WTI $47.51 +6c, Brent $55.11 -81c, Diff $7.60 -87c, NG $2.79 +5c

Oil price

No blog yesterday as I was reading the Plexus statements…actually out meeting some of my favourite companies to be expanded on in due course.

The oil price is in a sort of limbo, dictated as I have already mentioned by the ups and downs of the greenback. Yesterday saw the usual mix of news, the API stats were welcomed as they showed a build of only 4.8m barrels, should the EIA numbers tonight be less than the consensus of 5.1m barrels the WTI price will probably stage a victory parade. Still on the positive front the US data was good with new home sales up 7.8%, the highest since 2008 and the manufacturing PMI was also at a recent high.

On the less good front a couple of pieces of news from the Saudis, March production nudged 10m b/d, up 350/- b/d on February so clear signs of market share preservation being exhibited here. Secondly the rig count numbers in the US are falling rapidly but take a look at the Aramco numbers to give you the jitters…At present there are 212 rigs operating in country which is up 2 on the year end and for comparison in 2013 there were 150 in use, no slowdown here…Finally Japanese crude stocks are reported as being 82.87m barrels which is down 8.7% y/y.

Bowleven

I mentioned as long ago as the Petrofac numbers day that impairments and write-downs would feature heavily in the results season and as we draw towards the close we seem to be seeing more. The Bowleven figures today include a $76m impairment for the oil price and following the farm-out Etinde is being written down to a carrying value of $225m which has slightly spooked the market this morning. Apart from that almost everything is good as per my note last week when the money finally went in and the farm-out completed. From here on all is about drilling with two onshore wells due on Bonomo which have been delayed by poor maintenance. Given that these wells were due to spud at the turn of the year this is indeed a disappointment but I expect the 'drilling's getting cheaper' mantra to be wheeled out before long. To think I took a lot of stick for suggesting that it wouldnt spud in December…On Etinde the new consortium…

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