WTI $26.21 -$1.24, Brent $30.06 -78c, Diff $3.85 +46c, NG $1.99 -5c

Oil price

Another bad day at the office, particularly for WTI which was hit harder than Brent as Genscape pointed out that stocks at Cushing had reached 90% of capacity. The EIA numbers had actually been better than expected showing a modest draw against forecasts of a 3.2m build but that was soon forgotten. After comments by Igor Sechin at IP week the market is not expecting any help from Russia although this morning prices have rallied as the UAE energy minister has said that Opec is willing to talk, something we all know but actions speak louder than words. This morning has also been helped by comforting GDP figures from Germany which, at 0.3% are in line with expectations for the 4th quarter.


Premier has confirmed that they have terminated the rig contract due to ‘operational issues’ and that the JV will not now drill  Chatham, nor will Argos drill Rhea. Chatham will now be deferred until Sea Lion development drilling is due, given the outstanding success of the recent drilling programme this is probably a blessing in disguise and has saved a bit of cash for later. On the subject of cash, Rockhopper has said that subject to a bunch of external factors, year end cash will be in the order of $70-80m.

Europa/Atlantic Ireland licence round/Providence Resources

Europa has announced that it has been awarded a 100% interest in a  new Licensing Option in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland, as part of phase 1 of the 2015 Atlantic Ireland round. Whilst in itself this is good news for EOG, I suggest that the company that is is about to keep is equally impressive. Operators in the round include Exxon, Nexen, Scotia, Statoil, Woodside and BP with Eni.

It is worth also considering Providence Resources in this respect, although they were not successful in this phase there is no embarrassment in being outbid in this company and it might be a blessing in disguise. In a recent chat with Tony O’Reilly I got the impression that things were looking up and I suspect that an influx of major and mid cap players into the region in phases 1 and 2 of the round can only be good, at least for sentiment. This success of the licence round must validate the position that PVR has built up in the last 12 years and I think that they might be the most happy this morning. It will be most exciting to see the new map as it will show the PVR acreage now surrounded by the majors and with PVR at a much more advanced stage, in some cases having run seismic and being drill ready.

And finally…

The second weekend of the Six Nations Championship brings more exciting fixtures. Will the new look France team be able to beat Ireland at the Stade de France and can Scotland rekindle their RWC form at what we must now call the ‘Principality Stadium’? England go to Rome on Sunday with one or two additions to the squad, probably dependent on how they start…

It is a massive weekend at the top of the Premiership, on Sunday the Gooners host the Foxes who are 5 points clear at the top of the table whilst Spurs go to the Noisy Neighbours. Elsewhere the Red Devils go to the Maccams, the Hammers go to the Canaries and the Saints host the Swans. In Liverpool the bragging rights are being keenly fought, the Toffees are ahead only on goal difference and they have the Baggies at Goodison whilst the HubCap Stealers are at Villa. The Cherries entertain the Potters, Chelski host the Magpies and a tricky fixture to read is the Hornets at the Eagles.

Today sees another one dayer in South Africa, England messed up last time and will be very keen to clinch the series just needing one victory to get over the line. Starts at 1130 in Jo’burg….