WTI $44.68 -$2.22, Brent $47.47 -$1.61, Diff $2.79 +61c, NG $2.60 -5c

Oil price

So much for thinking that crude might finish in positive territory on the week, WTI did, only just by 5 cents but Brent was down $1.57 on the period. That was partly due to the physical market, traders are saying that the North Sea market is awash at the moment and also that WTI was better after the inventory stats.

With some commentators suggesting that US production really is about to fall, by as much as 400/- b/d for this year and next, and with the IEA taking a more positive stance it is possible to make a bullish case but the jury is still out. Friday’s rig count showed another fall, down 8 oil rigs to 644 and this would have helped the bulls a very modest amount. As I have been saying for some time, keep an eye on the Tillerson interview in PIW and then the October refinancing process…

Nostra Terra/Independent Resources

You have to hand it to Matt Lofgran of Nostra Terra, he is always on the lookout for a deal that will reward shareholders even if it is off his normal patch. Today he has announced a joint venture agreement in North Africa with Independent Resources, where the two companies will look to buy producing assets with cash flow and hope to gear up and make a decent return for shareholders. Clearly the outlook in the USA, where NTOG has been operating up until now is not so clever at current oil prices and is forcing a change of strategy. Over the last few months there have been a number of companies getting closer to the ‘greater Mediterranean’ region, in this case it is Tunisia and Egypt that have caught the eye.The JV is ‘actively progressing negotiations on the first co-investment opportunity and are in discussions and doing due diligence on others’ which probably means something is imminent, we shall wait and see.


And finally…

That was a big sporting weekend by any matter of means and certainly headed by Muzza leading the GB team to victory in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup. Playing on all three days must be punishing especially after a five setter in the doubles but he did it and now GB face Belgium in the final. The only bad news about that is that they play away from home, probably on clay but that hasn’t stopped him recently delivering on that surface.

The RWC started with a slightly jittery English performance against Fiji but after a while things settled down and they won with the bonus point that might be important. Elsewhere, the All Blacks beat a spirited Pumas team and a rarity in that a ref was prepared to put Richie into the sin bin where he is not used to attending… Wins for Wales and Ireland although the former lost more players to injury but the first major shock came down at Brighton where the Japanese turned over the Springboks and make what looked like an easy group to call that much more difficult. Scotland v Japan is on Wednesday….

Over in Singapore the Grand Prix turned out to be the first bad news weekend for Mercedes for a while, with Lewis retiring and Rosberg in fourth something clearly didnt go right for the team, the question is, has Ferrari found something they can compete with at last? Japan next at the weekend…

And in the Prem at the weekend Chelski restored their winning ways after beating 9 man Gooners, I dont often agree with Arsene but his words about Costa… The other big win was another stunning away performance for the happy Hammers who carried on where they had left off at the Emirates and Anfield by going to the Etihad and beating the Noisy Neighbours. Man Who won at the Saints putting them second and it was a bad day for the North East as the Maccams lost at Bournemouth and the Magpies lost to the Hornets. Villa had another bad day at the office, going down at home to the Baggies isnt their idea of fun and the HubCap Stealers were held at Anfield by the Canaries. Finally there were draws between Stoke and Leicester and the Swans and the Toffees.