Recent Posts

Sunday Sankey 2/21/21

Enjoyed making the slides today, take a look. Slide 1: John Hopkins Professor expects US herd immunity by April. Remember how quickly SARS disappeared? Fingers crossed. This past week we have highlighted QuantumScape $QS the solid state battery play, and did so again Thursday, and we “found the short” as they say. The heated email from a client arrived in response with 10 minutes. “It’s a joke.” He was referring to valuation. But in this […]

Read More »
10:39 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 […]

Read More »
8:37 AM

Sunday LNG

Hi, We had legendary global gas expert Gordon Shearer on our Happy Hour – every Thursday at 5pm – this week. Writing up the notes for Friday sent me down a couple of rabbit holes, and so I put together a note with graphics on LNG, which is attached. Selected nuggets, there are more within: Natural gas as the key energy transition fuel is logical and imperative. Those that bucket natural gas, oil and coal […]

Read More »
11:54 AM

Morning Shell Out

Woke up this morning feeling like Groundhog Day, with another 2” of snow on the ground here in Brooklyn, this work from home certainly provides few surprises on the way to work. Which is a 3 yard commute. Little did I know years ago working at Wood Mackenzie and living on the other side of Charlotte Square, that my commute back then would not be the shortest of my career. The joke was it took […]

Read More »
8:52 AM

Morning Sankey 2/10/21

Noted: Chesapeake to emerge from bankruptcy and trade as CHK tomorrow. The #EFT (energy finance twitter) hordes are ready to Gamestop this one. The problem was always the debt/financial structure, not the assets. In fact, if you need to know one thing about this oil tape, it is that pretty much the best major oil company is the worst performing stock this year. In share price terms. We are speaking of course of TOTAL, or […]

Read More »
8:47 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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
8:34 AM

Morning Sankey 2/4/21

Shell results, meh. We argue that to out-perform, Big Euro Oils need major US fund managers buying at the margin. For ever, Euro oils have looked cheap relative to US. It never changes. See chart below, the same at the most extreme applies to Russian oils. Right now, Big US buyers are either not buying any oil, buying oil leverage, or buying ExxonMobil. The Supermajor Euro oils are not attractive, ex TOTAL. The track record […]

Read More »
9:11 AM

XOM wins with $20bn loss

This was the best ExxonMobil earnings call for a decade, which is incredible to say given the company reported a $20bn loss, and its first ever annual loss. Our major frustration was not to be polled for a question, given it was worth asking about the shattered core principle of Exxon – return on capital employed (ROCE) – and the massive $19bn write-down that we finally got, more than a decade after the XTO takeover. […]

Read More »
5:34 PM

Morning Sankey 2/1/21

Chevron-ExxonMobil on the front page of the WSJ quoting Sankey Research. Quick note this morning. not because we don’t generally publish on a Monday after the Sunday Sankey, but because I just spent two hours down the silver mine. Quite interesting actually. Clients have been saying that metals & mining analysis is not very good, the dynamics are very similar to oil in terms of reserves, marginal cost of supply, price of demand etc, and […]

Read More »
9:14 AM

Sunday Sankey 1/31/21

The feeling is that oil price action this past week was very bullish given that it is traditionally-weak January and it held up vs US$ up and market down moves. Major clients are highlighting SPACs. We see the SPAC route as a major outlet to address the market imbalance between investment $ seeking renewable energy opportunities, and lack of renewable energy market cap plays. In today’s Sunday Sankey we replicate several slides published by Houston […]

Read More »
11:55 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 […]

Read More »
8:50 AM

Sunday Sankey 1/24/21

“Does anybody in Washington care about the deficit? I mean 25% of all dollars ever printed were printed in 2020, and the total stimulus at $5trn, so far, exceeds the GDP of Germany… and Biden plans more…” I asked Frank Kelly, head of government affairs at DB, as we sat in Great Falls, just outside Washington DC, in a gastropub. We had driven past the preposterous mansions that line the road of this former farming […]

Read More »
12:33 PM

Morning Acronyms

One of the great recent charts has been the index performance of unprofitable stocks shown below. It is notable that this index has basically doubled since the last quarterly reporting season. We expect the current reporting season to underline how insane valuations have become across non-profitable sections of the market. Furthermore, quarterly results will provide full year 2020 results and some kind of outlook for 2021. Equally, for the oils, what might be good results […]

Read More »
8:40 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, […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
8:25 AM

Morning Oxy

Really strong relative day for oils yesterday, in fact all energy is running as the Biden administration battles its way to the inauguration. I’m driving my son Max to Emory for college on 21th January, through Washington, and one plan was to drop in and see the action on Inauguration Day, a moment in history and all, but DC has been declared a Federal Emergency Zone for the event and we figure that two mysterious […]

Read More »
9:00 AM

Morning Ideanomics

Client feedback to Sunday Sankey: 1) Did you see exactly what the stratospheric warming event was?  It’s a fast 100 degree warming…. All the way up there.  100 DEGREES… it’s bananas.  Happens once every couple years. 2) Check out this chart…. Nothing to see here.. just super high intraday correlation of TSLA and Bitcoin!  It’s insane.  TSLA should be $780 based on this… and XBT… well… See below for the chart. Inflation? A current boiling […]

Read More »
8:37 AM

Sunday Sankey 1/10/21

Good morning, The first working week in January is always a crazy week for this analyst, and by Monday afternoon, having run five 1×1 fireside chats with five refining CEOs, I was already joking that I was ready for my year end vacation. Then, from nowhere, Saudi unilaterally cut production on Tuesday 5th January at the now-monthly OPEC+ meeting, the afternoon as we rounded out the conference with a 1×1 with Valero management that morning. […]

Read More »
12:40 PM

Morning Hindsight is 2020

Duly noted: ExxonMobil confirms $20bn writedown with better upstream and chemicals earnings; refining still horrible. Smoke rising around Iran in the Middle East. Sabers are being rattled as the Trump Presidency reaches its final days. Clients should consider upside VIX exposure or other risk protection into the Iran situation and Georgia run-off that with as many as 3m votes already cast, may well swing Democrat to start 2021 off with a crazy first week for […]

Read More »
9:41 AM

Morning Grumpy

Just as we highlighted yesterday that the oils are stretched on valuation, we get a couple of face slaps this morning. We are sticking with our call for $35/bbl Brent in Q1 on a major dollar rally. See our oils overvalued story here: https://www.sankeyresearch.com/2020/12/20/sunday-sankey-12-20-20/ And we have a couple of classics today: Don’t expect analysts to love a deal announced during Christmas week, but Diamondback $FANG has announced a deal to take over QEP. Diamondback […]

Read More »
9:25 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

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 […]

Read More »
8:28 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

Morning Refining Conference

It is a delight to confirm that our 11th annual refining conference is on this year, as tradition dictates, on the first working day of the year, January 4th. Thanks indeed to the loyal CEOs of a heavily consolidated sector who find time at a difficult time of year – board meetings, strategy planning etc – to find time to join us. We will be running six fireside chats, back-to-back, with US independent refiner CEOs […]

Read More »
8:27 AM

Sunday Sankey 12/6/20

New mega-theme: Big Doctor is watching you. See below. Note also that for all the words in this letter, the attached presentation is all pictures. We know you are busy and need the key ideas fast. Thanks for reading. Sankey Research subsists entirely by taking Excel, Word, Powerpoint, a Bloomberg Terminal, leading journal subscriptions, and the internet, and writing research from scratch, for sharing ideas. Please support me, aka PAY. Otherwise you are stealing my […]

Read More »
12:40 PM

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 […]

Read More »
8:50 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 […]

Read More »
9:10 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 […]

Read More »
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) […]

Read More »
9:02 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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
8:16 AM

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, […]

Read More »
8:56 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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
7:51 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. […]

Read More »
9:10 AM

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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
9:17 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 […]

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

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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
11:24 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 […]

Read More »
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 […]

Read More »
5:45 PM

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 […]

Read More »
9:17 AM
View All Reports