WTI $44.75 -$1.00, Brent $46.20 -97c, Diff $1.45 +3c, NG $2.69 +3c

Oil price

Apparently a fairly quiet day yesterday as the market mulled over the inventory stats, crude was ok coming in with a draw of 2.3m barrels, higher than the 1.3m forecast but it was the build of 911/- in gasoline that started people worrying. Right in the middle of the holiday season and at a time when product stocks should be drawing down this was not expected.

Ithaca Energy

Ithaca has announced that the FPF-1 has completed its inclination test and has left the Remontowa shipyard in Gdansk. It is now undergoing deep-water trials before being towed to the Stella field. Never before has one rig been so carefully watched, yesterday Twitter was alive with sightings of it, no chance of keeping anything quiet in this world!

Rockrose Energy

I met with Andrew Austin yesterday having not seen much of him since he left IGas and set up Rockrose. He told me that a lot has been going on, in his words ‘I have kissed a lot of frogs’. With bank lines in place and a strong team on board all is moving along nicely, indeed Jon Fitzpatrick, late of Macquarie Bank has come on board as a senior advisor to the company. It sounds like AA is getting closer to a deal and he seems to be focusing on offshore not onshore assets and cash producing ones at that. It will be interesting to those who backed him back earlier in the year to see what he elects as his first deal but I certainly get the impression that he is not letting the grass grow under his feet…


It is worth keeping an eye on these  two as with the bid by Woodside for the Conoco 35% stake in the Senegalese assets last week comes a month of decision making with regards to preemption rights. Within the industry it seems that general feeling is that WPL has pulled off the deal of the decade, making COP look unusually inept particularly as new data on the find is imminent. I am expecting a declaration of commerciality to follow a substantial increase in contingent resources in the not too distant future and will pour more egg on the COP faces.

So what do the other partners do in the circumstances? The obvious and value enhancing thing would be to pre-empt but that is easier said than done. For Far with a market cap of A$375m it is a mighty chunk but don’t rule out this ambitious company doing anything it can to create value in the process. For Cairn, with a market cap north of a  billion pounds it would also be a large chunk and I dont think that the management has the cojones to put that many eggs in one basket even if it could be a genuine company maker. Whilst this transaction has caused some grief in a few boardrooms lately I still expect this world class discovery to deliver  significant value to the partners, as before, Far is the best way to play the situation.

Finally, it has become clear that the mystery client of HSBC who gave an order to switch $3.75bn into pounds was Cairn, who, according to the US authorities investigating the case were the wrong end of criminally fraudulent behaviour that has led to the arrest of the trader responsible. Not a good week to be away on holiday Simon…


I had the good fortune to chat to Tony O’Reilly yesterday as part of my CEO interview series on TipTV. Providence Resources has had a recovery akin to Lazarus in the last few months culminating in a raise of $70m which has transformed the company and put it on a strong footing for the next year or two. The link to this interview can be found below.

TipTV CEO Interview: Tony O’Reilly, Providence Resources

Gulfsands announced this morning that Alastair Beardsall has resigned as Chairman and a director ‘with immediate effect’ so I wish him well. The company remains firmly in the ‘have nots’ column though.

And finally…

So, Big Sam is to take over the management of the England team. Under the circumstances I think that those people who have been calling for someone better had better realise that you get what you deserve, not what you wish for…

I think that my results computer must have a gremlin in it, it says that although Aberdeen won last night in the Boropa Cup both the Hibbo’s  and the Jam Tarts went out, the latter to an unknown Maltese team, and at home…?

Back to F1 as it’s the Hungarian GP, one of the best on the circuit. I see that Mercedes have added a couple of years to young Nico’s contract thus presumably not expecting any further fallout from when he tried to drive Lewis off the circuit…

And it’s the King George V1 weekend at Ascot with good cards both today and tomorrow although some of the fields are disappointingly light.

The Anniversary Games are also taking place this weekend as we all remember the good things about London 2012, not sure Brazil will be doing the same…

The second test against Pakistan starts today at Old Trafford and after a ‘shock’ defeat in the last one England have to pull their socks up, Stokes and Anderson return and England have won the toss and are batting first.