentences. He has better vision and recognition. He is smiling and makes small progress every day. It’s still unclear how long its rehabilitation could take. So still a difficult situation but slowly progressing.