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The Guardian: Market Report: Energy

Nick Fletcher
Tuesday October 16, 2007

Among the few risers in the leading index were the oil companies, with the crude price hitting new highs. In London, Brent added more than $1 a barrel to nearly $82, while US crude held firmly above $84.

So BP added 3.5p to 622.5p, helped by more positive comment after last week’s restructuring announcement. Analysts at HSBC maintained an overweight rating on the shares, although they edged down their price target from 680p to 675p. “We believe the third quarter should prove to be the low point for BP operationally. Over the next 15 months, we expect the start-up of several key oil fields and the return to full action of BP’s two US refineries to lead to an improvement in sentiment.”

Meanwhile, Citigroup has increased its price target on BP from 593.5p to 600p and on Royal Dutch Shell from £20.34 to £21. Shell was 11p better at £20.56.

But Tullow Oil reversed earlier gains, falling 2p to 625.5p as it issued an update ahead of an analysts trip to its operations in Uganda.

Energy group BG – tipped as a takeover target for one of the large oil groups or a miner like Rio Tinto – slipped 1p to 895p on profit taking. The company has agreed to sell five exploration permits in the Italian Po Valley onshore gas basin to Petroceltic International, down 0.12p to 9.5p. Killik & Co issued a buy recommendation on BG, saying: “We believe [it] has one of the best production growth profiles of the European majors alongside StatoilHydro.”

For the full report go to…

http://business.guardian.co.uk/marketforces/story/0,,2192079,00.html

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