Recent Posts

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

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

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 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 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

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 Egregious 1/26/21

Quote of the day: “Will the SEC step in to protect Wall St from aggressive Mom & Pop traders?” – Joe Weisenthal A client who was long a lot of Concho stock for many years, bitterly opposed the company selling itself. In the context of the decision by Concho management to sell at the bottom, completely against my client/Concho shareholder’s view of best shareholder interests, the payment by ConocoPhillips of around $10m to three top […]

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8:31 AM

Morning Methane Limits

DC chat today, it’s Friday! Travelling to Atlanta via Washington and Durham today with son Max. I accidentally sprayed my son’s deodorant into my mouth this morning. Now when I talk I have this weird Axe scent. If you lose one of your senses, your other senses are heightened. That’s why people with no sense of humour have a heightened sense of self-importance. I told my wife I was making a bicycle out of spaghetti. […]

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7:12 AM

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

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 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

Mornin’ Changin’

Washington DC vs Wall St. Renewables stocks are ripping on word of early progress on both energy and infrastructure bills in Washington DC. Clients are talking Sunrun and all solar, $TAN the solar ETF. Daqo New Energy the Chinese silicon/solar play is almost off the chart in the past 5 days – +35%. (see below) There has been a huge move in Enphase Energy $ENPH past week, as well as $SPWR, $NOVA, $SEDG and Canadian […]

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9:02 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 […]

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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 […]

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8:17 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 […]

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8:49 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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8:11 AM

Sunday Fall Sankey

Good Day The Sunday Sankey is macro heavy but starts with the micro oil story of the past week and quite possibly next week: Conoco-Concho. The rumored (Bloomberg) takeover was covered in three consecutive notes last week, and is now rumoured (Bloomberg) to be imminent. We shall see. That starts, but there is a ton of macro stuff in the Sunday Sankey ppt. Take a look. As the market closed Friday, $EOG spiked, and the […]

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11:57 AM

“Happy” Hour & Friday

When Kasparov beat Carlsen I cheered so much I lost my voice. Now I am a hoarse chess nut. Kermit the Frog playing Hamlet got great reviews. It was a ribbeting performance. My friend wants to dress as an island off the coast of Italy for Halloween. I told him not to be Sicily. Happy Hour Comments and Why is Concho selling itself? We had a real live oil trader to start Happy Hour last […]

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9:10 AM

Conoco Poncho

$EOG was the name most speculated about as likely to MAKE a takeover in the wake of the Conoco-Concho story yesterday; the stock that reacted most was $XEC, perceived as the most likely next TAKE over company. Continental CLR is seen as needing to deal, $MRO too, $OVV potentially to offer a blizzard of stock, $FANG and Parsley $PE potentially to join the consolidation fray one way or the other; $CDEV is due to be […]

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9:22 AM

ConocoConcho

ConocoPhillips $COP for Concho $CXO does not generate the “why oh why” outrage of the seemingly ludicrous rumours at the time of Occidental for Anadarko, by any means. Last evening, just as we pondered a solidly in-line-with-expectations Q3 guidance from Diamondback $FANG, Bloomberg published a story claiming that ConocoPhillips is taking over Concho, which was a whole lot more exciting for a Tuesday evening, notwithstanding my wife Patricia getting liquidized chilli directly in her eye, […]

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9:23 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/11/20

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, […]

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1:40 PM

Morning Renaissance

Good news for the industry. Rationalisation. Where does it leave Cimarex and Marathon? We first outlined our “Renaissance of US E&P” thesis in 2017, arguing that the problem with US oil stocks was not the industrial opportunity, led by the greatest oil field in the world – the Permian, securely located in Texas adjacent to the world’s largest refining center. The problem at the time it was not the oil price, which was $50/bbl and […]

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8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/27/20

Back in the day, the Sunday Sankey had to go through a Big Bank approval process, and that effectively met the deadline for submission was Friday evening at 6pm. There was always a concern that something big would happen after 6pm on Friday and before the automatic release at 10am Sunday. On the Friday of the first Sunday Sankey in May 2016, we put the thing to bed, went home, and the newswires flashed “Saudi […]

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11:57 AM

Morning Titanic Sankey

Three analyst meetings in two weeks: BP, Apple, Tesla. Confirmed by Tesla Battery Day: the Big Oils need to pursue a strategy of “orderly liquidation” in line with our “Renaissance of US E&P” thesis. Cut capex, reduce growth, return cash to shareholders. Orderly liquidation. Shrink to grow value. We are advising a refiner to go private, we have been for years, arguably we have been for all refiners. No growth capex, buy back stock until […]

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9:17 AM

Synthetic XOM

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

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6:39 PM

Where is oil as Laura hits? Morning Sankey 8/27/20

Corporate newsflow remains quiet, with the market awaiting more details on the historic announcement from BP on its climate change plans, due September 14th-16th. Several major US oil investors consider this BP move a 100-year strategy shift for big oil. Notably the stunning -40% oil and gas production reduction, as a strategy pillar. US investors remain cynical, the most negative seeing the announcement as a smokescreen for the dividend cut. Elsewhere re-injection issues for ExxonMobil/Hess […]

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8:35 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/9/20

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

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9:51 AM

Morning Sankey 8/6/20

Yesterday ExxonMobil slipped a 20% reserves writedown warning into the 10Q. Didn’t mention it on the earnings call last Friday. Were they assuming nobody reads a 10Q? It was almost as bad as Oxy re-raising executive pay in an 8K last Friday evening after the market closed after a long week of earnings. Continue reading

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8:57 AM

Morning Sankey 8/5/20

Q2 2020 will be remembered as a hugely historic quarter for the oil sector, not because it was massively bearish, with record losses, but because it was massively bullish. Particularly for the oil equities at historic lows. Mark my words. Continue reading

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8:40 AM

Morning Sankey, Oil’s restructuring is ripping

Huge day yesterday for the re-balancing of oil markets, consolidation of the oil corporate landscape, and ultimate mega-tightening of the oil balance leading to global inflation. The biggest oil producer in California, $CRC, files for bankruptcy Top class Permian player $FANG slashes its activity and volume outlook Spare capacity gets cut by OPEC, noting additional OPEC oil demand from unusual seasonal demand patterns from COVID, that will reduce exports. Quickly on OPEC – the extra […]

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8:13 AM

Dakota Access Shock

PSXP stock is getting hit hard on today’s surprise Dakota Access shutdown ruling, alongside Energy Transfer (ET) and Bakken players such as Contintental, OAS, WPX, NOG and diverse names such as MRO. Winners: Canadian suppliers, Permian and other Basins than Bakken, and in refining “Valero wins by not losing.” Of course in the grand scheme of things, the most environmentally-friendly way to move oil is by new pipeline, less by rail, least by truck. But […]

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4:07 PM
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