WTI $50.36 +21c, Brent $57.04 +39c, Diff $6.68 +18c, NG $2.88 +6c

Oil price

A weaker greenback supported the oil price yesterday, although with indifferent API stats coming out after the close crude weakened in early trading today. Ahead of the EIA numbers tonight the analysts got the sign wrong again, having been expecting a draw of over two million barrels the API announced that stocks actually rose by 2.3m barrels and plus 885/- at Cushing.

WTI closed the August contract at $50.36 having visited $49.77 during the day and September opened up at $50.86, the fifty dollar barrier is proving quite interesting at the moment. Gasoline futures weakened yesterday with RBOB creeping towards the $1.85 support level, closing at $1.9209. US refiners are still making out like bandits with Valero and Marathon pushing into Q3 still making good margins, results next week will be good but what will they say about the outlook I wonder? Stocks of refined products are up 57m barrels since April despite an active driving season and are currently the highest on record. Remember that US refiners are more competitive when the WTI/Brent differential widens, so at $6.68 they will be quite happy but with Labor Day only 6 weeks away (Sept 7th this year) and the end of the driving season looming they will want to make hay while the sun shines.

Results season

Its very quiet for oil company news as most executives are taking holidays before the 2Q results start coming up next week with the majors and these are the key dates. July 28th sees BP, Statoil and Anadarko reporting numbers, with Total coming in on the 29th. The 30th is going to be busy with ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, Valero and Marathon all reporting and on the 31st we get Exxon, Chevron and BG figures.

Independent Oil & Gas

The IOG story has a happy ending, the cheque really was in the post and the company has announced this morning that it is funded until September 4th. Of more importance of course will be the much bigger raise being transacted at the moment, should this go ahead it will transform the business and things will start to move quickly on a number of fronts. I look forward to catching up with Mark Routh and Peter Young at that stage and hopefully reporting an exciting story for 2016.

And finally…

The Womens Ashes started yesterday and England won the first of the mixture of one day, T20 and test match cricket at Taunton.

The England selectors duly met and had at least read part of the blog, Jonny Bairstow being brought in at No 5 to replace Gary Ballance. Ian Bell moves up to No 3 in what might be his last test if he doesnt pull his finger out and Joe Root moves up to No 4. James Taylor is still sadly left out but i’m sure his time will come, probably at Trent Bridge and KP is still playing beach cricket, say no more…

Celtic are in action tonight playing the second leg of the Champions league tie against Stjarnan taking a 2-0 lead from the first leg.