WTI $70.33 -5c, Brent $74.45 +$1.05, Diff -$4.12 +$1.10, NG $2.80 -3c

Oil price

Some recovery yesterday as the IEA report showed concern that with all participants now flat out the market is very vulnerable to serious price swings. Funny that, in 2016 when oil was collapsing and the majors were in panic mode, cutting capex to the bone only a few of us forecast exactly this situation…

But the gloom has returned this morning as Chinese oil consumption data has proved bad and oil is down again, ensuring a down week. The Libyan situation is roughly as expected, not a return to 1.2m b/d but according to tanker watchers already up to 720/- b/d.

Columbus Energy Resources

Columbus has announced the acquisition of Steeldrum Oil Company for £4.4m to be paid in 92.7m in shares plus add-ons. The acquisition, which seems to be a pretty good fit, bring with it 200-250 b/d (5.6m bbls) from the Innis-Trinity and South Erin fields plus a 83% WI in the Cory Moruga development (1.1m bbls). The sellers will hold around 18% of CERP shares in the enlarged company and have a lock-in period of only six months which should be noted.

Columbus are also raising £3.25m via a convertible with Lind AM excersisable at 8.1p as ‘the establishment of such a facility would, in effect, provide an appropriate “financial insurance policy” for the Company for the next six months whilst the new integrated organisation beds-in’.

All in all this is another sensible deal by Columbus which is synergistic and paid for with shares as per their ‘financial discipline’ regime. I think that Leo Koot wants to build the company and has very high ambitions and whilst this is relatively small, it is part of the grand scheme to expand. Keeping his new shareholders on board will be important as I’m sure there are plenty more deals down the road.

Solo Oil

Following the Aminex announcement earlier this week Solo has said that it is ‘reviewing’ its own position in the project although believes that the AEX move is a positive development. It also says that it is in discussions with potential financing partners and more interestingly ‘in parallel with the ongoing marketing process for Solo’s interest in the project’. This confirms, if confirmation was needed, that Solo cannot afford to finance the project and the current shake-up at the company is at last bringing with it a large dose of realism.

Also in the announcement the company say they are waiting for testing at Horse Hill and that there is a shake-up of the board which sees the departure of current Executive Chairman Neil Ritson. Recent moves at Solo indicate that at long last the company is being shaken up and given this morning’s share price move, much appreciated by its shareholders.

*Bucket list alert*

This week I have written the interim Bucket list which due to so much company news this week I intend to publish over the weekend so watch out for a blog then.

And finally…

The MotoGP circus moves to Sachsenring in Germany this weekend for possibly the final time following record losses in 2017. Marc Marquez is unbeaten here in all classes since 2010 so will be looking to add to that record whilst Brit Cal Crutchlow will be hoping to consolidate his Independent Rider lead despite viewing this track as “horrible”

England lost the first ODI to India in what is going to be a hard summer as the visitors are a very special side, at least in white ball cricket.

There is the small matter of two more World Cup games with the useless 3rd place play-off tomorrow with England playing Belgium and France play in the final on Sunday.

Wimbledon is now starting to become interesting, Rafa v Djoko will probably be worth watching…

Racing at Ascot and Newmarket tomorrow looks worth watching, not much else on in the afternoon…