Recent Posts

US E&P Q3: The Power to Set Oil Prices

Key points: Clients are focused on OPEC spare capacity and demand growth, but also, rightly, North American supply growth, which is the most price elastic component of global oil supply. Halliburton results yesterday naturally raise questions over US production growth; the company stated that it sees 20% rise next year in North American revenues, which includes “solid pricing gains”. This would imply Halliburton expects US E&P capex to be ~10% higher next year; not a […]

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3:07 PM

Morning Sankey 10/5/21

The headlines from yesterday’s OPEC meeting were “oil jumps to its highest level since 2014”. We finally made it back, and goodness me, it was a long road. Of course, the WTI price we have attained today with a super-bullish backdrop is completely different from what we faced in October/November 2014. At the time, we had peaked at $107/bbl in mid-2014, after a sustained period 2010-2014 when oil traded in a range with $80/bbl as […]

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8:09 AM

Parakeet Sankey 9/26/21

Jolly Sunday to you, Global energy crisis: Having written at length about this eight days ago in the note “Germany & UK vs the USA”, all week I have been reading about the global energy crisis led by the UK and Germany. Everyone makes the same points, last year cold global winter leading to low natgas storage, lack of wind in Europe, nuclear shutdowns, Asia squeeze, Russia squeeze etc. The one I talked about in […]

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2:20 PM

Airworld Sankey 9/21/21

Comment to my sister yesterday on life in London with my mother: “Nothing’s burning, apart from the stock market.” Oil behaved great especially as the US$ strengthened. Noted oil laggards like $EQT flat on the day. Bullish action for us “energy tranistion” folks. Regular readers will recall it is not two weeks ago we had a China expert, Ryan Haas, Brookings Institute, on Happy Hour. I checked in with Ryan yesterday, and his call. He […]

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9:36 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/19/21

Quick Sunday Sankey today. If you want to read more, yesterday there was a long email on Europe vs US energy transition dynamics with a focus on two leaders: UK and Germany. Emailed yesterday on the web at www.sankeyresearch.com It has occurred to me that we may just enter a long, grinding, bear market, as stretched valuations and lack of new marginal buyers slowly erode the market. I mean like a 1970s multi-year market deflation. […]

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1:43 PM

Rouge Deluxe

August is upon us, with results effectively over, I am back in Brooklyn having dropped Harry for pre-season college soccer in Boston, trip review from a gasoline perspective closes this note. Speaking on sons and August, yesterday Max, who is yet to go back to college in Atlanta, was on CNBC. That is him ludicrously stationed in shot in the background of my Fast Money segment, pretending to work. You can see the clip here. […]

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10:43 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/8/21

The US has negative unemployment, by one measure. The confirmation of that on Friday led to an interesting market reaction. The data point on negative unemployment released before the market was that there are 8.6 million people considered out of work in the US and nearly 10 million job openings. This could be a moot point in the EU where movement of labour is much more challenged by language and culture, but in the US, […]

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11:47 AM

Where did it all go wrong?

With EOG rounding out oils’ earning season after the market yesterday, we had the final disappointment as oil prices test downside support levels breaking $70/bbl (Brent, WTI already broke into the upper $60s.) Expectations of an excess cash return special or splashy buyback announcement by EOG were dashed. Nothing. Just good free cashflow in a $70/bbl+ tape and the promise to pay down more debt by 2023. This is not the first disappointing Q2 earnings, […]

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8:52 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/1/21

We found ourselves standing on the North Slope, Alaska, above the Arctic Circle, surveying the endless flat tundra. There there is no sunlight from October to early March; total darkness over half the year. For the rest of the year, the sun does not go down – no darkness. That place, my friend, is Far North. The nearest city is Anchorage, 1,000 miles south, itself as distant as Perth Australia; palpably remote; strange and distant […]

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1:25 PM

Sunday Sankey 7/25/21

Greetings, It is all about the presentation this week; please click on the attached file for a look at what is in store for the week ahead – earnings; OPEC chat; what to buy when US natgas prices hit $4/mmbtu, which they did this past week; factor performance disconnection; and our only solution since we wrote The Renaissance Thesis of US E&P in 2017, namely hard cash return to shareholders. These oils have to bribe […]

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12:39 PM

Friday Sankey 7/23/21

The “Why we prefer buybacks” note yesterday got a lot of feedback. There was some comment that it had no conclusion, to which my response was 1) it should have been titled Part 1 because this will be a continued theme for us through earnings and beyond because 2) my old line “you don’t buy cheap stocks and sell expensive ones, you buy good management” is the key. The chart on Sankey Stars would indicate […]

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9:12 AM

Why we favour oil buybacks (at this time)

Thesis: there is little differentiation in the market between the merits of individual big oils; factor investing (ie thematic baskets) has rewarded the most levered oil companies, given the surge in oil prices from historic lows. There is a major opportunity with an immediate catalyst of Q2 2021 results for differentiation among oils in terms of the strength of their earnings at $70/bbl Brent (with weak refining). There are two types of leverage, operational and […]

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10:06 AM

Morning Sankey 6/23/21

Tomorrow June 24th on Happy Hour we have Charif Souki, Chairman and co-founder of Tellurian, the integrated Haynesville gas-to Driftwood LNG export project play. Should be a great chat! Souki is one of the select legendary executives to be featured in The Frackers, an entertaining book about the key characters in the US unconventional revolution.  Register here Charif Souki on Sankey Happy Hour Next week, on July 1st, please attend the Sankey Research 1st anniversary […]

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9:03 AM

Friday Sankey 6/18/21

Fun fact: Australia’s biggest export is boomerangs. It’s also their biggest import. What actor could never play Quasimodo? Humpfree Bogart Doctor: Your body ran out of magnesium. Me: 0mg. The urge to sing The Lion Sleeps Tonight is just a whim away. A client writes: Paul! One day doesn’t make a market, but your next letter can’t come soon enough. Is the run in oil done? Dear clients, Key bear triggers were twofold yesterday. First, […]

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8:42 AM

Sunday Sankey 6/6/21

Welcome to summer, hope you are enjoying breaking out your white pants after Memorial Day. Time to drop $250 on new sunglasses. Get in quick before they are $400.   There is no presentation today as I am working on an oil company Board Presentation for Tuesday in Texas. Ramp spending by increasing debt… might actually be the call, or at least the outside-the-box option, notably to make an acquisition. This week I learned what […]

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1:35 PM

Memorial Monday Sankey 5/31/21

OIL RISK HIGH. We have an OPEC meeting tomorrow, and the word is that Iran is pumping into storage on anticipation of successful negotiations with the Biden administration, which, for reasons I do not fully understand, is very keen to make a nuclear deal. This will allow Iran back into global oil markets. We understand that OPEC is warning Iran not to flood the market, and Iran is saying “we are going to flood the […]

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1:34 PM

Morning Sankey 5/26/21

Of course one of the most egregious aspects of Oxy’s deal for Anadarko was that a shareholder vote was deliberately avoided by CEO Vicki Hollub. This doubly bad because a preferred $10bn deal with Warren Buffett was the route taken to get a deal cash-rich enough to avoid a shareholder vote. Activist Carl Icahn took revenge by issuing warrants to all shareholders – but not to preferred Buffett – and effectively capped the Oxy share […]

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9:06 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/23/21

Watching Iran, but 1mb/d of oil exports are already in the market. Huge week ahead for ExxonMobil, with the Shareholder Meeting and board vote on Wednesday this week. We wrote about it on Thursday, see the note on www.sankeyresearch.com or emailed. Noted that Halliburton shareholders rejected the company’s pay proposal last week, which is encouraging. The pay of oil executives relative to shareholder returns has been an abomination for years. Executives should try a few […]

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12:19 PM

Morning Sankey 5/19/21

Quick note to highlight that Delek CEO Uzi Yemin will be on Happy Hour this week, Thursday at 5pm ET. SAVE THE DATE: Sankey Research 1st Anniversary Party for July 4th Weekend celebrating independence. July 1st in Dumbo, Brooklyn, 6pm. Please RSVP – this is a great area of New York, terrific place to visit to refresh your New York experience, right under the Brooklyn Bridge in the stunning park from which many Sankey Research […]

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8:23 AM

Morning Sankey 5/4/21

As we hoped, oils’ results are going great. The sector is powering higher, with the overall steady outperformance grind that has resumed in value over growth. The oil price for Q2 is tracking well ahead of these results, further boosting the EPS upgrade cycle. Huge result from Suncor; great commentary on cash return from COP, a surprise beat from Marathon Petroleum with major disposal and buyback coming… good results from head-to-head rivals Diamondback and Aramco, […]

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8:41 AM

Morning Sankey 4/23/21

Well, it’s feedback Friday! The age-old client meeting line gets used again: Client Q: “Paul, what is the most common question that clients are asking right now?” Paul A: “What is the most common question that clients are asking you right now?” True joke, but being Friday, we are not done – here they are: Newsflash: US customs have intercepted $2m of lumber being smuggled in shipments of cocaine What do you call an anti-vax […]

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9:12 AM

Morning Sankey 4/6/21

BP announced the early achievement of its 35% debt target after the strength of Q1, and we think several unhedged oil companies will surprise with the strength of their profits after a $60/bbl quarter. We believe the overall market has lost track of just how profitable major oils are when oil prices are above $60/bbl, by which we mean the entire S&P500 upstream oil sector, with the major warning on levels of hedging exposure (see […]

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9:02 AM

Morning Sankey 2/17/21

The current energy crisis is much bigger than most people realize. This is a global crisis. The largest energy outage in US history. In the middle of a brutal winter, globally. Stay tuned, this crisis is just starting. An outage of this scale in Texas is world scale. The entire US and Atlantic Basin energy market is based on a core of Texas/US Gulf Coast. A lot of the debate currently is, as so often […]

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8:37 AM

Morning Sankey 2/9/21

It was invariable, in a market with one dimension since the March lows “Don’t fight the Fed, buy-buy-buy with the Fed; cost of capital is close to zero, equity value is close to infinite” that eventually the laggards would have to rip, and so we “energy transition” oil analysts find ourselves basking in the glory of best performing sector in the market year to date. This , which was a joke that was made on […]

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8:51 AM

Sunday Sankey 2/7/21

Snowing again here in Brooklyn Heights. One thing that is very striking in this week’s charts is the 6-10 Day weather forecast for North America. It is freeeeezing. Bluest map I can remember publishing, and we publish it just about every week in mid-winter and high summer. As noted our Happy Hour this past week was very bullish oil, basically the call is that oil just went up 15% in a month and is rising […]

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11:32 AM

Morning Sankey 2/5/21

Max bullish oil here, buy oil leverage. That was the Happy Hour call last evening. By November last year we were saying “All in on the equities” and we ended the year with six investment grade oil stocks and six speculative oil stocks with the call: “buy both groups.” Key specifics: 2022 oil futures a bargain at $52/bbl, Oxy for operational (Brent) and financial (massive debt) leverage. MEG in Canada. Watch out for natgas exposure […]

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8:34 AM

Friday Sankey 1/29/21

Yep! It’s Friday! I called the RobinHood helpline about Gamestop and they said “Please Hold”. Got it. I want to put my life savings into the stock – its called Gamespot Total Landscaping right? The Biden team is monitoring the Gamestop situation and will let the American people know when it is time to buy a Legend of Zelda chess set in a dented box. AMC is issuing a ton of stock, but Gamestop is […]

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8:50 AM

Morning CAD 1/19/21

A scoop by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) over the long weekend regarding the Biden Administration’s plan to rescind the Keystone XL pipeline permit got everyone excited… except me, who groaned. The issue is symptomatic of the worst of US energy policy. New pipelines are environmentally friendly. They serve to replace old pipelines and/or train transport that is less efficient and environmentally damaging. While opposing specific pipelines has become the heroic battle of the environmentalist, […]

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9:00 AM

Sunday Sankey 1/17/21

Trying to get up this morning, I was pondering whether the US military could split and part go renegade. However we continue to believe the US constitution will prevail. Rather a negative start to the day, but I moved on to put together the Sunday Sankey for you, with energy, be it alternative, or regular oil and gas, starting the year very well. We continue to be obsessive about the US$ impact on oil prices, […]

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12:06 PM

Morning $NOG

Yesterday was one of those thematic days. “You don’t buy a cheap oil stocks, you buy good management.” We started with an activist getting aggressive on Ovintiv, had a great conversation with the CEO of Northern Oil & Gas, had another activist letter to Delek USA from Carl Icahn’s CVI Refining, and rounded out with Happy Hour. But first, it’s Friday, and that means we start with… What do you call a mythical beast that […]

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8:25 AM

Morning Saudi Did What?

Sankey raising Brent oil price forecast to $54/bbl for 2021 (from $45) and $58/bbl for 2022 (from $56). Sankey raising WTI oil price forecast to $52/bbl for 2021 (from $42) and $55/bbl for 2022 (unch). It’s difficult to unpack what just happened to oil markets in terms of Saudi Arabia’s shock move to unilaterally “gift” cut production by 1mb/d for February and March; right down to 8.1mb/d, the very low of their historic production levels. […]

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8:41 AM

Morning Joe

Valero webinar today! Me vs CEO Joe Gorder and team. Not too late to register on www.sankeyresearch.com Briefly OPEC+ noted: Russia wants to increase production, to satisfy its own private oil companies and probably thinking of inflicting sustained pain on US E&Ps as much as anything. Saudi wants to maintain cutback discipline, probably concerned about future oil supply shortages if the global industry faces another year of low prices in the $40/bbl on high OPEC […]

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8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 12/20/20

Special Sunday Sankey featuring the legendary oil’s share of the S&P500 vs oil’s share of the S&P500 earnings charts! Sadly, it was not worth running them all year, given the horrendous earnings of the sector in what will be the worst year in the history of oil relative to expectations. Now, as we look directly into 2021, the charts are beginning to make sense. More inside this note but a couple of starters for you, […]

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11:09 AM

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

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

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

The Net Debt Free Cash Acid Test

Good thing that Oxy reporting tonight “exceeded guidance and continued to deliver operational excellence” otherwise they might have reported an even more epically abysmal result. Even with the aforementioned exceeding and excelling, the company reported a net loss attributable to shareholders for Q2 2020 of $8.4bn, or $9.12/share. Excluding writedowns (why? they happen on a recurring basis), the adjusted loss was $1.6bn, or $1.76 per diluted share. Anyway, with Oxy having reported, Sankey Research can […]

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8:18 AM

Dakota Access Shock

PSXP stock is getting hit hard on today’s surprise Dakota Access shutdown ruling, alongside Energy Transfer (ET) and Bakken players such as Contintental, OAS, WPX, NOG and diverse names such as MRO. Winners: Canadian suppliers, Permian and other Basins than Bakken, and in refining “Valero wins by not losing.” Of course in the grand scheme of things, the most environmentally-friendly way to move oil is by new pipeline, less by rail, least by truck. But […]

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4:07 PM
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