Market watch: BP poised to reveal deepwater well result

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OIL investors will be keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast for Shetland in the days ahead as they await the results of BP’s deepwater North Uist exploration well.

One industry insider said that the findings of the well could be revealed in the next fortnight, with the last part of the drilling work waiting for a break in the weather.

North Uist, which lies 78 miles north-west of Shetland, will be only BP’s second deepwater well since the Gulf of Mexico disaster in 2010.

Aberdeen-based explorer Faroe Petroleum holds a 6.25 per cent stake in the well, where drilling work began in March, while Chinese-owned Nexen and Japanese pair Cieco and Idemitsu also have interests in North Uist.

BP is believed to have taken a great deal of time to drill the well because it did not want to take any risks while operating again in deep waters.

North Uist lies close to the Clair, Foinaven and Schiehallion fields, which are already producing oil. Faroe has also made discoveries in the North Atlantic Margin in its Glenlivet and Tornado blocks.

Back on dry land, Rolls-Royce will look to shift the focus on Thursday away from investigations into bribery allegations and on to an expected 16 per cent hike in underlying full-year profits.

Analysts forecast profits at the FTSE 100 engineering firm to hit £1.4 billion on the back of turnover rising to £12bn from £11.3bn.

A surge in winter cold and flu bugs should help profits at Nurofen maker Reckitt Benckiser edge up on Wednesday.

The City expects operating profits to rise to £2.5bn, up from £2.4bn the previous year, following increased demand for Lemsip and Strepsils.

Out-of-town homeware chain Dunelm is tipped to post a 15 per cent rise in half-year profits on Tuesday to £60 million as it targets richer customers.