WTI $56.55 +$1.41, Brent $62.72 +$1.36, Diff -$6.17 -5c, NG $3.10 +4c

Oil price

With a decent rally on Friday the falls on the week were almost negated, WTI was down 19c and Brent 79c by Friday’s close which could have been worse. After all it was the IEA vs Opec reports week, I know who I would hire to write a life saving piece of work and the inventory stats were indifferent. The rig count on Friday showed an overall rise of 8 units to 915 but in oil it was no change at 738 rigs.

Venezuela and PDVSA defaulted on their bonds on Friday, there is only so much the Russkis can do to hold the country together. Only 10 days to go now until the Opec and Non-Opec meetings and as usual speculation is rife as to what might happen. The Sunday Telegraph has gone with the line that the aforementioned Russians are spoiling for a fight although I continue to suspect that at the grown-ups level a rollover has been agreed and so expect probably an extension from 1Q maybe for the whole year. That would probably the best expectation but should do the trick as long as adherence remains strong, as they say.

SDX Energy

More good news from Morocco from SDX this morning, the KSR-14 well has been tested and has recorded an average flow rate of conventional natural gas into the sales line of 6.4 MMscfd. This well will stay on production for an extended period before being shut-in for ‘pressure build and year end reserve estimate process’. As for KSR-15 connection to the infrastructure is under way and we can expect flow testing to start in early December. The rig is now on its way to the next location.

SDX is certainly not hanging around in this programme, it is determined not to repeat mistakes made by others in the past that didnt deliver when promises had been made. The company has decided that the key to this process is for it to demonstrate to the State, existing and potential new customers, that gas is deliverable in a timely and efficient manner. With these wells, where in some cases they have only perforated half the pay, SDX have already delivered gas and satisfied customers with the ability to increase that as and when appropriate. The company are ticking all the boxes and I would expect a move out of this trading range to happen sooner rather than later.

Zenith Energy

Zenith has announced an operational update from wells Z-28 and 21 in the Zardab field in Azerbaijan. It makes the point, amongst much technical speak, that ‘the operations present exceptional potential but with difficult challenges that we will have to successfully overcome’. The company admit that they are ‘learning as we go along’ without much accurate well data but are confident of success on both wells and are pleased with current progress. I imagine that all will become a good deal clearer during my visit which starts tomorrow.

Wood Group

Wood Group has announced a ‘multi million $ contract’ to be the operating partner of the SAGE system and the Beryl pipeline for  Ancala Midstream. Wood will manage the day to day operations of the system which transports gas to the St Fergus processing plant.

On a separate note Wood has received some pretty poor press over the weekend as both the FT and the Sunday Times took it to task over plans to increase CEO Robin Watson’s salary by 25% at a time when Wood are laying off workers and seeing profits fall 77%. Wood has 10 non-executive Directors of whom just 3 are on the remuneration committee and could probably do without this, especially if they plan to visit Standard Life/Aberdeen or even Blackrock any time soon, as to what Sir Ian might think about it I hate to think….


I see Conoco got a bit of press about its plans not to invest in projects that need $50 or more oil to make a profit. Having got rid of most of its offshore investments with the intention of concentrating on shale oil in North America and wanting ‘flexibility to deal with oil price volatility’ it’s perfectly understandable but does rather keep their hands tied.

And I couldnt resist the article in the FT which said that male IR executives earn 45% more than women and that the average mens salary is $275/-, nice work as they say….obv not true over here.

Finally good luck to Craig Yeaman a long time blog supporter who has been given a top job at RLAM after a long time at Saracen in Edinburgh.

And finally…

In the Prem the Gooners beat Spurs 2-0 and despite a dodgy free kick probably deserved it. Wins for the Noisy Neighbours,  Red Devils, Chelski, Burnley and the HubCap Stealers meant that other places remained the same. The Baggies, who went down 0-4 to Chelski, have since sacked manager Tony Pulis, not just for 15 points from last 25 games but also for criminally awful football.

The rugby was most interesting, England beat the Wallabies 30-6 but most fun was in watching Michael Cheika fuming at the various decisions and then three late English tries. Scotland went very close to seeing off the All Blacks but the best thing about that game was seeing the magnificent Doddie Weir on the pitch with his kids. Ireland just beat Fiji and Wales scraped past Georgia, also worth noting for the Spring is that France lost at home to the Springboks…