Recent Posts

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

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, […]

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12:18 PM

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

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 […]

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12:25 PM

Sunny Saturday Sankey 5/1/21

Winner winner chicken dinner: Hess this past week. ExxonMobil, we think won of the mega-oils. Hess is the “last great oil NAV play” on Guyana, the stock is worth $100/share+ if you believe $80/bbl is coming down the strip; Goldman clearly does, we get there too, with a weak US$ and not dissimilar balances – a demand boom is coming. Wildcards vs GS are Iran and India, alongside the potential for rising US interest rates […]

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3:11 PM

Morning Sankey 4/29/21

If you have the strength, Happy Hour Tonight 5pm Register Here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84981726924 Let’s see who can be the most bullish on the call! Using $60/bbl long term we can get to a $90 net asset value for Hess, but that work is subject to a conversation with the company. At $70 long term oil we get to $100 NAV/share. It is not as crazy as the old Hess, which ostensibly was trading at a 50% […]

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8:56 AM

Morning Sankey 4/27/21

One thing you get from looking at the BP and Tesla results side-by-side: BP could learn a lot from Tesla about fonts. I find the BP “rich-kindergarten-teacher” font irritating. Tesla results are beautifully presented, to my eye, distressed alloy on black. In this note, we consider Tesla decline rates briefly. That theme will be a long-term one for us, much as we have highlight decline rates in wind and solar.   Even with my begrudging […]

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8:57 AM

Sunday Sankey 4/25/21

Monster week of earnings ahead, a clash in the titanic battle of growth vs value. The forces of growth over-ran us values, but we started a fightback that saw several battles won since the terrible relative lows of August 2020. In Q1 this year, value began to rampage against growth. April has seen a growth fightback, with the US$ holding and US interest rates even rallying. I asked a market player if he was bullish […]

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1:52 PM

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

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 […]

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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 […]

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8:28 AM

Target: Zero Shares by 2035

Shell’s results are like a box of chocolates: you never know what you are going to get. This cashflow and earnings volatility, of course, is bad for the multiple. At the simplest EV/EBITDA level, Shell trades in the bottom decile of 40 major oil companies, between Southwestern and Ovintiv, a remarkable indictment of market uncertainty over earnings… strategy… management. Based on the company’s Q1 2021 earnings guidance, the stock just got more expensive, as the […]

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9:14 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

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 […]

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12:26 PM

Morning Sankey 4/1/21

ExxonMobil is clawing its way to earnings respectability, after a brutal run of end-quarter 8k earnings guidance that were introduced as part of the company’s major push into more open and improved communication. The bad news is that the open communication policy introduction coincided with the nadir of ExxonMobil’s modern strategy and operational performance. The good news is that the company is grinding its way off the lows. There is a battle for board seats […]

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8:16 AM

Morning Mood Swing 3/30/21

Get ready for a dump of April Fool’s Day OPEC jokes as the Organisation meets formally this week, culminating on Thursday April 1st. Rollover is seen as the most likely outcome, which would be for April, Saudi extending its market control, with recent volatility in oil prices – ie downside moves – seen as the key concern. It’s a never-ending wonder trying to forecast oil markets, and now to be in new era. Here, we […]

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8:26 AM

Sunday Sankey 3/28/21

Hello Happy Sunday, Calling oil has become very tricky in the short term. Never mind the wider market, where the steadily winning value-over-growth trade has found a new level and turned into a daily battleground. Recently growth has taken a stand, but we think it is doomed. Basically, every time you see 40x EBITDA+ multiples, it’s just a question of how long you can stay solvent vs market irrationality. There are maybe five stocks every […]

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1:20 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 […]

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9:05 AM

Morning Sankey 3/25/21

As of writing about the Suez Canal yesterday, we were very early to show how the bulbous nose of the giant ship was buried in the shoreline. That went viral, along with the shape the ship drew on satnav maps before entering the canal. The former, the buried nose of massively heavy vessel wedged in the sand, seems to be a major problem, and there was feedback on my comment that “two dudes in hi-viz […]

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8:59 AM

Sunday Sankey 3/21/21

Morning! Iran and China. Mr. Biden has his hands full with Putin asking for a live debate further to Biden being asked “is Putin a killer?”, that caused Russia to immediately withdraw its US ambassador. Big week for global geopolitics. There is no question that China is becoming ever-more diplomatically, geopolitically, aggressive on a sustained rising basis, and buying oil from Iran through smuggling is clearly at the top of the defiant self-interest list. Official […]

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12:36 PM

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% […]

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9:17 AM

Morning Chevron 3/9/21

Chevron has its annual analyst meeting today, in virtual form.  The meeting starts at 10am ET. There’s no question that over the past year, Chevron enjoyed a major moment in its corporate history, when its market cap exceeded that of ExxonMobil. Of course, the circumstances were unfortunate, but the reality is that CVX surpassing XOM in value was a very long road and a major achievement for the company. In fact, since the 2001 tech […]

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8:21 AM

Sunday Sankey 3/7/21

This past week saw the worst market for US crude since modern records begin in 1990. We saw the lowest US domestic crude oil demand in thirty years or more. Who would have known it from the oil price action and oil market mood? Right when the scale of the Texas crisis hit, in terms of lost power, I was writing to you and on Bloomberg TV saying that this is a full-scale national crisis, […]

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12:19 PM

Morning Sankey 3/5/21

It’s Friday. What do you call an overweight kidney doctor who also predicts the weather? A meaty urologist. My thoughts on Mongolian poetry: It has its prose and its Khans. Why do astronauts use Linux? Because you can’t open Windows in space. Noted: Ovintiv results this morning, former rival big oil analyst, and buddy, Kate Minyard has been appointed to the board at the behest of activist Kimmeridge’s Mark Viviano. Viviano/Kimmeridge publish excellent “white papers” […]

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8:55 AM

Morning Sankey 3/3/21

NOTE KATHLEEN KELLEY OPEC EXPERT ON HAPPY HOUR THIS WEEK THURSDAY 5PM A year ago, March 6th 2020, I walked into the ExxonMobil analyst meeting day 2 – the deep dive sessions between senior company management and sellside analysts – and by way of introduction to the small group that had gathered drinking coffee before sitting down at the conference table, said what I had just heard from Vienna: “Russia are not going to cut.” […]

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8:51 AM

Morning Sankey 3/2/21

Straw poll direct to major investors yesterday “Views on XOM? I am loosening up for analyst meeting preview (meeting is tomorrow Wednesday 3rd March). Faber on CNBC breaking on new board members Ubben and Michael Angelakis, CEO of the investment company Atairos and a former senior Comcast; Faber says both supported by activist DE Shaw”. Summary of the results/thoughts out of 100 market players would be as follows: of 100 investors, responses 9/10 bullish XOM, […]

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8:58 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 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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

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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 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 […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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
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