WTI $38.50 +66c, Brent $40.39 +34c, Diff $2.89 +68c, NG $1.82 +3c

Oil price

After the blog went out on Friday further details of the IEA monthly were published and whilst it wasnt all bull territory there were enough tasty morsels to please the bulls. Comments such as ‘market forces working their magic’ did the trick and were read more than the fact that there were supply cuts but still exceeded demand which tended to be glossed over.

Be wary of what you wish for as any protracted strength in the crude price would only encourage shale producers to bring back the odd well or put on a few more hedges to please the bank manager. Finally the Opec/Non Opec meetings, what meetings as so far any actual times or places have been scheduled, let alone the participants…

Sound Energy

An operational update this morning from Sound where much is going on at the moment. At Badile it seems that the final approval meeting is scheduled for the 21st March after which final permission is expected. Plans are still to drill this year and an MOU for the rig has been signed. In the meantime farm-out discussions continue with a number of parties. At Nervesa the company has constrained the flow of gas as it appears that not all perforations are in production which will lead to some remedial work. Finally, The drill programme at Tendrara is expected to start in April, the first well is of course 80% funded as part of the deal with Schlumberger.

Range Resources

Good news from Range where the MD 51-1 well has spudded having had its approval granted. Over the next 4/5 weeks the well will endeavour to back up Morne Diablo numbers as well as testing the deeper horizons of the Middle and Upper Cruse sands. More tomorrow from Range with its interim numbers.

Trinity Exploration & Production

The worst kept secret in the oil industry was that the deal with Touchstone was off has been confirmed this morning. Trinity say that it was they that decided against it rather than t’other way round but with the deadline having passed if the money wasn’t there that is as good a reason as any. The Guapo sale is still proceeding and the board consider that having cut costs dramatically and with production of 2,500-3,000 boe/d things can still work. The announcement also says that the company is exploring a refinancing to put it back on an even keel but the appointment of more expensive consultants makes it look like the For Sale signs are up again.

Europa Oil & Gas

An update from EOG today only confirms stuff we knew already but always nice to have a shareholder notice to read. The company has been awarded a licence in the South Porcupine Basin in phase 1 of the licence round, this is adjacent to FEL 3/13 which should help in resource numbers and the farm-outs under way at the moment. Onshore UK looking promising as per previous announcements.

And finally…

In the 6 Nations rugby Ireland thrashed hapless Italy and England held on to beat Wales in what became a nervous finish that shouldn’t have been. Finally Scotland secured a fine victory over France which must have tasted all the sweeter for knowing that they had just handed the title to England…

In the FA Cup, London Giants Chelski and the Gooners went out to the Toffees and the Hornets respectively. The Eagles beat the Royals with two goals at the death and at the Theatre of Nightmares the Red Devils escaped with a draw against the happy Hammers, the draw is tonight.

In the Prem, the Noisy Neighbours missed a chance to catch up by only drawing at the Canaries and with Spurs beating Villa will make tonight’s Foxes v Magpies match even more competitive. The Cherries beat the Swans and the Potters beat the Saints.

Ireland join Scotland in exiting the World T20 at the qualifying stage, England join the process on Wednesday…