WTI $42.63 +$1.55, Brent $45.80 +$1.77, Diff $3.17 +22c, NG $2.07 -2c

Oil price

Clutching at straws or what, the EIA inventory stats showed a build of 2.1m barrels, 200/- less than the market was expecting and the bunting goes out, however these numbers are at an important seasonal tipping point as the driving season is only a month away and demand is certainly strong. Another straw to be clutched at was the fact that Russia is, apparently, trying to organise another producers meeting, quite how that is expected to differ from the last one who knows. Having said that, despite difficult fundamentals traders tell me that there is a fairly strong feel to the market at the moment.

Wood Group

Wood has announced that it has won a contract in the North Sea from Nexen worth $150m. Continuation of an existing contract this is another useful but necessary addition to the backlog.

Sound Energy

Sound has announced that it has spudded the first Tendrara well onshore Morocco. The well, which will take  around 80 days to complete is a ‘significant milestone’ for the company which unlocks Eastern Morocco and broadens their resource base as well as being the first in collaboration with Schlumberger. Next week sees analysts visiting Morocco so expect more interest in Sound as it explains its exposure to the country and its exciting prospects in North Africa.

Range Resources

More good news from Range today and I am really impressed with how the company appears to be progressing after some difficult times recently. The quarterly report updates on production, drilling, strategy and the cash position, all of which are positive. On the production side the first quarter was in line at 551 bop/d net to the company but more importantly they renewed the guidance of 2,500 bop/d by the end of 2017 which if achieved would be a meaningful step in the right direction. This year the company will drill four ‘material’ development wells and one high impact exploration well, these wells and the work on the water-floods are of highest priority as production is expected in 2H 2016 at Morne Diablo and Q4 2016 for Beach Marcelle. The cash number is $21.6m and with minimal cash outflow in the quarter is broadly neutral which is good. Range is building slowly but strongly and probably far better than the market might have expected and despite the significant rise in the share price so far this year there could still be much to go for.

And finally…

Three matches in the Prem last night although the Merseyside derby at Anfield was certainly not a contest. One wonders whether Martinez really is the manager he has been hyped up to be, if I was a toffee I would have grave doubts… Elsewhere the Hammers easily saw off the Hornets 3-1 and the Eagles could have been done much more than the 2-0 defeat they suffered at the Theatre of Dreams. Tonight sees the Gooners take on the Baggies as we clear the backlog of fixtures ahead of the FA Cup semis at the weekend.

And no great surprise that Celtic have sacked Delia, winning the manager of the month every month this year hasn’t been a problem, things are about to get a fair bit tougher…

And a huge thank you to all of you who have given so generously this week, we are all gobsmacked by your generosity, just in case you missed it here is what I am going on about…

Finally, yet again I am asking for sponsorship for Sunday’s London marathon. Not for me of course but this year my daughter Holly and some friends are running in memory of a close friend who died last spring. They are hoping to raise money for the Anthony Nolan trust which is a brilliant charity. I know you all get many requests at this time of year but if you have a few coppers to spare it would be much appreciated. Link is below with all the details, thank you very much.