Recent Posts

Friday Sankey 12/4/20

What is the most dangerous part of a car? The nut holding the steering wheel. Who is this Pavlov guy? I cannot place him. But his name rings a bell. Using a cinnamon stick to stir your Christmas party drink is not a religious act. It’s egg nog stick. They call it the Labrador market – delighted with everything it bounds after. NASDAQ yay! Bitcoin yay! Copper yay! And thus, as we said in our […]

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8:50 AM

Morning Sankey 12/3/20

Save the Date for the 11th Annual Sankey Research refiners conference January 4th & 5th 2021. We have all six major independent US refiners line up for a series of fireside chats with yours truly: Marathon Petroleum, Valero, Phillips 66, HollyFrontier, Delek and PBF, with a couple more to be added. All at C-Level. Contact me for details. Last evening rumours broke that OPEC has reached a deal to gradually increase production in a tapered […]

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9:11 AM

Morning Darren

ExxonMobil’s press release last night entitled “ExxonMobil to prioritize capital investments on high-value assets” begs the cynic to ask “what exactly would you say you were doing before?” Well, here is the history answer and it is not pretty. But, this is all looking backward, we will look forward directly in this note with a strategy suggestion. And by “what were you doing before?” we mean this is a twenty-year question. Brief conclusions: the $20bn […]

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9:10 AM

Morning X-Ys Club

Last week we published a chart showing the x-y plot of trailing year-to-date free cashflow vs volume growth for the big oil group. This if you remember, prompted Silvio’s legendary joke when I called him to tell him I was having a nightmare with x-y charts, which he misheard to be “having a nightmare with ex-wife chat”. Anyway, a major Long Only investor replied immediately to the note last week pointing out that the chart […]

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8:47 AM

Morning Sankey 11/24/20

The oils continue to be lively driven by the surprising up-move in Brent & WTI crude prices, that has come at a point that looked by some measures to be max bearish. If you recall, over the last days of October, Brent fell from $43/bbl to $37/bbl and looked like it might have a run at $30/bbl, COVID resurging, Europe shutting down. Libya roaring back with 1mb/d incremental light-sweet supply. That bearish Atlantic Basin picture […]

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8:18 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/22/20

Good day from Brooklyn Heights, Enjoy life, look up and consider what to you is everything right now. Live in the present. I have a professional friend who was one of the dominant hedge fund managers in oil during the legendary 2003-2008 oil bull run. As the true legend goes, he ran $1bn levered in oil equities on his right hand, and $1bn levered in oil commodity on his left. So it was understood. They […]

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1:23 PM

Morning Friday 11/20/20

Breaking news: Germany is advising people to stock up on sausages and cheese. This is starting to look like the Wurst Käse scenario. I lost 200 pounds. That’s the last time I go to a British casino. Rudy Giuliani really risked his career on this. The dye is cast. Out of all the inventions in the past 100 years, which one was the most remarkable? The dry erase board. We had a refining CFO on […]

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8:38 AM

Morning Sankey 11/18/20

There are lots of interesting stories out there to consider, hoping to publish on Iran later this week, a sort of primer. Also in this note: UK Energy Policy, Bitcoin, Non-OPEC Guyana & Norway. As tweeted yesterday on my Sankey Research Twitter @crudegusher it only takes a 10% rotation OUT of Tesla into oils, to generate $36bn of buying pressure on this emasculated S&P Energy sector with a $694bn market cap. Energy (S&P ex utilities) […]

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9:02 AM

Morning Iran 11/17/20

Deciding what the rumour has priced into the market price, then watching the actual news hit, always tends to be a surprise, in that the market ripped yesterday on a second vaccine announcement from Moderna, even though it felt like vaccine news was all whispered all over the market just prior to the election, so prior to both announcements. As with these markets, you buy the rumour and buy the news, (you don’t fight the […]

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8:44 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/15/20

I’ve been at the computer working like a chickenhawk on Adderall this morning and it still got late in the Sunday. Patricia is having a lovely time in beautiful weather in Mexico at San Miguel de Allende – an absolutely fantastic place with my globally top five favourite hotel – the Rosewood – right there. It might be my favorite, that is how wonderful that place is. Another top five is the Imperial Palace Hotel […]

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2:46 PM

Friday Sankey 11/13/20

Friday jokes: I lost all my sense of taste, I think I have COVID! Oh no wait, this is Bud Lite. My son said he was quitting college to move to the Arctic Circle. I said “I don’t like your latitude.” A kid goes to a Halloween party. The host asks him what he is dressed as, kid says “A harp.” The host rudely says “Your costume is too small to be a harp.” The […]

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8:24 AM

Morning Ex-Wife?

In a moment of desperation this morning I texted Silvio, my former associate, for a question on which he can always help. He called back as always but was on the bus heading through the Lincoln tunnel. I told him I was having a major problem; but the call broke up. He texted me “Sorry to hear you are having a nightmare your ex-wife… couldn’t hear the rest, call me whenever you want, hope you […]

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9:36 AM

Morning Sankey 11/11/20

Well for sure my timing in the Sunday Sankey making the uber-bear call for oil was completely destroyed one day after I made it, on Monday, by Pfizer’s announcement of a 90% effective COVID vaccine. My old joke is that I am never wrong, it’s just sometimes my timing can be WAY off. And the question of this note, given oil dynamics next move is positive, is timing of entry. Clearly the market was coiled […]

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8:16 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/8/20

Ola, Limited here, as I refuse to talk about the election or COVID. BUT we still have the Sunday Sankey for you. Greek bond yields are slide of the week. We are super-bearish thinking about the 30th November OPEC+ meeting. Super bearish outlook right now for oil. Slides are attached, call me with any comments or thoughts. Thanks I’m not flying to the UK during lockdown. I spoke to my parents yesterday; the idea was […]

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4:29 PM

$EOG Groan

Here’s the thing with $EOG, and I have expressed this view to the company in several ways. is they keep setting the bar too high. And I mean that in a negative sense. It’s the first round of limbo dancing at a party when everyone gets under the pole. Like, even your grandmother. And this is not a party right now, in oil. What is the oil problem? We think OPEC might have a market […]

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3:27 PM

Morning Sankey 11/6/20

Reminder that we still do “Quote of the Day” as the header on Sankeyresearch.com where this note was just published. Today in history, 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected President, with just 40% of the vote, to become the first Republican President. Noted that his second inaugural address (you can read his long-hand original, easy to find online) is one of the all-time great oratories and a masterpiece of unity in the face of division. Unfortunately, […]

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8:56 AM

Election-free Sankey

*** This note is election commentary-free. We got definitive results last night. From Pioneer $PXD, Marathon Oil $MRO, Apache $APA, Energy Transfer $ET, and Delek $DK, boom, boom! Really notable sell-off on solar stocks which came into the past month flaming hot, and have seen major corrections led by Sunrun $RUN – 31% past month, SolarEdge -22% which compounded $RUN’s weakness with a guidance warning this week, and First Solar $FSLR down -15% this past […]

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8:17 AM

Waving or Drowning Sankey

With the first debate in late September followed by President Trump contracting COVID shortly after in early October, the market dynamic this year, in our view, has been 1) to rip off the March lows on Fed US$ printing, 2) then falter on election uncertainty and COVID resilience, then 3) resume ripping on more Fed printing, and then 4) finally, for October and Q4, increasingly price a “Blue Wave” as of October/Q4. Essentially the dynamic […]

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9:19 AM

Morning Sankey 11/3/20

Thoughts and sympathy for the victims of terrorism in historic and noble Vienna yesterday. A city close to the heart of anyone involved in global oil. We are many; terrorists are few. Rest in Peace. A momentous day, and I am not referring to the fact that November 3rd is National Sandwich Day. Yesterday on Twitter Arjun Murti, former Goldman Sachs legendary lead oil analyst, now Warburg Pincus adviser and ConocoPhillips board member, pointed out […]

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8:49 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/1/20

Good day, A quick note today, there are slides highlighting yesterday’s note on XOM that got a lot of traction. There was criticism for not specifically calling out Rex Tillerson, and skepticism on my bull call for refining in summer 2021. Let’s be honest, I made the call for summer 2020, and that worked great when we made the call in April. But turned out to be a disaster by May. We were a year […]

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2:02 PM

Friday Saturday Sankey

Yesterday was tricky to publish a worthy note, until conference calls were complete. So this is the Friday Sankey on a Saturday. Happy Halloween! If life gives you melons you may be dyslexic What’s Sherlock Holmes’ favourite tree? A lemon tree Daddy, do all fairy tales start with “Once upon a time”? “No kid, there’s a whole series of fairly tales that start with “If elected, I promise…”” There were two key takeaways from ExxonMobil’s […]

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2:51 PM

Morning No EPS note

SHANGHAI, Oct 29 (Reuters) – China’s major state-owned banks have been swapping U.S. dollars for yuan this week, traders said on Thursday, suggesting monetary authorities are trying to rein in the sharply appreciating currency. Those operations in the onshore currency swap market have caused the value of the yuan to fall in the forwards market, tamping expectations that it will appreciate further and simultaneously making it more expensive for investors to borrow yuan. Two other […]

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7:51 AM

Morning Iran

Iran – clients are asking, naturally worried that 1mb/d+ of oil exports will be added to glutted markets in the case of a Biden win. Comments on Foreign Policy under Biden below. Noted Enterprise posts good results. $EPD has been one of our few recommendations these past months. We have particularly highlighted the units to investors questioning ExxonMobil’s 10% yield, that $EPD offers a higher yield, with a more focused, secular-bull business model (see our […]

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9:26 AM

Morning CEOs

Today: how many CEOs per barrel? The calculation was triggered by BP results this morning, which underline our description that the oil market has settled at an equilibrium of “exquisite pain” – sustaining almost exactly $40/bbl since the beginning of Q3 (Brent broke $40/bbl for the first time post-COVID on 5th June and has hugged the price ever since). This is the planning assumption that we believe oils have to assume as their base case. […]

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9:10 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/25/20

The Sankey Research website was down this morning, and there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that this is somehow related to Hunter Biden. Rather, the website may have crashed on ANOTHER BIG OIL DEAL, this one a bit of a shock. Years ago, ConocoPhillips announced a massive deal to buy Burlington Resources, a $36bn deal that was announced on 13th December 2005, literally the day before US natgas prices hit their all-time record […]

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2:02 PM

Debate Sankey 10/23/20

It is Friday in Fall, a great time of year in the US. The guy who stole my diary has died. My thoughts are with his family. My wife is kicking me out because she’s fed up with my South American animal puns… ‘OK,’ I said, ‘Alpaca my bags.’ I once met someone who refused to talk to people unless the conversation was about fashion. He was very clothed-minded. Happy hour yesterday evening we were […]

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9:43 AM

Morning Sanknews 10/22/20

News: France quashes a major US LNG export contract on US methane emissions/fracking. Quite where this leaves Russia and Algeria has not been specified by the French. Story broke on Politico Pro. In 2016 a French minister had highlighted that US LNG contained fracked gas, so to speak, and that France bans fracking. We all remember Hess and the Paris Basin, seen to be one of the great fracking opportunities in the world, it will […]

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9:17 AM

Morning Sankey 10/21/20

I am thinking on a long refining short airlines trade. Not least because all my clients are complaining that you cannot make money in the E&P tape. I have a few who say they have been the right side of all four major deals year to date; and barely made money. While you get a 10% pop “this is not why you owned them.” In fact the latest disappointment was definitely Pioneer-Parsley, with an investment […]

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8:39 AM

Pioneer-Parsley & History

Breaking news: WSJ October 18th 2020 Pioneer Natural Resources is in talks to buy Parsley Energy, according to people familiar with the matter, as a wave of consolidation takes hold in the beleaguered oil patch. Word from the oil field is the deal was due to be announced last week and got sidelined by COP-CXO. (Twitter). M&A stories in the WSJ are considered the most reliable of any business new source. Last week they were […]

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8:11 AM

Sunday Fall Sankey

Good Day The Sunday Sankey is macro heavy but starts with the micro oil story of the past week and quite possibly next week: Conoco-Concho. The rumored (Bloomberg) takeover was covered in three consecutive notes last week, and is now rumoured (Bloomberg) to be imminent. We shall see. That starts, but there is a ton of macro stuff in the Sunday Sankey ppt. Take a look. As the market closed Friday, $EOG spiked, and the […]

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11:57 AM

“Happy” Hour & Friday

When Kasparov beat Carlsen I cheered so much I lost my voice. Now I am a hoarse chess nut. Kermit the Frog playing Hamlet got great reviews. It was a ribbeting performance. My friend wants to dress as an island off the coast of Italy for Halloween. I told him not to be Sicily. Happy Hour Comments and Why is Concho selling itself? We had a real live oil trader to start Happy Hour last […]

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9:10 AM

Conoco Poncho

$EOG was the name most speculated about as likely to MAKE a takeover in the wake of the Conoco-Concho story yesterday; the stock that reacted most was $XEC, perceived as the most likely next TAKE over company. Continental CLR is seen as needing to deal, $MRO too, $OVV potentially to offer a blizzard of stock, $FANG and Parsley $PE potentially to join the consolidation fray one way or the other; $CDEV is due to be […]

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9:22 AM

ConocoConcho

ConocoPhillips $COP for Concho $CXO does not generate the “why oh why” outrage of the seemingly ludicrous rumours at the time of Occidental for Anadarko, by any means. Last evening, just as we pondered a solidly in-line-with-expectations Q3 guidance from Diamondback $FANG, Bloomberg published a story claiming that ConocoPhillips is taking over Concho, which was a whole lot more exciting for a Tuesday evening, notwithstanding my wife Patricia getting liquidized chilli directly in her eye, […]

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9:23 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/11/20

Good Day, Guess what, we are back to results. In the week ahead Q3 EPS starts. Crazy to think, Schlumberger reports Friday; nothing much on Monday but watch JP Morgan report massive trading results on Tuesday – work from home right – starting off the week. Also Citi reports Tuesday, and important for Bail Out, Delta Airlines too, with United Airlines Wednesday alongside some bank called Goldman. Could be a bullish week for the market, […]

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1:40 PM

Morning Bullish Sankey

Very interesting Happy Hour yesterday… and an overwhelming sense of bullishness swept over me! How can this be when the oil market is still struggling so badly? Well… a couple of things. But first, it’s Friday, and this is the Friday Sankey, so its JOKE TIME. What’s the biggest lie in American politics in 2020? You have 2 minutes uninterrupted.Please respond to your opponent’s total ignoring of the question. You have two minutes.A fly on […]

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8:27 AM

Chevron for ExxonMobil?

Chevron for ExxonMobil merger? The numbers and strategy make sense. Reduced costs, reduced capex, get through the dividend mess, and upgrade the overall player in ESG terms (mega-company suggested new name: “Chevron”). All year XOM has been breaking bad levels, and the latest is that its market cap fell below Chevron’s yesterday. Just a reminder on scale, with market caps equal at ~$140bn: XOM Capital employed $236bn and a feeble 6% ROCE in 2019. $31bn […]

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9:15 AM

Mega-Theme: Standard Oil vs Big Tech

Client email: Paul, a question to you as a student of history. My recollection is that Rockefeller got even richer when US government broke up his monopoly? Copying my tech colleague who may be pondering what happens if US government attempts to break up their monopolies… Sankey: From recollection the quick answer is yes, the sum of the parts was greater than the whole. I’ll check now but it certainly happened at a time of […]

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8:48 AM

Tesla vs ExxonMobil Porcupine Battle I

Looking at the future of US gasoline demand, I got sucked into the history of Tesla’s SEC filings essentially with a view to replicating my notorious chart of ExxonMobil’s volumes since 2000, vs their annual analyst meeting target for volumes. The dreaded porcupine chart, which has no more inappropriate quill than the last, which was repeated at the March 2020 analyst meeting at peak COVID in NYC. ExxonMobil’s volumes vs their analyst meeting targets As […]

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10:25 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/4/20

Obviously, the week ahead will be dominated by the twin horsemen of COVID and bailout. We are making history. In this note, XOM is now worth less than Jeff Bezos, even after his divorce. Nextera has become the largest energy stock in the US. We also show XOM compared to Big Tobacco, to show this is not all ESG. The oil market looks rough, as we had warned all summer, it would be post Labor […]

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11:24 AM

Friday Air Sankey

Well indeed, there are a lot of jokes out there this morning… you can say the news has gone viral. However, given our self-imposed standards of taste and decency, we will limit the news jokes to non-Presidential. If you’re driving a stolen Tesla… Would it be called an Edison? Mark Zuckerberg is in a car accident. Guy : “Let’s exchange personal details” Mark : “You are Scott Thomas, you have 237 friends out of which […]

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10:23 AM

EU sure about that?

With so many long term forecasts being thrown around over the past month on energy demand and emissions, this analyst has been deeply cynical after 30 years of following long term energy modelling. The worst long term forecasts are already wrong when they are made. That is close to being the case currently as companies use a 2018 or 2019 base year, skipping the little matter of 2020, which has seen, for example, an enormous […]

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8:29 AM

Total Podium End Quarter

It was an especial pleasure to see a leader speaking at a podium with a TOTAL command of the current complex situation, with a complete grasp of facts and figures, a near-term and long-term vision that is both pragmatic and exciting. The fact that the entire presentation was delivered with charm and wit in the speaker’s second language, made it all-the-more impressive. I am of course speaking of TOTAL’s CEO Patrick Patrick Pouyanné , at the […]

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5:45 PM

Propane Sankey

Yet another bull point on propane. The Morning Sankey goes down the rabbit hole. New York City has made outdoor dining permanent, and the City has lifted the post-911 ban on propane canisters in Manhattan (welders were excepted). With indoor dining limited to 25% capacity, operating restaurants are dependent on outdoor dining, and there has been a scramble to buy propane heaters. My neighbour manages three restaurants and said he was about to buy 15 […]

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10:02 AM

Morning Renaissance

Good news for the industry. Rationalisation. Where does it leave Cimarex and Marathon? We first outlined our “Renaissance of US E&P” thesis in 2017, arguing that the problem with US oil stocks was not the industrial opportunity, led by the greatest oil field in the world – the Permian, securely located in Texas adjacent to the world’s largest refining center. The problem at the time it was not the oil price, which was $50/bbl and […]

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8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/27/20

Back in the day, the Sunday Sankey had to go through a Big Bank approval process, and that effectively met the deadline for submission was Friday evening at 6pm. There was always a concern that something big would happen after 6pm on Friday and before the automatic release at 10am Sunday. On the Friday of the first Sunday Sankey in May 2016, we put the thing to bed, went home, and the newswires flashed “Saudi […]

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11:57 AM

Morning Titanic Sankey

Three analyst meetings in two weeks: BP, Apple, Tesla. Confirmed by Tesla Battery Day: the Big Oils need to pursue a strategy of “orderly liquidation” in line with our “Renaissance of US E&P” thesis. Cut capex, reduce growth, return cash to shareholders. Orderly liquidation. Shrink to grow value. We are advising a refiner to go private, we have been for years, arguably we have been for all refiners. No growth capex, buy back stock until […]

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9:17 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/20/20

Good day! A chill September wind is blowing across Brooklyn Heights, as summer officially ends and fall very much starts. The market is feeling chills too, with COVID continuing to present a major challenge to policy-makers globally. We remain extremely frustrated by the excessive lock down requirements in New York despite effectively zero COVID. With massive testing, less than 1% positives are being found, and essentially no deaths (statistically speaking). This past week we quoted […]

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11:37 AM

Morning Sankey Wainscott

The US government Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has projected that some 2,000 offshore wind turbines will generate 22GW of power by 2030 for the US. Its hardly surprising that BP has bought into this spectacular growth, which fits right into their low carbon shift in the 2030 timeframe. Reminder, in a September 10th press release, BP announced it would pay $1.1bn for a 50% stake in Equinor’s 2 GW Empire Wind, located off […]

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8:25 AM

Morning WKHS Sankey

Spoke to a top Portfolio Manager yesterday who summed it up, “Why buy a company with a dubious track record, in transition, and that could be Shell as much as BP? Service is dead – have you seen BP and Shell’s deepwater plans? They cancelled. E&P looks bad with the current oil market, look at EOG re-valuing to be in line with the group; we only get strong oil balances by end 2021. Refining margins […]

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9:19 AM

Morning Sankey 9/14/20

Start your engines, or rather, share your computers as part of our future, for the longest analyst meeting in history starting this morning at 8:30am Eastern Time, as BP commences “BP Week.” We have five hours today, followed by three hours each on Tuesday and Wednesday. To kick things off, BP has released its World Energy Outlook. One of these outcomes fits our world view for energy to 2050. Can you guess which one it […]

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7:54 AM
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