WTI $38.28 -$1.11, Brent $39.14 -$1.13, Diff $0.86 -2c, NG $1.90 +5c

Oil price

Even a weak greenback couldnt hold the oil price yesterday and after Janet Yellen said that she would ‘take extreme care’ before tightening policy and that caution was ‘especially warranted’ the currency fell and Wall Street rallied sharply. Further downward pressure on crude oil came from the desert where the KSA and Kuwaiti’s agreed to restart production at the Khafji field in the neutral zone which will add around 300,000 b/d to already full world stocks.

After the close the API stats showed a build of 2.6m , slightly below estimates of 3.2m which was reason for modest celebration, a good figure from the EIA tonight will keep the bulls alive, just…


Interims today from Bowleven where the net loss was $132m after a $133.5m impairment charge, as expected. The company has cash of $107.5m in the bank with another $15m to come in September so is very soundly based. The shares have fallen this morning because the JV drilling the Etinde prospect has been delayed still further. Now whilst this is indeed a disappointment it should only be considered a nuisance and a putting off of riches to a later day. The JV has approved the budget and long lead items are being procured so sometime early in 2017 should see the drill bit turning. Those who read my comments after a recent meeting with Kevin Hart  will know just how excited I am about this prospect, this appears to be shared by the consortium as I understand that the wells will be drilled as producers, going to early production rather than being abandoned. This will bring forward the timeline significantly and shows considerable belief in the project.

I can fully understand those who have rather lost patience with the company but it should be borne in mind that the farm-out deal was exceptional to BLVN and losing Operator-ship was a hazard that came with the loot. Both its partners have had other things on their plates but at least now some sort of certainty appears to be on the horizon.  The shares have lost today a bit of the 33% gain that they had made so far this year but taking so much value out of the company for what is only delayed opportunity, investors with a slightly longer perspective should consider investing at 20p, it is very attractive indeed.

Chariot Oil & Gas

As if to prove that a farm-out really can be done in this environment, Chariot has announced that it is farming down its stake in the Rabat Deep, offshore Morocco to Eni. Whilst it does appear to be giving away quite a lot (goes from 40% to 10%) it does get a full carry with plenty of headroom and sounds like an excellent deal from what I can see. It justifies to a large extent the Chariot strategy of building a high quality portfolio of assets and making them ready to farm-in to, thus de-risking the process and rewarding shareholders, it has just been way more difficult in current market conditions. It also proves, if ever any were needed that companies such as Chariot are more than capable of finding and working up prospects that are every bit as good, if not better than, those in the portfolios of the majors. With it’s expertise in the area Eni has secured a meaningful asset whilst Chariot has secured a cash and carry with back costs and will remain on board for what might indeed be  ‘transformational growth’ in its own portfolio.


Over at the UN there was confirmation, re the Falklands, that there would be no change in the status of any disputed areas which are excluded from any ongoing process. Unsurprisingly the Argentinian government/press decide that it was still worth a puff. No change in view of companies involved such as Premier and Rockhopper.

Interims this morning from Plexus Holdings who have made a £3.5m loss and passed the divvi although the latter affects fewer than the usual company shareholder list. Plexus had a serious profit warning earlier in the year and is in resuscitation, it hasn’t stopped  them issuing another statement the length of war and peace though…

Not much to report from the Pantheon interims this morning as all news was in the public domain following recent well results and the equity placing. But just to confirm, if any was needed that there are few companies in better space than Pantheon at present. An oversubscribed placing leaves them with money to spend on the drilling programme when its never been cheaper to do so. VOS#1 will come onstream in the next quarter and fraccing will tidy up VOBM#1, they certainly have ‘cracked the code’.

And finally…

The second of England’s friendlies saw the visit of the Dutch to Wembley who carried off the points mainly due to rank incompetent reffing. Having said that given we see it every week in the Prem at least we could recognise it. It was always going to be a shadow of the weekend team with players such as Milner and Lallana pressing their cases although they should put away the cases along with the likes of Henderson and Wilshere. Woy will inevitably take some of the old guard and probably wont be able to resist playing them even though  it should be the likes of Dier, Alli, Vardy and Kane who have places in ink, not pencil.

Over at Villa Park another manager bites the dust, they would be better off with a Remy Martin rather than a Remy Garde, at least they will be looking at a Championship manager with appropriate remuneration…

Today sees the semi-final of the World T20 and would you believe it England are in it, to think where we have come from after the 50 over debacle we must be thankful for small miracles…