WTI $100.28 -$7.54, Brent $104.71 -$6.73, Diff -$4.43 -$1.20, NG $5.64 +3c, UKNG 305.0p +30.25 

Oil price

As expected yesterday, the US have decided to draw down the SPR to the tune of some 180m barrels of crude oil. This has been done to ‘curb gasoline prices’ ahead of the upcoming driving season/mid term elections delete as appropriate.

It is rare for drawdowns from stocks to have much impact on markets primarily as they are normally of limited size and rarely during periods of war. In this case these factors are not the case, it is a decent amount and we are clearly at war with Russia if vicariously. Having said that it may not be enough and having seen a flash fall of around seven bucks yesterday I would imagine that it may not be much more. The golden rule with SPR releases is to buy energy shares the day after the announcement, also to bear in mind that when the release finishes the Government will have told the market that they are buyers back of all the sold oil which might put a floor under the market for months to come…


Petrofac has been awarded a major decommissioning contract by the Australian Government, heralding the start of an era of decommissioning in the nation’s offshore oil and gas sector.

Petrofac’s Australia team based in Perth, WA, has been contracted to complete Phase 1 of the decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour FPSO facility.

The contract, awarded by the Federal Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, follows a stringent selection and due diligence process by the Government of Australia. The value to Petrofac of Phase 1 has the potential to be up to AUD$325 million (US$236 million).

The contract sees Petrofac as Outsourced Operator responsible for decommissioning and disconnection of the FPSO from its subsea equipment, and temporarily suspending the wells. Disconnection of the FPSO is expected to occur over approximately 18 months. Petrofac’s scope includes the provision of its unique integrated services, working with both local and global suppliers.

The Northern Endeavour is a 274-metre long FPSO facility, currently not producing oil, moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields about 550 kilometres northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea.

Josie Philips, Petrofac’s Regional Director, Australia, said:

“This contract builds on 15 years of working in Australia and is further proof of our growing and long-term ambitions in the country. A critical element will be upskilling the local workforce to meet the challenges of billions of dollars of decommissioning work in Australia now and in the future. It is Petrofac’s aim to be a local company, growing local jobs, local skills and the local supply chain. I’m delighted that we have Monadelphous and Linch-pin already on board.”

Nick Shorten, Chief Operating Officer for Petrofac’s Asset Solutions business, said:

“This contract recognises our unrivalled decommissioning credentials, as the only tier one contractor with the in-house capability to manage all well and asset decommissioning phases. The contract builds on our existing track record for delivering well operator and project management services for clients globally, having successfully delivered numerous multi-well decommissioning campaigns.”

Following the good figures from PFC recently in which management reminded us of the significant bid pipeline we now see a major contract in Australia where the company has been operating for many years. Indeed, allied with the company’s market leading expertise in this fast-moving area of the market I would expect more to come.

At 107.85p Petrofac shares are not much above the year’s low which in my view does not take into account the longer term potential for the company. Whilst I know that the executive team said last week that this year would be one of consolidation I think that investors would be wise to second guess that and buy PFC stock before the big contracts start to roll in. 

Rockhopper Exploration

Rockhopper has announced that Rockhopper, Harbour Energy plc and Navitas Petroleum LP have extended the provisions of the previously signed heads of terms (announced on 8 December 2021) from 31 March 2022 to 30 April 2022. The main elements of the transaction have all been agreed, with a view to signing definitive documentation by this date.

With the long running arbitration still going through its process and the above transaction also going through, the situation is slightly in limbo but the company must be cautiously optimistic at least about the HoT as the arbitration must be too difficult to call, it always is whenever I have seen it in action. 


Getech has advised that it has expanded its Maptium platform offering with further content and analysis for the energy transition.

Maptium provides a secure web-based gateway to Getech’s world-class data and analytics content. It allows users to visualise and analyse energy and mineral resources information, maximising the value and knowledge of their projects and operations. The platform can be utilised by customers across a wide range of energy transition projects, including geothermal, critical minerals and carbon capture and storage.

The following content is available to license through Maptium now:
• Maptium Gravity & Magnetic – enhances understanding of the subsurface, using Getech’s world-leading global gravity and magnetic data. The content is used by customers across the energy transition sectors to de-risk exploration, improve efficiency and optimise performance in the delivery of projects;
• Maptium Sedimentary Copper – provides analysis and insights into the location and economic concentration of sedimentary copper, a metal key to almost every renewable energy solution. The content is used by mining customers to improve prospectivity of their copper exploration projects;
• Maptium Geodynamics – enables access to Getech’s market-leading plate model and geodynamics expertise to improve understanding of the geologic evolution for an area of interest. The content is used by customers across the energy transition sectors to build a better regional understanding of their projects.
Further information on Maptium can be accessed on Getech’s website: https://getech.com/getech-products/technology/maptium/.

Getech’s Chief Executive Office, Dr Jonathan Copus, commented:

“As energy supply transitions to more localised low carbon solutions, Getech is reinventing the way we provide access to our global geoscience data and analytics.
Delivered through our scalable Maptium platform, we are building a range of modular solutions that target applications in the geothermal, critical minerals, and carbon/energy storage sectors. These modules provide customers with cost-effective access to targeted essential data, workflows and analytics that previously were only available through Getech’s global petroleum solutions.
By investing in our products, technologies, and talent, Getech is strengthening our market share in the energy transition and increasing revenue generation. This in turn helps us build strategic relationships, which we can use to access unique participation opportunities in decarbonisation projects.”

If I didn’t know any better I might have thought that this was an April Fool, but clearly the Maptium platform is of significant interest and importance in the energy sector. Whilst I am not yet all over it I think it’s only a matter of time…

I asked Jonathan Copus the CEO of Getech how the system actually delivers for the company for a  simpleton like myself, here is his answer which i found most interesting. 

‘Modular access via our Maptium platform allows geothermal, critical minerals, carbon/energy storage customers to purchase and use specific data, knowledge, and analytics – which otherwise they could only access through our global petroleum products. This helps us broaden our customer base, further expanding our reach into new energy transition markets’.

And finally…

I see that Tiger Woods, in a practise round at Augusta for next week’s Masters went round in 62 shots yesterday and is now 8-1 favourite for the event.

England’s women are in the World Cup final and will play the old enemy Australia at 2 am BST on Sunday morning.

In the Prem tomorrow sees Burnley hosting the Noisy Neighbours, Liverpool entertain the Hornets, Chelsea have a West London derby against the Bees and the Foxes visit the Theatre of Dreams. Sunday sees the Hammers hosting the Toffees and the Magpies visit White Hart Lane.

At 1645 this afternoon you can watch the draw for the World Cup, England are in Pot 1 whilst one of  Wales/Scotland or the Ukraine will be in Pot 4.

And for those who crave 20 minutes that you will never get back, Sunday sees the University Boat race, this year between Oxford and Cambridge. The BBC will waste money with hours of coverage as they have no other ‘sports’ and will show the exact moment when one crew passes the other making the rest of the race even more redundant.

Ironically enough the BBC aren’t televising the varsity rugby match (??) which is held at Twickenham tomorrow at 3.30pm between, you’ve guessed it Oxford and Cambridge…