WTI $61.50 -$2.03, Brent $66.13 -75c, Diff -$4.63 +1.28, NG $2.77 -1c, UKNG 40.2p -0.04p

Oil price

Despite Friday, oil continues to power forwards, last week WTI was up $2.26 and Brent rose $3.22. For February the gain was much higher with them up $9.30 and $11.09 respectively. The market sees all systems go, the virus is shrinking, vaccination is improving added to by the Johnson and Johnson one dose application being approved at the weekend and we are now in the last month of the weakest quarter of the year.

Opening CERA week this morning the doyenne of the oil industry Dan Yergin described the industry as ‘out of the virus alley’ and as one of the finest users of a turn of phrase I can’t think of a better way of putting it. Despite his 74 years on the planet and vast wealth it was good to see that in interview with CNBC this morning he couldnt resist having several copies of his latest book, The New Map prominently behind him and in shot.

The rig count showed a modest growth of 5 units overall and 4 higher in oil, the numbers for this and most other data  from particularly the Permian Basin will be distorted though for some weeks after the freeze-up. With the Opec+ members meeting later this week their decision as to how much oil to release and when will be important, so far trust in the group is being maintained.

Union Jack/Egdon

Union Jack has announced this morning that the acquisition of 15% of Biscathorpe from Humber Oil & Gas announced on 18th January has now completed giving them a 45% stake in the field. They also announce, along with Egdon (35.8%) the submission of a Planning Application for  side-track drilling, testing and in a success case, the long-term production of hydrocarbons at the Biscathorpe-2 wellsite, with drilling planned for H2 2021, subject to planning approval.

Commenting, David Bramhill, Executive Chairman of Union Jack, said:

“We are pleased to have taken this opportunity to have increased our interest to 45% in PEDL253.  Union Jack’s technical team believe that Biscathorpe represents a material and commercially viable hydrocarbon resource that remains un-tested.

“The collective extensive technical information analysed over the past months, combined with APT’s conclusions on the likely presence of good quality oil, have materially upgraded the resource potential and economic value of the Biscathorpe project in our view, further supporting our opinion that PEDL253 remains one of the UK’s largest onshore un-appraised conventional hydrocarbon licences.

“We look forward to updating the market on drilling plans for the conventional B-2Z side-track appraisal well currently planned for H2 2021, subject to planning and other consents, that will allow both the Dinantian Carbonate and Basal Westphalian Sandstone targets to be tested.

“Any potential Biscathorpe oil development will be important to the UK as any indigenous production delivers a lower carbon footprint when compared to imported alternatives and it will also provide additional economic benefits to both regional and local communities.”

More good news from Union Jack and in this case Egdon as well. The Gross Mean Prospective Resources associated with the Westphalian Sandstone target area are estimated by the Operator to be 3.95 mmbo, with an upside case of 6.69 mmbo. Preliminary economic modelling demonstrates that the Westphalian target alone is economically robust in the current oil price environment with break-even full-cycle economics estimated at US$18.07 per barrel and a gross NPV(10) valuation of £55.6 million.

UJO’s technical team have for a long time believed in Biscathorpe and success with this planning consent would be another chance to prove that right. In terms of national value the field would be extremely important with its low carbon imprint…

PetroTal Corp

After all the recent news the company has an updated investor presentation available on its website. The presentation includes the recently announced 2021 budget and the 2020 year-end reserve report. I wouldnt normally write up an updated presentation but it ties in well and so does the interview I did with Manolo recently so I have added that in for good measure…

Core Finance CEO interview: Manolo Zuniga, PetroTal

And finally…

After that weekend where do you start?

I guess that the rugby in Cardiff is good enough where Wales beat England but did get a 14 point start from a ref who was either incompetent or worse…Take nothing away from Wales though although the reffing was not even school standard.

In the Prem on Saturday the Noisy neighbours beat the Hammers 2-1,  the Baggies beat the Seagulls 1-0 after another reffing foul-up, Leeds lost 0-1 to the Villa and the Magpies drew 1-1 with Wolves. Yesterday the Eagles and the Cottagers drew 0-0, the Foxes lost 1-3 to the Gooners, Spurs beat Burnley 4-0, Chelski v Red Devils was a0-0 and the Blades lost 0-2 to Liverpool. Tonight its the Toffees hosting the Saints.

And COME ON YOU SAINTS as I wouldnt want you to have missed that fact that St Johnstone won the Scottish League Cup at Hampden Park yesterday beating Livingstone 0-1. First Cup in Scotland for 5 years not won by Celtic…

And as for Gordon Elliot I can’t find the words, what a horrible piece of erm, scum…