WTI $53.30 +24c, Brent $55.35 +43c, Diff -$2.50 -30c, NG $3.26 -13c
Trading continues to quieten down ahead of the Christmas break but the inventory figures should remain reasonably supportive. The API reported a 4.2m draw yesterday and the market expects something similar tonight from the API. Gasoline futures, often strong at this time of the year have also risen as retail demand picks up and the API stats showed a bigger than expected 2m barrel draw in gasoline stocks. Iran have entered the party of those proving they are cutting production by announcing lower January liftings and therefore sales to clients.
Proving that he can still throw a spanner in the works, Barry has, along with Trudeau Jnr, set a ban for arctic drilling, part of a series of scorched earth policies he plans to implement before he leaves the White House.
SOCO announced yesterday that it had received $10m from Daqing as part of the proceeds of the sale of its Mongolian assets, there is no sign of the remaining sum but SOCO plan to chase for it. The two TGT infill wells have both encountered hydrocarbons and are being analysed which is further good news. Readers know that I have long been positive about SOCO, with reservations about some of its African portfolio, and with cash of $90m odd and a strong balance sheet, not to mention a trophy asset in the Far East makes some E&P companies look shabby. I hope to catch up with the company in the new year, which is well overdue to see if I can identify any plans going forward.
I have been keeping an eye on Sirius as it builds its position in Nigeria, an area that I am not the only person to mistrust. Sirius is however, continuing to build its Vendor Finance Consortium and recently announced that it had signed an Integrated Services Agreement with Schlumberger for a multi well campaign in its shallow water offshore concession in Nigeria. Schlumberger will provide a comprehensive package of products and services for the Ororo field starting 1Q 2017. The company also announced that it raised $1m through an oversubscribed placing which keeps the company ticking over and pays the G&A. I expect to hear more from Sirius next year and whilst the venue is far from stable if San Leon can do it then so can Sirius…
I would like to apologise to all those of you who have sent emails in the last week or two, most of which are yet unreplied to. Whilst I cant promise to reply to every one I do try to briefly if I can but it has been so hectic lately there are a lot of unreplied to messages which I will try to get around to before Christmas!
A short retirement for Massa as he returns to Williams only weeks after retiring as Bottas signs a contract at Mercedes after Niko abruptly called it a day.