WTI $48.10 +69c, Brent $49.96 +80c, Diff -$1.83 -25c, NG $2.76 +8c
The machine works and we know this because we have seen it in action many times before when we need a little tickle on the oil price. As I mentioned on Monday the machine that really started in early August has continued to deliver faith when little was justified. With big players such as the Saudi Oil Minister and the Opec Secretary General already having made their contribution yesterday the real wild card swooped off the bench to lend some firepower. Yes we heard it right, Iran sent ‘potential signals’ that it might support joint Opec action and markets were in joyous mood, how could the pariah possibly help, how could the leopard change its spots? Clearly insiders briefed that Iran was helping out but cynics mulled things over and came to the conclusion that actually the Emperor has no clothes and that Iran must be close to current peak production so help may be less than genuine.
Either way there is still almost a month until Algeria and in the meantime things which really do mean something, like the API inventory stats poured cold water on the process. After hours of course they showed that forecasts of a draw, however modest were wide of the mark and a build of 4.5m was announced, ouch. Watch the EIA tonight and remember that there are only two weekends left in the driving season….
Much has been written in recent weeks on SDX so today’s interims contain little new. The results themselves show a $26m loss after a write down on the Cameroon withdrawal so now the decks are clear and exciting times await in Egypt. Work progresses on the workover programme at N W Gemsa and the redevelopment and waterflood programme at Meseda continues whilst 3D seismic work at South Disouq ahead of drilling a well later in the year. With a strong financial position SDX has an exciting future, a material increase in production at Meseda, high margin barrels at N W Gemsa and carried exploration at South Disouq, with positive free cash flow down to $15 oil, whats not to like?
Sound has announced some management changes designed to strengthen leadership now that initial well results in Morocco have meant that the TAGI play may lead to it becoming a material hydrocarbon province. The new arrival is Brian Mitchener who joins as EVP exploration most recently from BG where he enjoyed a long career and has significant African experience. Leonardo Spicci moves from MD Italy in Milan to London to become EVP development and production, whilst Leonardo Salvadori replaces him in that position. Led by CEO James Parsons, all the other key positions such as MD Morocco, CFO (EVP Finance…) and General Counsel remain the same. These changes which have become necessary as the company grows, add depth and balance to the team, as they say, ‘staffing for success whilst maintaining a low cost base’.
A brief word on Cape after yesterdays numbers which were a mixed bag but which could have been much worse. A good ‘strong’ result in Asia Pacific and a ‘solid’ performance in the Middle East was offset by a ‘significant’ deterioration in UK margins. Under the circumstances the order book is not bad at £820m and as with other service companies cash conversion is strong which brought net debt down to almost exactly in line with guidance. Withe the second half expected to be ‘materially’ better despite the worsening margins, guidance for the year remains intact.If the dazzling performance by Cape Engineering services can offset some of the other UK problems and the Middle East and Asia Pacific continue to deliver, Cape will surely live to fight another day, with exceptional management and that 7.5% yield it is indeed a winner.
Following last week’s presentation I did a short podcast on Vox Markets, if you dont mind a bit of interference in the background that is…the link is below.
Independent Oil & Gas
Yesterday I interviewed Mark Routh, CEO and Peter Young, CFO of IOG on TipTV, the link is below.
With every TV station grabbing as many Olympians as they could last night was a great chance to see the mighty Team GB letting their hair down.
Celtic certainly let their guard down against the mighty Hapoel Beer Sheeva last night and are in the Champions League proper.
And would you believe it, the Clueless Cup is back under a different disguise but still the same old..
And the One Day series against Pakistan starts today, lets hope we are less cocky than in the test series…