WTI $43.04 +17c, Brent $46.17 +5c, Diff $3.13 -12c, NG $2.21 -12c


Oil price

Oil traded fairly quietly and was headed for a down day with WTI touching $41.72 and Brent $45.03 when the EIA stats and the earlier than usual rig count data came to the rescue. The EIA inventory number was still a build but only of 961/- barrels whereas the whisper was for +1.2m so one and a half cheers all round. As for the rig count it was another double digit fall of 13 rigs overall to 744 units, in oil the drop was 9 to 555 again modest cheering.

The Thanksgiving break will mean that crude markets are bound to be quiet, this morning oil is off around 30 cents in thin trade with not much expected, probably the same until Monday ahead of Opec week. On the subject of Thanksgiving I always like the stats that the Automobile Association of America provide, this year 41.9m Americans will travel more than 50 miles from home by car which is the highest since 2007. The gasoline price is at its lowest since 2008 at $2.09 on average with the Midwest and the Gulf regions notably lower at $1.94 and $1.85 respectively.

In his Autumn statement yesterday, Gideon set up a £1bn Shale Wealth Fund which is intended to support communities and will be a modest boost to the onshore explorers although deeds and words are two totally different things.


Velocys has announced successful completion of pilot plant tests that demonstrate ‘significant process intensification, increasing capacity and productivity and improving commercial plant economics’. The company report a 50% increase in capacity with superior yields of high value liquid hydrocarbons being maintained which has had the effect of improving the economics of commercial plants. This looks to me to be a meaningful announcement and puts Velocys another large step towards commercial technology being moved from laboratory to plant.


Lots of bid stories around Ophir who have apparently received takeover and merger offers from different parties, we shall see but Premier is usually the name in the frame here after the last time…

Another bid/merger story yesterday concerned Genel, where Mark Kleinman of Sky News suggested that the company were in merger talks with New Age. Now Mark has a fantastic reputation for digging out stories and I have no reason to believe that this is not accurate but it wouldnt have been my first guess. True, Tony Hayward is on record as saying that Genel will be sold some day but like this, i’m not so sure.

Wood Group has announced a $90m contract in Iraq for an unnamed IOC, modest but they all count.

And Nighthawk’s awful run with the drill bit continues as they announce another duster, this time at the  Northstar 1-14 well. The Spergen formation was present but no oil shows were found.

And finally…

No success in the Champions League last night, the Noisy Neighbours are through although they might rue Sterling’s missed sitter when they draw Barca in the next round. A very boring 0-0 at Old Trafford by all accounts and the reds have it all to do in this irritating group. In reality they have to go to Wolfsburg and win as PSV are likely to win their last game. Tonight in the Boropa Cup the HubCap Stealers entertain Bordeaux, Spurs are at FK Qarabag whilst Celtic host Ajax.

Back to cricket in Dubai where the T20 series gets under way this afternoon. After the series win in the One-Dayers  England will surely be up for some fun.