WTI $49.03 -56c, Brent $52.01 -35c, Diff -$2.98 +22c, NG $2.80 -1c

Oil price

Crude oil will likely end the week around a dollar down with the various influences I have recently outlined giving a small victory for the bears. They are concentrating on production which is still above desired levels, worse it is the Opec side of the deal that is not delivering, should they wish to have a run off of stocks they need to pull their fingers out. US production is 9.43m b/d and at the moment Nigeria and Libya are both being unhelpful but that may not last.

The bulls are very much focusing on the demand numbers, the product markets are strong and gasoline demand last week in the US was a record of 9.842 m b/d, at least as far back as 1991 when records were first taken by the EIA. With a shortage of product in the European basin stocks are being drawn mainly from eastern refiners but in the US they are going like the clappers already.

Providence Resources

PVR has announced this morning that the Druid well, 53/6-1 has been unsuccessful, it is a porous water-bearing reservoir. The action is not all over yet as the well now drills on to the deeper Lower Cretaceous Drombeg exploration target 1,000 feet below, this should take ‘a few weeks’ to get to and assess. Clearly this is a major disappointment to the company but it is too early to write any obituaries for this area or indeed offshore Ireland, Rome wasnt built in a day…

Echo Energy

Results today from Echo which in themselves tell us nothing except that they are in a very strong financial position with a balance sheet primed and ready for new deals. With two under way in Bolivia expect this highly experienced management to have more to come by the end of the year. The company also announced that a ‘new investor syndicate’ has bought 21.9m shares from Brandon Hill which is  good news on two fronts, a new supportive investor is good news and it also clears up the BH situation and brings clarity for investors. It is worth reading the statements from both Chairman and CEO that give a very good idea of the path that Echo is going to be taking.

Ascent Resources

AST has announced this morning more progress, testing is to be completed today, the gas is still to be sold locally until INA gets its recertification which is expected shortly. CEO Colin Hutchinson has a good podcast on Voxmarkets this morning.

And finally…

I’m afraid that the curse of the Dutch (Do I not like orange) again hit English football last night as the team went down 3-0 in the Euro 17 semi-finals. Elsewhere not a good night for Aberdeen who went out of the Boropa Cup in Cyprus but the Toffees went through to the next qualifying round. In English football tonight sees the Championship and lower leagues kicking off the new season, sorry to say it to the Black Cats, you are opening up against the Rams on the telly…

After the Summer break the MotoGP circus moves to Brno in Czechoslovakia. Halfway through the season there is still all to play for with only 10 points separating the top 4. Brit Scott Redding will be looking to keep his seat in the Pramac Team after a disappointing first half and Cal Crutchlow still has a chance of a podium position. As a footnote 13 times World Champion Angel Nieto has died after a quad bike accident, a great loss to all his fans and all who knew him.

Glorious Goodwood continues today and the weather seems much more like sunny Sussex with a good card to watch. Yesterday was not a day to come back and find that the recording machine had failed to do its job…

The 4th Test against the Proteas starts today in Manchester and the forecast is actually looking good at least for a couple of days. Winning the toss appears to be the biggest key in this series oh and batting well…

And of course the London Stadium welcomes the World Athletics Championships and of course Usain Bolt on his valedictory and hopefully successful return to the capital.