WTI $44.98 -$1.88, Brent $47.75 -$1.33, Diff $3.27 +$1.02, NG $2.57 -1c

Oil price

The roller-coaster ride continues, for Brent, having tried and failed the $50 level we are back below the technical support level, today could do with being a better day. For WTI post expiry the weakness was primarily about the EIA stats, following the API numbers a draw of 1.9m barrels turned out to be a bit disappointing and the build in gasoline was also worse than expected at 1.4m barrels. Both grades had been weakened by the Chinese PMI numbers and remain under pressure.

Independent Oil & Gas

While I am talking about roller-coaster rides, the on-off financing that Mark Routh and team are trying to execute for the Skipper well appears to have taken a turn for the better today as a whole bunch of financing options have been revealed. Whilst at the moment there isn't a specific source of finance it seems that through a combination of part-funding by service companies, by way of deferring payments and providing loans may well get the well drilled. This total commitment adds up to around £7m including an agreement with AGR the rig operator. It seems that the Alpha SPA has been extended to 7th December and Darwin are playing their part by deferring their debt until then as well at no extra cost. It seems like the industry is bending over backwards to ensure that this well happens and all these parties must share my confidence in the management and the asset, watch this space…

Range Resources

It is a while since I commented on Range and although I still have some reservations about the situation it seems that on the ground at least things are picking up quite nicely. With the recent funding completed work has gone ahead briskly on MD 42N and there could be as many as 5 wells drilling here in the next few weeks. Likewise more wells are expected on Mome Diablo and the management are sticking to guidance of 1/- b/d by the year end which is encouraging. With further Governmental consents and approvals, including for the water-flood things are certainly looking brighter and maybe my worries about shareholder security have been overdone, let's hope so.

Sundry 

Total have made a point of saying that their dividend is secure and that they will reduce capex by around $3bn a year for…

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