WTI $44.84 -$2.21, Brent $54.67 -$2.41, Diff $9.03 -20c, NG $2.73 -1c

Oil price

It was a bad week for the oil price as the joy of February becomes the reality of March, the strong greenback also put paid to any rally and both WTI and Brent fell nearly 10% on the week. It was a two way pull, as ever increasing stocks with decreasing places in which to store them was countered by another big fall in the rig count. Baker Hughes reported that the overall rig count was down by 67 units to 1125 with the number for oil being down 56 to 866 rigs. In Canada the fall was far greater in percentage terms and whilst the long term nature of the oil sands will not change much it bodes badly for the longer term.

This week is a big one for macro stuff with the ECB continuing with QE, the Fed meeting tomorrow for two days, the UK budget on Wednesday and elections in Israel on Tuesday. The Fed meeting will likely to prevaricate on rates again although we have been warned that the heat of the economy will now be measured on a meeting by meeting basis, what a farceā€¦ In the UK it is generally acknowledged that Gideon will throw a fish to the oil and gas industry, this will be helpful but must neither be wasted nor trivialised, the industry has hardly covered itself in glory lately.

Faroe Petroleum

Faroe has announced that it has spudded its Shango well in the Norwegian North Sea, this high impact well is 5 km from the Skirne field and the prospect has been named Skirne East by Total, the operator. This is the start of an exciting drilling campaign which will include two wells on the Pil discovery at Blink and Boomerang and one on the Snilehorn discovery at Bister. All these wells are fully funded and Faroe remains firmly on the bucket list as we approach the seasons drilling.

Aminex

The Tanzanian Government has agreed to defer a two well drilling commitment by Aminex who say that it is in order to assess possible exploration on the deep-water sector of the Nyuni area including 3D seismic.

Sundry

Eni announced on Friday that it was cutting its dividend payment by 30%, along with a 14% cut in capex it will still struggle to balance the books by…

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