Lead stories: sector looking ahead to a year of stabilisation but also of opportunity. Macro: Brent settles at US$55/bbl; oil and gas shares power back in 2016 but subdued start to the New Year. Companies: BP closes in on ACG contract extension; 2017 budgets up 3% year on year; 29 companies pre qualify for Iranian IPC awards. Exploration: Eni Total and ExxonMobil/Qatar Petroleum set to snap up exciting acreage in Cyprus; gas discovery in PNG provides a boost for the PNG LNG partners. M&A: Total acquires more low breakeven Brazilian pre salt assets; ONGC buys domestic gas led growth; KKR backed Venado Oil and Gas makes Eagle Ford acquisition.