WTI (Apr) $78.93 -20c, Brent (May) $82.96 u/c, Diff -$4.03+20c.

USNG (Apr) $1.82 -11c, UKNG (Apr) 65.35 -0.05p, TTF (Apr) €26.47 +€0.705.

Oil price

Oil drifted as the dollar rose when Powell said in the Senate Banking Committee that the economy ‘was in the right place’. The IEA take on Opec and say that supply is up and demand down at the moment and through the 2H….

Non farm payroll later today might dictate the way markets go or even the rate or the earnings number.

Its a busy weekend, plenty of sport, see below, Sunday sees The Oscars Ceremony, Mothers Day, the start of Ramadan and my birthday…

Pharos

I thought I would make some brief comments about recent activity in Egypt as Pharos may benefit from the overall investments into the country as well as the expected greater stability in the currency.

Last month it was announced that the UAE Sovereign Wealth fund, ADQ, announced that it would invest some $35bn in Egypt by the end of April and of which I understand that some $10bn has already been received in-country. 

This has been followed this week by the signing by Egypt Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly of an $8bn deal with the IMF and it is an expansion of the $3bn, 46 month facility signed in December 2022. I understand that the increased facility is designed to move to a more flexible exchange rate system, the rate divergence at present which leads to an ‘unsustainable’ black market has to be curtailed. On this basis it is hoped that the loan gets the currency trading more freely and the facility includes a 600 Basis Point interest rate hike which it is hoped will ‘stabilise the economy’.

So, exciting times for Egypt and for companies like Pharos who are committed to the country and its economy. For them the reports in the market that some of the monies may be used to settle outstanding debt to foreign investors in the petroleum sector is also a potential substantial benefit. And it is worth bearing in mind that Pharos has a dollar receivable holding of $37.3m as at 31 December…

So this is good news for Pharos in Egypt which is an important part of the portfolio and of course where stability in the economy and its currency counts a great deal. I’m not sure that the market has yet to appreciate this as the shares have yet to gain much from the news, but with Egypt looking better as well as favourable conditions in Vietnam I see considerable upside in Pharos shares.

Petrofac

Petrofac has been awarded an operations contract from Turkemengas at the Galkynysh Gas Field, in Turkmenistan.

The three-year contract, valued at over US$200 million includes: provision of personnel to supervise and support operations and maintenance activity; the provision of technical support and procurement services; and the development and implementation of management systems to support efficient operations of the Galkynysh Gas Field Central Processing Facilities 1 and 1A. No performance guarantees are required to be posted in relation to this contract.

Delivery of the Galkynysh Gas Field project, for state-owned Turkemengas, was one of the largest engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPC) projects delivered by Petrofac’s Engineering & Construction business unit. The contract to develop the world’s second largest gas field was awarded in 2009, and completed in 2013.

Located near Yoloten (Mary Province, Turkmenistan), the facilities Petrofac will now support, have an equal capacity of 10 BCMA which delivers 20 BCMA to the export pipeline. The gas field ensures revenue for Turkmenistan’s economy, as well as domestic energy supply.

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

“Petrofac has a proud history of working with Turkemengas. The expansion of our relationship is testament to our track record of delivering value to customers’ operations. Securing this contract further demonstrates our strategy to expand Asset Solutions’ geographic reach.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with Turkemengas, enhancing safe and reliable operations.”

Coming so soon after Strategy Part 3 this contract is good albeit modest by PFC standards but worth more as it doesn’t require a performance guarantee. Plenty more is needed as the market grows favourably towards the company and it is still the second biggest shorted stock in London would you believe it?

And finally…

A big weekend for sport as the international fixtures pile up.

In Jeddah the Saudi GP takes place on Saturday afternoon at the Corniche Circuit, thanks to those who spotted my mistake last week that both Bahrain and Saudi races were on a Saturday, don’t know why, pre Ramadan maybe? With Sainz falling to appendicitis yesterday your Brit Jonathan Bearman gets a coveted Ferrari drive.

England continue to disappoint in India with the home side on 473-8 chasing 218 from England…

Last night in the Boropa Cup the Seagulls went down 4-0 against Roma, Sparta Prague lost 1-5 to Liverpool, Rangers got a 2-2 draw at Benfica and the Hammers lost 1-0 at SC Freiburg.

This weekend in the Prem the Toffees go to the Theatre of ramshackle dreams, the Cherries host the Blades, the Hatters go to the Eagles who’s ground will make them feel at home at least, Wolves entertain the Cottagers and the Bees go to the Gooners.

On Sunday Villa host Spurs, Forest go to the Seagulls, in the Claret and Blue derby the Hammers host Burnley and last of all is the top of the table clash as the Noisy Neighbours visit fortress Anfield.

And in the 6 Nations Scotland are in Rome and Ireland go to Twickenham for their ritual win until they choke in the next World Cup. Sunday sees Wales hosting France.

No decent racing ahead of Cheltenham.