WTI $48.99 +66c, Brent $50.35 +64c, Diff $1.36 +1c, NG $2.99 +6c

Oil price

The new Brent contract has settled in nicely, Friday saw a number of conflicting messages which saw the price moving to and fro. On the upside was the joint statement from the Saudi Energy Minister and the Opec Secretary General saying that the oil market was ‘heading towards a balance’ and even suggesting that before long the Saudis might be adopting the swing producer role. Also pushing upwards was the breakdown in the ceasefire in Nigeria after five attacks on a Chevron and other NNPC targets was announced. Finally the dollar index fell on Friday giving a small cheer to the crude price. On the downside, the strike in Norway is off after a settlement on Friday and the CFTC figures showed money managers cutting their long positions somewhat. With the rig count rising again, it has only fallen once in five weeks now, this time up by 10 units overall and 11 in oil, it maybe time to have a look at stocks like Hunting although the number is still hundreds down overall. So, the oil price has had another good quarter, WTI rose 33% and Brent was up 31% and closed on Friday over the magic $50 level. Combine that with nearly $3 natural gas and the quarter was pretty good for energy prices.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum

There is almost nothing worse than companies that put out announcements either late in the day or late in the week, on Friday GKP managed both. The only worse thing is to read the missing bits in the Sunday Times where Danny Fortson appears to have been, how you say,  remarkably well briefed. The official announcement said that the standstill agreement with the bondholders had expired and was not going to be extended, leading to suggestions that they would convert and wipe-out the equity holders. Mr Fortson added that the company was expected to launch a $40m equity fundraising backed by a ‘core of institutional investors’.


Good news from Aminex where gas production from Kiliwani North-1 has now reached the magic 30 mmcfd at the weekend. Equivalent to 5/- barrels of oil per day, Jay has done a good job here and those with patience have been rewarded.

A whole load of changes from the UK onshore companies has been announced this morning as the OGA has approved various extensions and conversions under the new model terms for the 14th round.

And Xcite Energy has announced that its AGM will be held in Calais on 27th July, just where you might expect a UK quoted company to expect their shareholders to travel to. Given that the statement describes the situation as ‘challenging’ and that any bond deal might also destroy equity it may not be worth going unless you want some cheap vino…Now, who else does their AGM in France I wonder?

And finally…

For once a Grand Prix was genuinely watchable as strategic mistakes by Ferrari and mollycoddling of little Nico only served to make first Jensen and then Lewis look like stars. Good to see Mr Button up there and as for the finale, one had to laugh at the senior men at Mercedes having a good old fashioned lack of sense of humour…

With seeds disappearing all over the place the second week of Wimbledon is looking very open and Muzza will have a lot on his hands with Mr Kyrgios this afternoon.

Iceland are on their way home after just putting the final nail in England’s coffin and proving that Woy really didnt have a clue what to do…At 4-0 down at half time it was nearly an embarrassment but they did, to their credit, hang on in there.