WTI $44.98 -$1.88, Brent $47.75 -$1.33, Diff $3.27 +$1.02, NG $2.57 -1c

Oil price

The roller-coaster ride continues, for Brent, having tried and failed the $50 level we are back below the technical support level, today could do with being a better day. For WTI post expiry the weakness was primarily about the EIA stats, following the API numbers a draw of 1.9m barrels turned out to be a bit disappointing and the build in gasoline was also worse than expected at 1.4m barrels. Both grades had been weakened by the Chinese PMI numbers and remain under pressure.

Independent Oil & Gas 

While I am talking about roller-coaster rides, the on-off financing that Mark Routh and team are trying to execute for the Skipper well appears to have taken a turn for the better today as a whole bunch of financing options have been revealed. Whilst at the moment there isnt a specific source of finance it seems that through a combination of part-funding by service companies, by way of deferring payments and providing loans may well get the well drilled. This total commitment adds up to around £7m including an agreement with AGR the rig operator. It seems that the Alpha SPA has been extended to 7th December and Darwin are playing their part by deferring their debt until then as well at no extra cost. It seems like the industry is bending over backwards to ensure that this well happens and all these parties must share my confidence in the management and the asset, watch this space…

Range Resources 

It is a while since I commented on Range and although I still have some reservations about the situation it seems that on the ground at least things are picking up quite nicely. With the recent funding completed work has gone ahead briskly on MD 42N and there could be as many as 5 wells drilling here in the next few weeks. Likewise more wells are expected on Mome Diablo and the management are sticking to guidance of 1/- b/d by the year end which is encouraging. With further Governmental consents and approvals, including for the water-flood things are certainly looking brighter and maybe my worries about shareholder security have been overdone, lets hope so.


Total have made a point of saying that their dividend is secure and that they will reduce capex by around $3bn a year for next year and 2017. The majors have certainly been the ones to blink first, probably because they can but the absence of major oil producing projects starting in a couple of years time will limit their flexibility when that happens..

Sound Energy, as they will be next week, has announced interim results and there are no surprises, permits achieved, farm-in activity and drilling plans have already been announced and will all be discussed in depth at the upcoming shareholder/investor event.

Tethys snuck out an announcement just before the close yesterday saying that the talks with Nostrum would continue until 6th October. At that stage there may or may not be a bid for the company. In addition the parties are discussing a $20m loan which Tethys say they need as they ‘may not be a going concern’ otherwise, all very squeaky…

And I noticed that it seems that there is a peace deal in Colombia between the President and the FARC rebels which, if concluded, would end over fifty years of war between the parties. Whilst there has been no sign of this causing any obvious collateral damage to oil companies in the region it must be helpful to players like Amerisur who ply their trade in the country.

And finally…

More League Cup action last night with the big tie seeing the Gooners beat Spurs, more bad news for the Wally with the brolly as the Magpies are seen off by Sheffield Wednesday and the HubCap Stealers scraped through on pens against Carlisle. The Tractor boys did well enough at the Theatre of Dreams but in the end went down 0-3.

In the RWC it was time for Scotland to step up and they did just that beating a tired Japanese side easy enough. The Wallabies beat Fiji as well but may rue not getting the penalty point, could be decisive in the group of death.