WTI $63.82 -$2.26, Brent $67.05  -$2.27, Diff -$3.23 -1c, NG $2.97 n/c, UKNG 68.0p +3.66p

Oil price

The Colonial Pipeline ransom was brought to a conclusion yesterday after the company paid up, believed to be c.$5m. We all know where to go to next, the spineless who just pay up…Indeed there is nothing like the American driver without his or her gasoline but no one likes paying Georgian crooks either, I suppose it’s the outage followed by the outrage…

Inflation worries have dominated this week and with labour shortages and commodity costs rising it aint getting any better anytime soon. Finally India reported even more Covid cases and Japan is looking seriously like scrubbing the Olympics. This at a time when the US took away the requirement for people to wear masks…


IOG plc has announced that it has signed a collaboration agreement with GeoNetZero CDT, Heriot-Watt University’s Centre for Doctoral Training, a leader in applying geoscience to the challenges of progress towards a Net Zero economy. Under this agreement, IOG will support research into carbon capture and storage and other renewable opportunities across quads 48, 49, 52 and 53, the location of its asset portfolio and broader Bacton catchment area in the UK Southern North Sea.

‘As an environmentally low-impact domestic gas developer, IOG supports the UK government’s Net Zero target and the revised OGA Strategy’s promotion of CCS to help decarbonise the North Sea and progress the energy transition. The Company also believes that the infrastructure, knowledge and skills generated by over 50 years of the SNS gas industry can play a constructive role in this transition. Extending the economic life of the SNS basin in a sustainable way is likely to involve long-term integration of the established gas industry with wind, hydrogen and CCS solutions. In particular, a successful blue hydrogen-CCS cluster in the Bacton area will require consistent gas supply – IOG’s core business – as well as steam reformation facilities and secure offshore carbon storage sites, all in reasonable proximity’.

‘This important latter storage element is the focus of this research, filling the gap in the geological analysis of the factors that maintain seal integrity at subsurface sitesDrawing on an extensive gas industry archive of seismic, well and core data, the key focus will be on proving which fields and aquifers across the Bacton catchment area are the most suitable carbon sinks, particularly where existing infrastructure could provide operational synergies’.

This is important as it shows that IOG is thinking ahead with regard to how they should position themselves within the energy transition. Their strategic focus in and around Bacton which has onshore and offshore assets, positions them very well to monitor and evaluate the emerging opportunities in the area as they grow into a ‘multi-phase’ domestic gas producer. IOG seem to be ticking all the boxes in this important area as will all leading players in this market need to.

Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper has provided an update on its international arbitration against the Republic of Italy in relation to the Ombrina Mare field. Further to the Company’s announcement of 31 March 2021, the Tribunal has today provided the following update:

 The Tribunal anticipates that it should be in a position to render its award* in the course of July. The Tribunal will revert to the Parties towards the end of June to confirm this timeframe.”

 Rockhopper continues to believe it has strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages – on the basis of lost profits – as a result of the Republic of Italy’s breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty. All costs associated with the arbitration are funded on a non-recourse (“no win – no fee”) basis from a specialist arbitration funder.

Life has been very quiet for Rockhopper lately as the restructuring of Premier takes place and the Tribunal ruminates. Today’s news obviously says nothing solid but it must be good to be closing in on an answer to the question after such a long time. Whatever the outcome RKH still has an enviable position at Sea Lion which at todays oil price must have very positive economics.

And finally…

Last night in the Prem the Gooners and the Toffees drew 0-0 whilst Liverpool kept their Champions League hopes alive beating the Red Devils 2-4. Today sees the Magpies host the Noisy Neighbours whilst tomorrow it’s Burnley v Leeds, Saints host the Cottagers and the Seagulls host the Hammers. On Sunday the Eagles host the Villa, Spurs entertain Wolves, the Baggies host Liverpool and the Blades go to the Toffees.

Of course it’s the FA Cup Final tomorrow, a fixture that doesn’t seem to have the Cache of the past but then again what does? Chelski and the Foxes will fight it out at Wembley.

After a good few days at York’s Dante meeting which finishes today there is plenty of racing over the weekend with the Lockinge at Newbury and Newmarket as well.

Perhaps more interesting is the Triple Crown event at Pimlico in the USA, the Preakness Stakes is made more key as the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit which was found to be tested positive for drugs has been allowed to race, only in US horseracing…