WTI $33.62 +40c, Brent $34.74 +85c (March, expired), Diff $1.12 +45c, NG $2.30 +12c

Oil price

The oil price had its week in the sun and as long as stories of an agreement continue to do the rounds we probably wont revisit 28 bucks quite yet. This agreement will take some getting even if Russia do come to the rescue which they can do, even in winter, by disguising a natural fall in production as a goodwill gesture. Iran is building and the Iraqi number is now well over 4m b/d and they dont sound like joining in at the peace-fest. I’m not sure quite how lecturing by the IMF will go down in Saudi, at least they can retreat to the desert whereas the IMF can only take fewer Davos places. (On the subject of Dav-oh, Lucy Kellaway in the FT today is a must read).

The rig count continues to fall, overall it was down 18 units at 619 with oil down 12 and now below the 500 mark at 498.


Chevron figures on Friday were the first of the season if you dont count Shell’s pre-numbers ahead of the BG vote. The earnings number missed the whisper but the company beat the revenue guesses, net loss for the quarter was $588m after $1.1bn of asset write downs. We are going to have to get used to write downs and impairments, remember the year end oil price which is the landmark for the accounts department. The company reiterated its dividend mantra that its first priority was to ‘maintain and grow the dividend’ which we will hear more of this week.

Premier Oil

Premier got their quote back this morning after re-jigging the consideration and bringing it down by $15m thus changing it from a RTO to a Class 1 deal. The shares, up 128% as I write, have reacted positively to the deal with EON although it should be borne in mind that when they were suspended they had been the subject of some serious short selling, it would be interesting if any of those raiders were caught in today’s squeeze…An eminently sensible deal which deserves opprobrium for Tony Durrant who doesnt have many options right now.


BLVN has announced this morning that it has decided not to proceed with the proposed acquisition of 25% of Kiliwani North and 50% of the Ruvuma PSA  from Aminex. It is understood from the company that the parties couldnt agree on a suitable work programme. I suspect that as all appears reasonably friendly, the Aminex team, including their lender and the Tanzanian Government, did not want to surrender any more value from what is undoubtedly just now becoming a most valuable asset. Having such support from both the Government and lender is incredibly valuable and enables the AEX team to maintain its original working interest.

The company, now with the GSA signed, is preparing Kiliwani North to come onstream imminently and will be able to book reserves. They are also continuing to appraise Ntorya and hope to monetise that gas through an early production system. All in all it appears that although the market probably considers the Bowleven deal a missed opportunity, may actually be proof that a GSA, first gas and booking reserves has built strength on which to build.


I got huge stick from their IR advisors last time I mentioned it but it was unusual to say the least to see Petroceltic putting out an announcement at 1735 hours on a Friday night. The fact that the company has received an extension of its current waiver of repayments of its senior bank facility to February 5th is not news that should be hidden away but many will have missed it. Last time it was after hours on December 23rd, whatever next?

I noticed in the weekend press that Samir Brikho has been awarded a £1.2m pay-off after leaving the company recently, according to the Sunday Times ‘shocking’ the market. At least the dividend cut has conserved some of the company’s cash…

And finally…

The FA Cup held few surprises at the weekend, with the Red Devils seeing off the Rams starting the process off on Friday night and keeping LvG in a job. The standout tie in  the next round is Chelski v the Noisy Neighbours although some would say that Shrewsbury got the pick of the fixtures entertaining the Super reds…

After the mighty St Johnstone lost the first semi-final to Hibs there was more giant killing in the Scottish League Cup as Ross County put away Super Celtic who weren’t fantastic but super County went ballistic…

Deadline day in the transfer window as desperate managers and owners try to simultaneously raid other clubs whilst not losing their own stars at the last minute.

So, Muzza lost to Jock’o but all was not lost as brother Jamie won the doubles and Gordon Reid took the wheelchair singles.

And finally, huge sports fan and legendary investment manager Craig Yeaman, investment Director at Saracen Fund Managers is probably not back at his desk yet but I wish him well with his nuptials which I gather happened before this weekend’s stag festivities in the Emerald Isle…