Oil price, Sundry catch up- Gulf Keystone, Shell/BG- Wood Group- Europa Oil & Gas- And finally…

WTI $41.08 +$1.14, Brent $43.84 +$1.35, Diff $2.76 +21c, NG $2.18 +2c

Oil price

So, it’s the Opec meeting today and barring any last minute change of heart expect a press conference at 1500 hours (London time), in Vienna. Unless such a change of heart actually happens I expect an effective rollover with no change in policy, although there may be some riders to the announcement. These may take the form of comments such as ‘hopefully in liaison with non-Opec suppliers next year may see some production cuts’ and the Iran question is likely to be deferred until sanctions are formally lifted.

Yesterdays price rise was about a potential Opec cut, very unlikely, and a weakening dollar due primarily to a strong euro post Super Mario’s speech on EU QE. Neither of these is going to persist so in the absence of anything out of the blue today pressure remains on the downside. Non-farm payrolls today will probably frank an increase in US rates in a fortnight which should keep the dollar strong which is also bad for oil prices.

Sundry

In the absence of any company news this morning I will catch up on a few bits and pieces from the week, in due course I will follow up meetings with Range Resources and Lamprell, both relatively comforting.

Gulf Keystone announced that it had received its November payment from the KRG of $15m giving them cash of $54.6m. Whilst there is no reason to celebrate wildly it is the beginning of what is hoped to be regular if modest payments to the Kurdistan players. I have got GKP madly wrong for some time but still feel that those investors with a long term perspective will be rewarded by holding on, although I understand that the debt backlog will take a long time to be eroded and patience isnt always possible.

Shell has received permission from the Australian Foreign Investment board for its bid for BG, leaving only the Chinese to approve now. I expect that to happen and the bid to remain on target to complete early next year, accordingly at some stage the arb from Shell to BG will swing into place.

Wood Group announced the acquisition of Infinity Group and whilst this is a modest deal it shows that Wood are happy to pick up these sorts of companies at this stage of the oil cycle.

Yesterday I interviewed Hugh Mackay, CEO of Europa Oil & Gas on TipTV, the link below will help you see what he is thinking about strategy etc at the moment.

http://www.tiptv.co.uk/finance/ceo-interview-europa-oil-gas-loneog-enthusiasm-intact-looking-to-boost-production/

And finally…

Not quite such a packed weekend of sport coming up and few matches of massive importance in the Prem. Of significant interest may well be the visit of the happy Hammers to the Theatre of dreams whilst league leaders the Noisy Neighbours go to the Potters. Elsewhere the Gooners host the Maccams, luckless Villa go to the Saints, the Swans host the high flying Foxes and the Hornets welcome the Canaries. With the Spurs super confident going to the Baggies and Chelski hosting the Cherries that just leaves the hapless Magpies to welcome the in-form HubCap Stealers.

Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder but apparently that means he can stay at home in comfort until sometime next year when he is sentenced…

The Tingle Creek at Sandown Park is always a great test of chasers and tomorrows field looks incredibly exciting on a good card.

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