Updates from Centrica, Tullow Oil and Fidessa
Overnight in Asia, less-than-impressive Chinese industrial numbers hit the Hang Seng, down -1.26% to 21,998.First off this morning, Centrica. Centrica and Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), the international arm and wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Petroleum (QP), are snapping up a package of natural gas and crude oil assets plus associated infrastructure in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin from Suncor Energy for £650m.
The assets are located in South and Central Alberta where they overlap with existing Centrica assets, providing the opportunity for cost savings Centrica claims, in production and development.
Centrica recently came under fire for seeing several high-paying execs - including boss Sam Laidlaw, whose take-home pay soared to close to £5m in 2012 - share a £16m pay pot while customer gas bills leapt +6%.
Next, an operational update from Tullow Oil on progress with the Sabisa-1 well in Ethiopia and a first flow test of the Ngamia-1 well in Kenya. For the Ethiopian well, hydrocarbon indications in sands beneath a thick claystone top seal have been recorded whilst drilling.
"But hole instability issues have required the drilling of a sidetrack to comprehensively log and sample these zones of interest," the company says. The results from the first flow test at Ngamia are "encouraging" says boss Angus McCoss, "and prove the first potentially commercial flow from the Lower Lokhone reservoir section."
Tullow recently announced it was selling off its Bangladesh assets to Singapore player KrisEnergy Asia for £27.2m. Tullow's share price has slipped more than -16% in the last year.
Lastly, trading technology player Fidessa says it has delivered a "solid" performance during the first quarter of 2013 with the growth from derivatives platforms, service based platforms and regional expansion offsetting market conditions headwinds.
"Whilst there is still no sign of the 'great rotation' from bonds into equities, the first quarter has seen a positive flow of funds into equities," says the company, "it's still too early to know whether this is a turning point, but it reinforces the company's view that a floor will eventually be reached in the decline of equity markets."