WTI $34.73 -22c, Brent $36.88 -18c, Diff $2.15 -8c, NG $1.77 +1c

Oil price

Falls of 89c and $1.44 on the week for WTI and Brent respectively seem like quite a result, at times it felt much worse. The reality is indeed worse, at least for the time being and this morning in eastern markets Brent traded intra-day at $36.04 which puts it through all sorts of levels, historic lows, chart support to name but two. The strong greenback doesnt help and the Baker Hughes rig count on Friday showed a new low in natural gas units but a surprise jump in oil rigs of 17 to 541.

Barry has signed the bill which ends the forty year old crude oil export ban but most see few changes, cant see North Dakota crude going into China anytime soon but there will be benefits as always befits a freed up market and Dan Yergin will be pleased.


The documentation for the BG bid now goes to the High Court and should be on file tomorrow, the important thing about this is that it gives us a proper timetable for the key part of the process. Shareholders in Shell will vote on the 27th of January, BG the following day and whilst some large shareholders have already been heard to procrastinate on the matter all will have their say then.

Sound Energy

Good news today from Sound who announce in a Nervesa operations update that works to connect it to the natural gas export pipeline have commenced and will take approximately 40 days to complete. Importantly this means that first commercial production will be secured early in the new year, revenues from Nervesa will add to the company’s target to pay its G&A costs in Italy from domestic production. The company continues to develop new projects, particularly in North Africa, and of course has an interesting venture with Schlumberger under way.


Velocys also has good news this morning in that it has finally settled with CompactGTL over the patent infringement case it brought and won. CompactGTL will pay an undisclosed, one-off payment to Velocys and the appeal and enquiry into damages will now be discontinued, leaving the company to continue its focus on the commercial roll-out of GTL technology.


I reported last week on a meeting that I had had with Jay, today the company announces that the loan term has been extended to July 2016. Now, I never thought that this was in doubt but shareholders have been getting concerned of late about a number of things, this loan being one of them. The other concern is of course the fact that the GSA is not yet signed but is, I am reliably informed, on the desk of the Tanzanian Attorney General awaiting his approval and that there is no reason why it will not be treated favourably. With Songo Songo ready for Kiliwani gas and the Bowleven deal in process I am feeling increasingly confident about the prospects for Aminex as we head into the new year.

Independent Oil & Gas

There has been so much news around from Independent Oil & Gas lately that sneaking on out on a Friday afternoon hardly comes as a surprise. Whether it is just me, but the announcement that they would be operator of Skipper was obviously good news but a strange precursor to the Alpha deal which whilst clearly going to happen hasn’t yet happened… Anyway, this is all further good news for IOG and the management can go home for Christmas knowing that few would have worked harder in recent months and to deserved success. Whilst no well can be considered a success until it’s been drilled (many a good prospect ruined by being drilled) Skipper has every chance and may indeed please on the upside.

And finally…

The so-called smaller clubs continue to teach lessons to the alleged big boys, this weekend  saw the Canaries win at the Theatre of Dreams, the Hornets beat the HubCap Stealers, the Foxes stay at the top beating the Toffees, The Cherries saw off the Baggies and the Eagles flying high having beaten Stoke City. Manager-less Chelski beat the Maccams  whilst the Saints lost to Spurs and the Magpies drew with Villa who look doomed.

In Spain, Real Madrid were 1-2 down against 9 man Rayo but ran out 10-2 winners, Gareth Bale having notched four, apparently they should have eased off…

Still in football I notice that Blatter and Platini have received 8 year bans from the sport, sounds mighty lenient to me and they should have thrown away the keys…

And never more justified was Muzza’s SPOTY award last night, thoroughly deserved and great to have both the Davis Cup and the SP winner in the UK….