Oil price, Bowleven/Aminex, Sundry-BG/Shell-Falcon-Caza-Simmons-Oil & Gas week- And finally…

WTI $40.75 +8c, Brent $44.14 +57c, Diff $3.39 +75c, NG $2.35 -2c

Oil price

A rare if modest up day for crude oil, WTI had been experiencing sub $40 conditions but the EIA rode to the rescue with a stock build which was around 2m barrels less than expected at +252/-. This was no dream number though and after the API had come in with a small fall on Tuesday some might have been disappointed.

The Fed have now made it abundantly clear that they will raise rates in December, such is the strength of the US economy and there is no longer a desire to appease any other laggard nations it will surely happen. The strong dollar might even take a breather but for the time being it is another item weighing down on the oil price.

Bowleven/Aminex

Todays announcement that BLVN is buying some of Aminex’s assets in Tanzania is probably just about a win-win situation, as the former starts to spend its cash pile and the latter eases its balance sheet. Aminex is selling down its stake in Kiliwani North Development Licence and farming down its stake in the Ruvuma PSA for a potential total of $28m(net $24.375m). This will leave them with 37.5% of the former and 30.575% of the latter and more likelihood of a drilling programme. For Aminex I suspect that apart from paying down debt is that they have put an exact date on the GSA being signed and first gas from KNDL, so by the end of this year both these long-awaited events will have happened. For Bowleven it signals two things, one is the answer to the question about what they are going to do with the cash burning a hole in Kevin’s pocket and secondly how they will start to diversify from Cameroon. I suspect that the market will be unlikely to see spending 20 odd million bucks as the answer to the question but it is a start I suppose.

Sundry

Three down (EU, Brazil and Oz competition and consumer commission) and two to go (Oz Foreign investment review board and China commission) for Shell in its clearances for the BG bid. The market jury is still out on this one with some commentators suggesting that the fat lady has not even cleared her throat yet…

I spotted another good announcement from Falcon Oil & Gas yesterday, all is going better than expected and as we knew the programme has bee brought forward and the drilling for next year will be ready as soon as conditions permit so no delays.

And I note that Caza are still keeping alive all options by issuing 24m more shares to ‘investors’.

I notice that Piper Jaffray has bought Simmons for $139m, another example of M&A activity, this time from the wordsmiths and investment bankers…

The Oil & Gas Council concluded Oil and Gas week with its annual awards dinner last night. The week has showed that the industry is working hard, not just to cut costs but to collaborate more than ever before. I was particularly honoured to Chair the UKCS panel and with Andy Samuel the CEO of the OGA making the keynote speech and Gunnar Olsen from Total, Nick Terrell from Azinor Catalyst and Colin Butcher from Lloyds all adding to a good panel discussion.  Most of the awards were to be expected, like Eni winning the explorer gong and with Kosmos and Cairn picking up mid-cap and small-cap Oscars and BvB being exec of the year but Rockhopper not winning the diversity award was a travesty….

And finally…

Muzza lost to Rafa and may be sneaking out of the O2 for some clay court practice…

England has named the squad for the tour to South Africa, notable omissions are Ian Bell who may have played his last test, whilst to ensure that the selectors are capable of bringing a touch of farce to the proceedings, the dropping of Rashid for Sumo Patel…Compton and Ballance return and Footitt is selected now he is  a Surrey player…

Finally it was so sad to hear of the death of Jonah Lomu, for many of us the player of that decade and more, even ploughing through English defences looked like fun although Mike Catt didnt see the funny side of it…

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