Opinion

Oil price, Hunting, Empyrean Energy, And finally…


Oil price

After a shaky start yesterday the oil price settled near the highs of the day, as an example Brent had traded down to around 50 bucks but was nearly a dollar off the bottom at the close. The continued strong dollar hasn't been helping and the market is still concerned about those Chinese refining numbers, to be honest I would rule that out as a potential major league threat. The more interesting thing comes with the inventory stats, the API numbers came out after the close and were again a bit mixed. The headline crude draw at 9.2m barrels was way above analysts guesstimates of 3.1m so should have signalled further joy but behind that number the products were less easy to analyse. Gasoline built by 301/- barrels which gave credence to those pundits who think that the US is at a short term gasoline peak (not difficult as Labor Day which signals the end of the US driving season is on 4th September this year!) but distillates, like last week showed a decent draw of 2.2m barrels way more than forecast. Lets see what the EIA say later today before looking too stupid!

Hunting

It seems odd to say it but the era of Dennis Proctor as CEO of Hunting is nearly over. Announced back in April, his departure isn't a surprise and today the company announces his successor effective September 1st. Again no surprise that they have gone for an insider, they did look across the board, but with a company as specialist but as wide ranging as Hunting, choosing Jim Johnson was a natural in the circumstances. I look forward to wishing DP well in retirement and welcoming Jim to the frenzy of results meetings, he will be more than ably assisted by CFO Peter Rose who is top notch.

Empyrean Energy

Final results from EME are even more irrelevant than usual, the business has changed, Sugarloaf has gone and shareholders received their pieces of silver. But Tom Kelly, never one to sit idly by, has been on the move again as reported here recently. So, EME has bought into acreage in China, Indonesia and the USA two of which have already seen successful drilling. In Indonesia Mako-South-1 has delivered better than expected and in the USA, although Dempsey is still drilling, the early prognosis is very promising. Having returned the Sugarloaf money, the company almost immediately asked for it back again, shareholders who did well before have stumped up £1.2m in April and £1m this month at 3.5p and 8.5p respectively.  At today's price of 9.25p the outlook is good and given that with two likely developments they will be asked to put their hands in their pockets again but for good reasons.

And finally…

The HubCap Stealers won 2-1 away at Hoffenheim last night with a good goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold, a fine name indeed. Tonight Celtic host FC Astana, league leaders in Kazakhstan, in the first leg of their Champions League qualifying play off.


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