Recent Posts

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

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

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

$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

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

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 10/4/20

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

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

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

Synthetic XOM

A client pointed out that DOW stock has been on a bit of a tear recently, while XOM cannot catch a bid. This is a reasonable point, and the same could be said of Phillips 66 PSX, which has also been languishing, despite its chemicals exposure. That stock shrugged off a bad 2019 for chemicals margins, which then got truly abysmal with COVID. Subsequently controversy/risk around the Dakota Access Pipeline has ailed PSX, with the […]

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6:39 PM

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

Sunday Sankey 8/9/20

In this week’s edition of the Sunday Sankey we bring you the mega-bear argument for tech (it’s a commodity business), comments on BP’s remarkable transition which coincided with continuing remarkable transition among US E&Ps – mostly. Tomorrow Oxy reports and there is a group that is now in the debt service zombie mode, which will fight to maintain production levels… to pay debt service. But on the positive side, PXD Pioneer took leadership on what Cimarex tagged “Shale 3.0”, see within. We were critical of EOG in this regard in a note published yesterday and linked within. Great stuff on China from Oilx, our favourite oil intelligence consultancy/data provider, and Saudi Arabia cuts production… in Iraq… in Iran? Amazing. Continue reading

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9:51 AM

EOG: tomorrow never comes

The tone of EOG’s management on their Q2 earnings call came across all wrong, as did several of the strategic statements. CEO Bill Thomas opened with language such as “delivering more oil” “significant free cashflow in the quarter” ($200m on a $40bn stock) “exceeded expectations”; “rose to the challenge”; “testament to return focus culture”; “premium returns”; “most excited”; “increasing production”. Towards the end of the opening we got: “Our goal each year is to spend […]

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2:16 PM

Morning Sankey 7/31/20

If you ever wanted a sense of what it would be like to have your house in foreclosure, and have the neighbour tell you in passing they are moving permanently to a $200m yacht, yesterday was that day for oil analysts. Oil specialists’ darling ConocoPhillips surprised the market with its sales… and so did Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Continue reading

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7:20 AM

Morning Sankey 7/10/20

The market seems toppy, if it sells off on a judge ruling on the long-running debate over President Trump’s tax returns, which is what happened yesterday. The ruling extends the to-and-fro and is seen as unlikely to result in a release before the election. Yet the S&P500 sold off… but the NASDAQ, as ever, rose regardless. Later in the day, a potentially more market-unfriendly series of headlines somehow had less negative effect: CNBC reports Presidential […]

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8:30 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

Apache Suriname – waiting

A big block of Apache ($APA) shares traded yesterday – just about 3% of the company of 10.8m shares at $13.50 a share, which was interesting with the breathless anticipation of their latest Suriname well. The stock closed down 3.75% at $13. Anticipation is high for the latest well results. APA acquired rights to Block 53 in ‘13. The company drilled two exploration wells, both dry holes. Popokai-1 was drilled in ’15, but no results […]

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7:55 AM
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