WTI $45.72 +$1.76, Brent $55.32 +89c, Diff $9.60 -87c, NG $2.79 -3c

Oil Price

Crude prices were steady last week but very much greenback dictated, the $ strength on Monday clipped over $2 off the price and the weakness on Thursday and Friday reinstated it. WTI expired at $44.84 which could have been worse, the bad oil stock figures continue to be offset by the good rig count data. The difference is that whilst the inventory data is the here and now, the rig numbers are lagged and despite a near halving of the rigs since October US production is still 9.4m b/d and showing little sign of abating-yet. So, the actual Baker Hughes numbers were a fall of 56 rigs to 1069 overall, in oil it was down 41 units to 825, in Canada, like last week it looks like carnage with a fall of 80 to 140, oil was down 55 to 30…

Wood Mack added fuel the the flames by saying that the US Gulf of Mexico was 'resilient' to the oil price drop and will retain momentum 'despite price challenges', interestingly exactly what Dennis Proctor told me last week and I reported in my Hunting comments on Friday.

Saudi Minister Ali al-Naimi made some interesting comments at the weekend, none of which will help the price pick up at the moment. Suggesting that non-Opec countries 'insisted' that Opec carried the burden, he said that the cartel would refuse to bear that responsibility, going on to say that Opec only amounted to 30% of world oil production and the 70% must participate if they want to increase prices. All that sounds eminently sensible making it likely that the Opec meeting in June will be a short one. Finally, China confirmed my comments from last week that they had indeed upped their oil imports in February. At 25.55m tons, an increase of 10.8% y/y, it was a strong figure without being game changing but may have accounted for some of the price strength during the month.

Caza Oil & Gas

Caza has announced another really good well, the Marathon Road 15 Bone Spring well is flowing 1,203 boe/d being 1,037 of oil and 995 mcf of gas per day. The company describe the well as 'excellent' and will offer good returns even in the current low oil price environment. I mentioned last week that the significant upside that…

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