WTI $56.99 -16c, Brent $64.83 -45c, Diff $7.84 -29c, NG $2.49 -4c

Oil price

A quiet day in the oil market as traders report little movement leading to classic price drift. A few pointers though, the Saudi Deputy Oil Minister was speaking in Beijing where he made two points, firstly that the oil market is apparently in 'excellent' condition and secondly that China need not worry about being short oil, they would satisfy their every need. Short oil is not what the ICE is reporting as their data yesterday showed that another new record has been set in terms of speculators going long Brent crude oil. Far be it for me to suggest anything but it may just be that the traders are a bit early to the party, if they are the words tears and end in, will come to mind.

There is also a slight concern that the API inventory stats might show another build when they report tonight, if so then we really aren't out of the woods yet, certainly for WTI. Finally my old friend the US retail gasoline price is picking up again as predicted here recently. Figures from the EIA yesterday show that the blended US price rose by 8.5 cents a gallon on the week to $2.57 which is still $1.14 lower than a year ago but well off the February low of $2.04.

BP

Under the circumstances a perfectly reasonable set of quarterly numbers from BP this morning. $2.58bn beat the whisper comfortably and although there were a lot of funnies that can only be expected at the moment. Upstream was predictably poor but not dire and as I mentioned yesterday downstream did indeed show 'a stronger environment' with refining margins in quite good nick. All the usual spiel such as ongoing divestment programme, resetting capex and addressing costs which are taken as read at the moment. BP has risen strongly so far this year and is a pound off the bottom, having outperformed Shell who have been punished for the BG bid by the market. With the Shell figures on Thursday we may have an opportunity to assess how things are going there and it may be the best place for loose change at the moment.

Sound Oil

Finals today from Sound Oil and also an opportunity to catch up on strategic views and progress in Italy and beyond. The…

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