Opinion

Oil price, Rockhopper/Northern, Hurricane, FAR, Savannah, And finally…


Oil price

A short blog this afternoon, I have been meeting with companies and recording an Interactive Investor's video today. I will update most of these stories in greater detail in the next few days.

The oil price crashed yesterday after the EIA stats showed a 3.3m build in stocks against expectations and the API numbers the night before. Imports were primarily to blame but the huge ramp in refinery utilisation jacked up gasoline stocks by 3.3m and distillates by 4.4m. Elsewhere, Nigeria production went up again as Shell stopped force majeure and Libya despite further problems rose slightly.

One might have thought that the bombing of the Iranian Parliament and Mausoleum might have put a few cents on the oil price…

Rockhopper/Northern

In a deal that seems to suit both sides RKH has ‘sold' its non-core Italian assets to NOP by handing over them and $1.6m of cash but in return the deal removes $8.5m of P&A work and decommissioning liabilities which tidies up both the balance sheet and the portfolio. RKH remain with some production at Guendalina, some drilling at Monte Grosso and a court case at Ombrina Mare.

Hurricane Energy

AGM time for HUR yesterday and a meeting which gave CEO Dr Robert Trice an opportunity to give his state of the nation address. As in previous years he pulled it off in style and if it hadnt been for the warrant deal the meeting would have been a success. Chairman Dr Rob Arnott handled it pretty well, admitting some problems but not being steamrollered into putting a price ticket on the company, or a date for that matter and pointing out the exceptional position that the company is in. Hurricane has a number of the best finds in the UK in the last few years and heads for EPS and its inevitable funding in a hugely strong position.

FAR Limited

Things are ‘hotting up' in Senegal if one can say that as FAR release a spirited response to Woodside's recent comments about the development. Reminding us if it were necessary that they were a properly early starter in Senegal and that they were continuing to support the JV which is being run by Cairn as Operator, the company reminded investors that they had promoted ‘an accelerated development schedule to the JV. This belies the WPM comments that FAR were putting the ‘timely development at risk.

On the point about Operatorship, which WPM say they are ‘transitioning to' FAR state that there is no JV agreement for this to occur, indeed that there has been no notification that the Government of Senegal has approved the transfer of interests from ConocoPhillips yet. Verdict, if you thought that this dispute was going away quietly, think again, FAR have some high value cards in their hand and appear more than happy to play them…

Savannah Petroleum

When you have been planning this drilling campaign for quite so long it must be pretty galling to see your market cap fall so quickly as it did for SAVP yesterday after its Capital Markets event. Indeed for those who have been waiting a number of years and are now getting seriously interested in the Niger blocks being drilled it was hardly noticeable. Also blamed was the absence of the announcement of a farm-out which again I had not been expecting although one may well appear before the August drill date.

SAVP has a spectacularly large and ‘robust' asset base in country which has best estimate prospective oil resources of 2.2bn barrels over its acreage. I have been waiting for this moment to come for some time and yesterday I saw the quality, depth and  experience of the team all ready to bring it on. Weakness caused by obscure technicalities should only be considered an opportunity to buy the shares, they will be replacing Ithaca in the bucket list  as soon as I get round to it. More later…

And finally…

Muzza is through to the semi-finals of the French Open but Djoko is not, more concerning is the sight of Stan the man to play next, worry not about Rafa for the time being…

The British Lions were beaten 22-16 yesterday but one should genuinely consider that these early games of mixed up teams etc are not the midweek games some of us remember from the past, none will be easy especially if Gatland uses his Welsh mates to play Warrenball…

And Pakistan beat South Africa yesterday and with India in command today against Sri Lanka the semis of the Champions Trophy are slowly taking shape.


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