Recent Posts

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. […]

Read More »
2:25 PM

Morning Take a Sad Song

Tomorrow KelleyKelly Hour: Kathleen Kelley on OPEC. Frank Kelly on Washington DC – lots of action there. View share from clients on results and what they expect next. Tomorrow Thursday 4th August 5pm Eastern. Register for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUkc-qvqjgrH9NWL5mVuMMR2AyR3q1cZrtm We increasingly think that we will favour buyback-heavy oils going into the second half, with our year starting, as always, day after Labor Day. What happens next? The Big Oils are all singing from the same […]

Read More »
9:23 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 […]

Read More »
10:06 AM

Portfolio Manager Special: Sunday Calls

Few, As they say on the internet. Today we have a PORTFOLIO MANAGER SPECIAL in the presentation, which includes a full glorious ppt on the largest stocks in the market, and for bonus, a Sankey Recommendation on each stock. The oils look great on these charts. The recommendations on names like Google (BUY) or Disney (SELL) are purely quanatitive interpretation of charts, we do not cover non-energy related stocks fundamentally. So this is quantitative analysis, […]

Read More »
12:55 PM

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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
7:58 AM

Sunday Targets

This week, a three page thematic overview, followed by supporting charts. First the text, then the charts. ~ Noted refinery explosion last evening, no deaths reported, at ExxonMobil’s small (“only” 60kb/d) Billings Montana niche refinery that is important for local balances. Would drive margins higher for Midcon players such as HollyFrontier, Coffeyville, Delek, and West Coast PBF, and might accelerate ExxonMobil’s long standing attempts to sell the plant (price always said to be too high). […]

Read More »
3:22 PM

Morning Strategy 3/3/22

Strategy Session Tonight, Mark Viviano & Megan Hays of activist Kimmeridge. A former Portfolio Manager at mega-player Wellington Management, Mark leads the first public/private active funds at Kimmeridge, one of the top activist managers in the oil space. Megan Hays has joined Kimmeridge after 15 years of IR experience including Concho and Cimarex, and even allowing for that length of experience, still recently rated as one of Hart Energy’s “40 under 40.” Please click this […]

Read More »
9:00 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 […]

Read More »
8:18 AM

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, […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
8:52 AM

Some 2022 Bets Previewed

Thinking about the year ahead, one of my favourite Twitter follows @Raisingthebar47 published the following deliberately non-consensus list of things that will happen energy in 2022. The list is interesting, notably for natgas theorists, but also because it represents what could be considered a list of unexpected events for the year; it was just a quick checklist of things to consider: Natgas back to <$2.50/mcf MVP cancelled/pushed to ’23 (Mountain Valley Pipeline) Oil hits <$50/bbl […]

Read More »
12:23 PM

Letter from the Front Line 11/28

Very tricky to call, indeed! OPEC/Saudi surely will act if markets don’t bounce – my Middle East Intelligence says Saudi is worried about the price but wants to see the market follow through Monday. Fascinating real-time week coming up, we think there might be a unilateral cut by Saudi if the market continues to collapse. But for OPEC to do a cut, is extremely complicated. The easy out, given they have to do something unless […]

Read More »
4:36 PM

Morning Be My Date 11/17/21

Big upcoming events for us: Happy Hour this week with former FERC Chairman Neal Chatterjee, along with Aaron Cutler, both now partners at major DC law firm Hogan Lovells. Aaron at 5pm, Neal at 5:30pm. Both have deep multi-decade Washington energy experience at the highest level – Neal was former Chief of Staff for Senator McConnell, Senate Republican Leader. It is obviously vital to understand the shifting energy landscape in Washington. These are the experts […]

Read More »
8:33 AM

Saturday Chevron

Saturday: there’s an unrelenting element to being a stock analyst. “You are only as good as your last note.” The need to constantly publish is relentless. With that in mind, it has been my intention to write an oil book. Something that can sit on a shelf. One of my favourite oil books is Anthony Sampson’s “The Seven Sisters”, which provides a brilliant, and concise, history of the seven major oil companies that formed the […]

Read More »
8:07 PM

Friday Sankey 11/5/21

Ezra’s first quarter as EOG CEO and he lofts it out of the park – massive increase in regular dividend, big special, buyback, he is in NYC next week, take a victory lap Pioneer wanes yesterday after weak buyback guidance Apache on fire We like Denbury on CO2 negative oil, and encourage Oxy carbon ventures Sunrun – we expected either a crashing miss or wild beat and massive stock reaction; we got neutral Delek beats; […]

Read More »
8:35 AM

Morning Sankey 11/4/21

OPEC Meeting live debating: who is Brandon? Continental shareholders overwhelmingly love the $3.3bn deal for marginal acreage in a new basin Meanwhile at seller Pioneer $1bn more than the asking price for non-core acreage; $3.02 special Final natgas injection number of the week (withdrawls start next week for winter)? The Biden Administration does not seem to understand oil, and more particularly how much spare capacity there is in OPEC. Here’s a quick lesson in global […]

Read More »
10:24 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 […]

Read More »
3:07 PM

Homeless Sankey 9/23/21

Certain cities, like New York, London, and Paris, are an experience, like being in a movie, so strong is their identity. The same goes for San Francisco, the very name a romantic invocation of California and the Pacific, Gold Rush. The beauty of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge. Beautiful physically, and host to massive tech companies such as Uber and Twitter, with huge property prices, there are some major problems, the greatest of which, […]

Read More »
5:48 PM

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 […]

Read More »
12:08 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. […]

Read More »
10:43 AM

You’re busy let’s keep this brief

Just as your correspondent was pondering the upside surprises in capital discipline and cash return to shareholders from “4P” premium Permian pure-plays Pioneer ($PXD) and Diamondback ($FANG) announced yesterday evening, and waiting for a similar positive result from ConocoPhillips, than my friends at HollyFrontier announce a $1.8bn deal to marry perennial bridesmaid Sinclair Oil, the MidCon refiner that started life in 1916 and has been private since 1976. HollyFrontier is on a roll, completely counter-cyclically […]

Read More »
8:38 AM

Morning Sankey 7/29/21

When we wrote The Renaissance Thesis of US E&P in 2017, we argued that oil companies had to stop pursuing growth, reduce capex, increase returns and free cashflow and stop hedging. We also highlighted that management pay relative to performance was an insult to shareholders (those shareholders that remain). The anti-hedging argument was originally made successfully to the refiners. In fact, the overall thesis on E&P was based on success earlier in the decade, changing […]

Read More »
9:29 AM

Manana Sankey 7/6/21

Reading back on my Sunday note, I did a horrible job of highlighting the link to the “Oils share of the S&P500 earnings vs oil’s share of the S&P500” presentation that was attached. One key highlight was to buy Pioneer and EOG and to be negative on Oxy. The non-consensus call was bullish Apache. We were also cautious refiners. Here is the note which is a short presentation of all the charts. This is a […]

Read More »
9:57 AM

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 […]

Read More »
8:46 AM

Friday Sankey 6/4/21

I’ve just had my vaccine, but they administered it in my leg. My Pfizer hurting. I got my first shot. I’ll get my second one as soon as I get the bartender’s attention. Why do gay people have parades in June? Because Pride comes before the Fall. What do you call an Englishman at the Euro 2021 soccer final? Referee. Surgeon: “Don’t be nervous Jeff, you should be able to handle this operation easily.” Patient: […]

Read More »
8:57 AM

Morning Sankey 6/3/21

Last week, we highlighted Tellurian traction on Reddit Wallstbets. Today, they announced a further deal. Tonight we have Mark Viviano of activist Kimmeridge on Happy Hour (5pm ET) for a general discussion, such as pertains to a 3rd ExxonMobil board seat going to the activist slate (announced yesterday), views on the market dynamics that are occurring thanks to activism, etc. Mark has deep experience as a long-only investor at Wellington management. This is expressly NOT […]

Read More »
8:46 AM

Morning Sankey 6/2/21

The ostrich school of analysis would suggest that I resolutely defend my short term bear call on oil and oil stocks made only at lunchtime on Monday, but the fact is that no sooner had I hit send on the email to clients and website post, than the short term thesis caught fire and sank like Iran’s biggest warship just did: June 2, 2021, Associated Press: “The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire […]

Read More »
8:44 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 […]

Read More »
12:19 PM

Sunday Sankey 5/16/21

Good day, The week ended with the guided announcement from Marathon Petroleum that its deal with Seven & i to sell the massive Speedway gasoline retail network had closed for $21bn cash, and upside guidance from Marathon Petroleum on an imminent Dutch Auction for $4bn of stock, within a $10bn open buyback authorization. It was uncertain how much debt would be paid down, but that was announced light at $2.5bn. MPLX, the 63% MPC-owned MLP, […]

Read More »
12:59 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 […]

Read More »
9:01 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/9/21

Happy Mother’s Day! $AMTX – this small-cap generated way more response than my more-or-less throwaway comment on Friday ever intended, highlighting of a Twitter post. It was about related party transactions and we said it read poorly. Because it did. Apologies if your Friday was adversely affected, there is certainly hedge fund interest here. We have some strong bulls on the stock, who have done way more work than I have. The CEO is controversial, […]

Read More »
12:18 PM

Morning Sankey 5/7/21

A salesman knocks on a door, answered by a 12-year-old boy wearing slippers, an oversized silk dressing gown, smoking a fat cigar in one hand, a huge snifter of brandy in the other. Stunned, the salesman asks “Are your parents in?”  The boy replies “What the fk do you think?” Americans love T shirts. They have the constitutional right to bare arms. Wife: “You need to do more chores around the house.” Husband: “Can we […]

Read More »
8:44 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, […]

Read More »
8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 5/2/21

All presentation today, see attached link, after the Sunny Saturday Sankey published yesterday and emailed to you, outlined the past week. The week ahead is extremely busy with results – you can see my diary in the attached presentation. The monster week of earnings is behind us, with impressive results from FMAGA – Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Alphabet. Week ahead also has Secretary of State Blinken travelling to Ukraine. “I can’t tell you that we […]

Read More »
12:25 PM

Sunday Sankey 4/11/21

This week I am heading to Oklahoma to meet Devon CEO Rick Muncrief and then Houston to bid farewell to outgoing ConocoPhillips COO Matt Fox. Opposite ends of the spectrum for me – never met Rick, have hung out many times over the years with Mr. Fox. The lowlight in professional terms with Matt was doing the first marketing trip for COP in NYC after the dividend cut in 2016. The highlight was Matt making […]

Read More »
1:36 PM

Morning PSJeff 4/9/21

What’s Sisyphus’ least favorite band? The Rolling Stones We visited Japan for two weeks and did not see a single ninja. It was really impressive. “Officer, you can’t give me a ticket. I have to go run the marathon tomorrow.” Cop: “That’s not how you play the race card.” The Ketchup shortage this year was so predictable. Heinz sight is 2020. Happy Hour yesterday evening, we had a player whose firm had done a deep […]

Read More »
8:28 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 […]

Read More »
9:02 AM

Sunday Sankey 4/4/21

Greetings on Easter Sunday, The oil market got excited at the end of the week with the OPEC decision, basically because the “Saudi Put” remains in place, with the tapering of OPEC and particularly Saudi cuts extended through July. While surprised at the scale of the bullish reaction, given that the market had anticipated a rollover of cuts, it has been notable that oil prices have held the $60/bbl range pretty firmly with a bouncing […]

Read More »
12:26 PM

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 […]

Read More »
9:05 AM

Morning CVX vs XOM

The first slide considered at the Chevron virtual analyst meeting 2021 was pretty depressing. The company showed an adjusted ROCE of 2.9% and a plan to get this to 10% by 2025. On a day when Tesla had the biggest single move by any stock in history (20% up move added $140bn, or more than the entire value of TOTAL in one day) the investment merits of a major oil taking its ROCE from 3% […]

Read More »
9:17 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, […]

Read More »
11:09 AM

Sunday Sankey 12/13/20

Last week we highlighted the difference between speculation and investment. We continue that theme with six Big Oil investment picks for 2021, and six speculative picks. We defer on refining until our January 4th refining conference. NOTE we have verbal confirmation from Greg Goff, that he will join the conference for a fireside chat. See inside for details, and register on the website www.sankeyresearch.com Greg and I have to discuss what we discuss, as there […]

Read More »
12:18 PM

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 […]

Read More »
8:17 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 […]

Read More »
2:51 PM

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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
9:22 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, […]

Read More »
1:40 PM
View All Reports