Recent Posts

Thematic: the E&P Inventory Underhang

There was plenty of client interest in a comment we made a while ago now, say Q1 2022, that US exploration and production (E&P) companies have become homogenized in terms of what they offer shareholders, as basically all corporate strategies now have, thankfully: Focused on returns and so capital discipline, and Reduced growth to the benefit of market supply & demand balance. Those that cannot resist growth are private or have gone private (Continental Resources) […]

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5:39 PM

Sunday History

Yo, Noted, French refining strike seems to be drawing to a close, with ExxonMobil’s Fos returning to normal. Continued issues with the most extreme of the unions, the CGT, for TotalEnergies. Around 30% of French gas stations reported short of product. We perceive the refining workers strike in Iran to be a domestic issue – for now. History of the Iranian Revolution was driven by strikes by Iranian oil workers. The 1979 Iran revolution directly […]

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3:20 PM

What are you doing? Reading transcripts

The two weeks, mid-earnings, when we pull together company results transcript comments, are not a science, they are an impressionistic art; a colour to our themes. Basically these are comments that caught our eye over the past week. Like sellside analysts, the companies tend to all present the same more-or-less generic message, but occasionally, as we strive with Sankey Research, a comment stands out, is differentiated, or so wild that it is worthy of note. […]

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2:25 PM

Sunday Cedric

Good Day! You only get so many summers in life – a beautiful Sunday in mid-July, we should be at the beach or pondering the Wimbledon final. Hopefully you are on a yacht or at a swim-up bar as you read this. Here in Brooklyn Heights/Brooklyn Bridge Park they have recreated The Hill at Wimbledon with a big screen to watch tennis. Packed today. Tourists are returning en masse to New York. Week past: the […]

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12:43 PM

Big Oil Week Next Week

“Happy” Hour yesterday evening, an oil investor self-help group Big week for oils next week with Nordstream 1 and CPC shutdown decisions coming; Biden visits MBS Buffett buying yet more Oxy – he might go… all… the… way Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway filed notice of acquisition of 12m shares Occidental costing about $698m this week, giving it an 18.7% stake. Buffett had also purchased 9.9m OXY shares last week. Total stake is 175.4m shares worth […]

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9:06 AM

Sunday Marrakesh

Greetings from La Villa des Orangers, Medina (Old Town), Marrakesh, Today – are the big E&Ps cheap? Antero LNG exports – 70mmcfd or 1bcf/d? Postcard from Morocco They say if you want a question answered on the internet, don’t ask the question, but rather post a bold false statement, and you will be flooded with corrections. It is an interesting point on human psychology. Earlier this week we said that Antero was exporting 1bcf/d of […]

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10:06 AM

It’s a Marathon and a Print

We had Kathryn Kelley and Bob Jonke on the Strategy Session yesterday. The story of how I managed to steal a major client’s wallet after we watched the Real Madrid vs Man City game with Kathryn was not repeated. It was an accident! Bob is worried about demand destruction and not super-bullish crude here. By contrast, Kathryn sees a 3mb/d shortage of oil in 2H which simply cannot be drawn from inventory, so something has […]

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8:47 AM

Tilting at Windmills

Well, that was quite the Q1 2022! But we got it in the books. I think the low point of Q1 for me was the evening of Thursday 3rd March, shortly after the 24th February Russia-Ukraine invasion, when the largest nuclear plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, appeared to be under direct attack and burning, right as I had a one-hour briefing with the State Dept, and my contact told me that surviving a nuclear attack is […]

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11:52 AM

Coterra & US E&P: Keep Your Discipline

The attached note started as a focus on Coterra, the $22bn market cap combination of two US E&Ps, Cimarex and Cabot, one oily, the other gassy, that merged and just started trading as $CTRA in late 2021. In the note you will find the rank data: the value destruction for shareholders of the US oil exploration and production (E&P) industry in their giant shale oil science experiment 2010-2019. Line from the note: “from 2006-2019, the […]

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7:58 AM

Deep Thought

After a very enjoyable Strategy Session with the impressive Kimmeridge Team yesterday, I had a one hour debrief with a Senior US Government Official with long energy experience yesterday evening: Notes from deep Washington source. Watch out for oil exports from Chevron’s Tengiz, reports that 3 cargoes (of 3 tendered) were unsold yesterday. The oil is transported from Kazakhstan across the CPC pipeline in Russia and mixed with Russian crude before loading at a Russian […]

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8:54 AM

Friday Disease

Calls: pushing $MRO. 15% cash return to shareholders this year at least. Thematic note available. Yesterday was a puff move from solar, wind, but E&Ps fell, makes no sense. We like the thematic theory that you buy wind on Russia invading Ukraine, but we think this was a short covering move/macro move (the market rip yesterday led by solar). Short term trade, short oil into coming Iran deal, then buy the weakness (commodity, stay long […]

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9:21 AM

Yikes

Huge shock. Particularly to major European clients that had stated their house view: no invasion. Their view was weeks of noise, no invasion. What will happen to this extraordinary chart? We see demand destruction at $120/bbl, and think oil prices will continue to go to that level of demand destruction if US demand remains as strong as it currently is. Lagging US economic strength and upcoming summer speak to ongoing demand strength, even if it […]

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8:18 AM

Morning Shells

Strategy Session this week 2/24, 5PM EST – Arjun Murti, Warburg Pincus, ConocoPhillips board member.  As lead oil analyst and then head of research for Goldman Sachs, Arjun made the greatest oil call in the history of the sellside, predicting $100/bbl oil in the early 2000s at a time when oil traded around $25/bbl and had never traded above $40/bbl. He was right for the right reasons. Now publishing a Substack “Superspiked”, Arjun is one of […]

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8:32 AM

Marathon Oil: Orderly Liquidation & the Inactivst Investor

In the grand scheme of things, Putin didn’t “further invade” as Kamala Harris had warned him not to, last week. But you might want to buy a US E&P or two nothwithstanding. This theme note is on Marathon Oil. Contact me for the pdf if you do not receive my email. The old Sankey joke about covering oil stocks: “this job is easy; all you have to do is get the oil price right” broke […]

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7:53 PM

Sunday Silence

A correspondent asked if I would be writing this Sunday about what to do if Russia invades Ukraine. “I wrote about it in early January,” I sourly texted “I am more likely to write about Venezuela,” I added snootily. “But you’ve been saying Russia won’t invade.” He pressed. “I had to take a week off because I didn’t know. No point in chasing the puck.” Not wanting to chase the “will they/won’t they” puck, I […]

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1:36 PM

Friday Highlights

Having featured a fellow independent researcher on Strategy Session last night – Doomberg – today’s note is a highlight reel of other people’s research. But of course first, Friday you demand jokes, and we are not here to disappoint clients. I used to play the triangle in a band, but it’s just one ting after another. I swallowed a dictionary, and now I have thesaurus throat. My boss arrived at work in a new Lambourghini, […]

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8:41 AM

Flock of Seagulls: Iran

Strategy Session tonight, Doomberg. New guest date to-be-confirmed, Florian Thaler CEO of oil analytics company Oilx. We spoke to him yesterday on the subject of… The potential impact of Iran on oil markets in 2022. It is very different from 2015. In this note we briefly explain why. Iraq production falls 160kb/d in January – covered in this note. Accusations of cross-border shelling in Eastern Ukraine. No further comment in the note, but you can […]

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8:52 AM

I just dropped in…

Hi I am just checking in to assure you I survived the Houston NAPE conference, landmen and all, but am still on the road, headed to New Orleans. This week has been discombobulated – my initial flight on Tuesday was cancelled by United, I rushed to Newark, made the 2pm, just made dinner in Houston, made the NAPE conference yesterday, made dinner with a Nebraska CEO, went to the after party rave and here I […]

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10:50 AM

Morning Libya, Ecuador, and Oil Shock

A couple of stories over the past week have highlighted the precarious nature of global oil supply Outage in Libya 300kb/d Force majeure declared in Ecuador, cutting exports by at least 200kb/d Upstream Online 20th December 2021 Production from four Libyan oilfields has been shut in, causing NOC, the state oil company, to declare force majeure on crude exports from two ports the Zawia and Mellitah terminals. NOC said in a statement on Monday that […]

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8:34 AM

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

Germany & Britain vs the USA

Greetings from London, You live in the UK and have avoided death by COVID? FT: In the UK, 4m households were unable to afford to adequately heat their homes even before the latest energy price crisis. Some 10,000 deaths a year are linked to living in a cold home, according to the charity National Energy Action. If that represents around 100 deaths per day over the average of four winter months, high energy prices are […]

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10:10 AM

London Sankey 9/5/21

Enjoy the last weekend of summer, beautiful day here in London, readying ourselves for next week with a slew of oil corporate oil & energy newsflow in “conference season” starting with this week’s traditional “Lehman Conference”, as we oil old schoolers know it. For my entire career, the Lehman conference has occupied the oil/energy week after Labor Day. Post-Labor Day, for me, as a research analyst, opens the Wall Street year, back when it culminated […]

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12:08 PM

Rocket Science & Rocket Surgery 8/4/21

In this note: the analyst who simply thanked Pioneer, with Devon, Oxy, and ConocoPhillips all cheering battered oil investors, and really strong macro news for Big Integrated Oils (ExxonMobil etc) with their lagging exposure to soaring global natgas prices that are pushing up refining margins. Global demand strength is also bullish for the oils, regardless of the market’s deep reluctance to capitalize OPEC market management. First, Tellurian offers shares: 35,000,000 shares of its common stock […]

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9:35 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

Morning Sankey 6/15/21

At the last in-person Shell analyst meeting at the NYSE, I raced the head of upstream in a life-sized side-by-side Pennzoil NASCAR simulator and then moved on to talk to CEO Ben van Buerden. One key message: sell the Permian. My argument was that Shell would never be recognized as a Permian player, would never get credit, even if they out-performed the industry, and valuations were riding high. Shell should be a mega-project player in […]

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8:46 AM

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 5/12/21

*INVITATION * Today * 10am ET * – Happy Coffee with Li-Cycle CEO Ajay Kochhar. Ajay is extremely strong on all things to do with his business, of re-cycling lithium-ion batteries. By extension, he is extremely strong on batteries, EVs, and particularly Li-Ion factories. He is absolutely at ease with battery market dynamics. Join a conversation with Sankey + a few clients. Yesterday the company announced an agreement with Ultium Cells, a joint venture of […]

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9:01 AM

Morning Sankey 4/13/21

It seems pretty blatantly obvious that Putin is going to invade east Ukraine and join Russian rebel-held territory (see map in Sunday Sankey). He did it with Crimea. Not really a lot you can do, shall we ask Ukraine expert Hunter Biden for his take? There will be a domino effect, because the next question becomes what do you do if China invades Taiwan, given troop build-ups are as big in naval terms in the […]

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9:05 AM

Morning Sankey 3/26/21

My wife and I were sitting in the living room enjoying a bottle of wine. Out of the blue she said, “I love you. ” Surprised, I asked, “Is that you or the wine talking?” “It’s me,” she said, “talking to the wine.” What do you call a rich Centipede? A Dollarpede A mushroom walks into a bar and the bartender welcomes him. He’s a fun guy. A Freudian slip is where you say one […]

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9:05 AM

Sunday Sankey 2/28/21

One great business for sure is going to be lubricants for windmills. Guess who dominates the specialty oil lubes for windmills market? ExxonMobil. Guess who has their annual analyst day this week? ExxonMobil. March 3rd 9am Eastern, we get the latest iteration of The Big Unit’s story. Will they, like $EOG, get attracted like a moth to the flame of promising growth? We suspect ExxonMobil will, not that we have a problem with their Guyana […]

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12:01 PM

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 before Xmas Sankey

Call to start 2021: our refining conference features all six independent refiners at CEO level. Sankey fireside chats back to back. Please join, you will start 2021 with a great understanding of markets, notable oil and and renewable diesel, but much more besides. I’ve got a case of Corona and I am not going to work today. I’m not sick, I’m just taking the day off to drink the whole case. Customer at a farmer’s […]

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8:28 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

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

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
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