Last week's Analyst Wrap

Crude oil prices fell to $US24 a barrel - a two month low - as reports suggested that Russian oil exports are surging.

Another report from the International Energy Agency suggested OPEC is pumping 1.4 million barrels more than its quota, putting further pressure on prices to go southward.

Not helping matters was a statement from a Norwegian oil minister that his country will not curb its Q3 output.

The big domestic news this week was the victory of coalbed methane over imported gas in the Townsville Power project.

The decision by the Queensland Government to fuel the power station with CBM gas left PNG Project gas proponents looking for answers while the winner was in the markets looking for funds to develop the project.

CBM hopeful Arrow Energy has been encouraged by the latest results from the first of its seven well coalbed methane coring program. Arrow described the cores as "gassy with a fair degree of permeability", which are prerequisites for the commercial production of CBM.

In the markets, the bidding war for contract driller Australian Oil & Gas took a surprise twist with the third bidder, Parker Drilling seemingly emerging victorious.

Renewable player Energy Development saw its share price spike after news it had approved plans for a new char gasifier for its Whytes Gully facility near Wollongong.

This week saw the spot price on the National Electricity Market reaching the permitted maximum of $10,000 with some commentators accusing electricity generators of trying to manipulate the market.

Despite two years of red ink, Caltex Australia is confident of a profit for the half of this year.

In drilling news, junior explorers Bounty Oil & Gas and Hardman Resources have suspended Woodada-19 as a 'potential' oil and gas producer. Further testing will be carried out using a smaller rig in the next two to four weeks.

Woodside's Laminaria Phase 2 Project commenced production with first oil flowing this week.

Sydney-based Novus Petroleum was awarded a big onshore permit in the United Arab Emirates, its first foray in that Persian Gulf nation.

First Australian Resources announced its expects to spud the first of five wells planned for the onshore Gulf of Mexico this week.

Arc Energy told the market that the Century Rig 24 is currently being rigged up on the Hovea-2 location and the well is expected to spud this week.

Mosaic Oil has confirmed oil and shows in the secondary target of the Churchie-3 well. It also confirmed it is in the market looking for cash to fund its Permian strategy.

The WA Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources' Geological Survey has completed a petroleum study which may help the quest for oil and gas on the northern margin of the Officer Basin.

Overseas, fears of litigation from an adjoining housing estate saw Amadeus Energy's deal to buy into a Texan oil and gas producing lease come unstuck.

OPEC boss Ali Rodriguez will jump out of frying pan and into the fire after confirming he is set to take control of the troubled Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA.

The Brits have signed a big purchase agreement with Norway' Statoil while the Chinese will make their decision about big LNG purchases in July, according to Shell.

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