Recent Posts

Sunday Sankey 1/16/22

Well, I’m in one of those mindsets where every headline I read my reaction is “Bullish oil.” Iraq Oil report carries a much higher oil production number for Iraq than other sources. My reaction: “Bullish.” Libya struggles, my reaction: “Bullish.” These two elements are theoretically in opposition, but on the one hand, variable Libya performance is ongoing, on the other, the lack of spare capacity in oil markets is clearly driving prices and if Iraq […]

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2:07 PM

Third Wheels & India

Portfolio Manager Special Happy Hour Tonight, 5pm ET, with Michael Masters. There might be no better commentator on “inflation day” than Mike. We additionally have four energy/natural resources PMs confirmed. VERY LIMITED event. Sankey Happy Hour Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocuuprTooG9SqNZxj9rgUjl9KZxTOEHAJ Masters first came to national – and my – attention testifying to Congress further to a white paper he wrote on oil speculation around 2008. It is always a good sign when you write a research note […]

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9:25 AM

We like them all

Make a good call, they always play out really fast and leave you wondering what’s next. We left last year predicting a bad January but a good year for markets, and a good year for oils. Markets have been quite the ride, notably yesterday the NASDAQ was crazy, while the oils have been good. In our cross plot of performance shown below, it is clear that some 2021 laggards are ripping this year, notably refining. […]

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9:38 AM

Looking for Kilos

Yesterday I took on re-modelling the oil market according to the new world order: OPEC+. But I also spoke to a top hedge fund portfolio manager, US mega-player, who is based in Singapore for a couple of months. He made the following points: Strong Singapore economy with staff shortages – he waited an hour for a coffee the other day China cutting back on energy intensity. Brain drain from Hong Kong. Massive capex cycle starting […]

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3:31 PM

PSX in the City

This morning! PSX Phillips 66 Call 11am ET fireside with Greg Garland, Chairman & CEO, Mark Lashier, President & COO, and Jeff Dietert, IR.  This note has a brief history of PSX. Register here: https://www.sankeyresearch.com/2022-refining-conference/ There have not been Friday jokes for quite some time. You will never believe the theme: What’s the most positive thing about 2022 so far? COVID tests. We are mystified that people are so angry about Djokovic being an anti-vaxer. His […]

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9:02 AM

Wildcards and Certs

Wildcard 2022 year starter: Kazakhstan declares state of emergency amid unrest. A member of OPEC+ that has failed to meet its quota increases, at times in 2020. Yesterday’s OPEC meeting was a rubber stamp. The question is when they meet in person to re-set quotas more sensibly. June is the best guess. Kazkahstan is a major concern for Chevron, although their massive Kazakh operations are totally remote in what is the lowest population density country […]

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8:42 AM

Morning Refining Conference PBF

Our refining conference opened yesterday with an entertaining and informative conversation with the senior management of PBF: Tom Nimbley, Chairman and CEO, Matt Lucey, President, and Erik Young, CFO, and Colin Murray, IR. Noted in passing: OPEC meeting today, huge bull story over the past week was Russia’s December production numbers that once again failed to meet quota and remained flat with November at 10.93mb/d. Russian gas flows are also again very low to Europe […]

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8:37 AM

Sunday 2022

Happy New Year! Dan Loeb was complaining on Twitter that we hardly got any time off here: “Even prize fighters get 6 months off between fights, NFL players a week. Only 2 days off between years makes me want to join a union”. He was also welcoming New York’s new mayor; I am completely with Dan on both these matters. By the same token it feels as if neither of us will be joining Gettr.com […]

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8:48 PM

Sunday Sankey-Laffer

Not talking about COVID, just to say I am feeling 100% fine. This Omicron will hopefully be the largest and fast mass vaccination programme in history, whether by God or Government. Nice chart this morning from Greg Wachsteter, who kindly said I could publish. No more comment on COVID, I think the conclusion here is pretty obvious; this chart is therefore bullish S&P Energy. Sankey-Laffer curves. The presentation attached today, made me think what a […]

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3:52 PM

Renewables, RFS, RVOs, RINs & Refiners

Of the many fine analysts I have had the privilege to know over the years, Greg Bordelon is clearly in the pantheon. A true oil guy, son of a Mobil Oil man, he graduated in 2000 from Tulane, cut his teeth at Exxon, and moved on to finance at FBR Capital Markets and Millennium, and before spending many years as an oil long-short portfolio manager for Citadel, subsequently running his own firm. I extend deep […]

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1:13 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 […]

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4:36 PM

Sunday Bets

Presentation today, and commentary below: Thursday evening annoucement: major sellside meeting by ExxonMobil: “updates to their company plan” on Wednesday December 1st. Sellside invited. Virtual. Big deal for ExxonMobil. We had pondered how ExxonMobil would manage their annual capex announcement, due in December, vs their traditional strategy update due next March. We pondered if plans would be ready in time for a December update, given the scale of board and management change that has occurred […]

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3:55 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 […]

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8:33 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/14/21

Good day, Pretty mixed, at best, Q4 so far for oil & gas and “old energy”; but thrilled to see our new energy plays,  Li-Cycle and Embark trucks, catching a bid. Oil & Gas are clinging on to our 2021 market leadership. More of that in the attached presentation. Also in the ppt, I ran a whole load of valuation tables, and performance tables. Beautiful day here, although darkness has fallen as I am late […]

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5:25 PM

Sunday Sankey 11/7/21

Quick note today as I have two events. One of my favourite parties, this morning an NY Marathon party in Carroll Gardens adjacent to the running route, which starts at 9am. It is the only party I know of that starts at 9am on a Sunday. And then to the NY Giants game playing the Raiders at Meadowlands 1pm. You can get there easily, getting out involves multiple trains. It is a family tradition to […]

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11:12 AM

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; […]

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8:35 AM

Morning Sankey 11/3/21

Mega-theme, ESG backlash: progressive Dem agenda whacked by Virginia governor Republican backlash Mega-theme, short wind, long coal: second 2021 profit warning from Vestas Mega-theme, global energy crisis: European gas prices bouncing on Russia natgas supply outages Mega-theme, Renaissance of US E&P: Devon with great results, COP is about as good, Pioneer after market tonight ESG backlash: the general disarray in the current US administration has been exacerbated by the major swing of Virginia voters to […]

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8:54 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/31/21

Jolly Halloween, Halloween is one of America’s greatest stealth exports. Now huge in UK, for example. In today’s presentation – Suncor strong Q4 to date in big catch up trade; oils outperform during inflation per Fidelity; growth won the past couple of weeks over value, even after Amazon and Apple missed; Big Oils have the highest free cashflow yields and dividend yields of the S&P500 Titans – by far; massive week of oil earnings ahead, […]

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3:03 PM

Morning Range Finder 10/27/21

Hess results look in line. We argue that as the market prices oil terminal value back in, on the failing energy transition, Hess’ Guyana position will re-value higher. Structurally bullish Hess. Range $RRC increases 2022 hedges d’oh. “Wake me up at the end of 2022 on this one”. Negative. Short Neste and long Equinor, both reported – two companies at opposite ends of the valuation spectrum Well, for a highly anticipated week of quarterly results, […]

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8:59 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/24/21

Huge week for earnings on deck this week, just about 50% of the market cap of the S&P500 reports,  and to celebrate, the traditional Sunday Sankey is back with a full presentation attached. Sample slide: Bloomberg lists Kuwait’s oil production capacity as 3.08mb/d. In the slide shown in the Sunday Sankey presentation today from the authoritative MEES, Kuwait’s production capacity has dropped by more than 500,000 b/d over the past three years to just 2.63mn […]

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2:29 PM

The City Sankey 10/7/21

Marketing in The City – Denbury highlighted by Europe Being long (client) and short (Pioneer $PXD) European natural gas Europeans worried as always about US E&Ps growing – EOG seen as likely to ramp A note on re-repricing options with special dividends Shell profit winning & warning – but no unknown unknowns HAPPY HOUR TONIGHT WITH KATHLEEN KELLEY – OPEC EXPERT. 5PM Eastern. Marketing in The City of London yesterday, I sat down to lunch […]

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8:53 AM

Morning Sankey 10/5/21

The headlines from yesterday’s OPEC meeting were “oil jumps to its highest level since 2014”. We finally made it back, and goodness me, it was a long road. Of course, the WTI price we have attained today with a super-bullish backdrop is completely different from what we faced in October/November 2014. At the time, we had peaked at $107/bbl in mid-2014, after a sustained period 2010-2014 when oil traded in a range with $80/bbl as […]

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8:09 AM

Morning Sankey 9/30/21

Key points: CHK new CEO EQT issues stock & hedging status Enbridge Line 3 starts tomorrow delivering oil, good for Canadian oils Emissions intensity of global oil producers Quote of the day: “I just know the the more control there is, the less growth there is. The great lesson of the twentieth century is that central planning doesn’t work” – Rick Warren (Drucker-Warren Dialogue, 2003) after @buckquivas on Twitter Chesapeake raises Domenic “Nick” Dell’Osso Jr […]

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8:30 AM

London Sankey 9/5/21

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

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12:08 PM

Where’s Sankey?

Good morning from London Great week last week for all our favourite sectors, the Oils, Metals & Mining, Refining, as well as recovery play JETS (exchange traded fund ETF performance is shown below for past week/year to date). Last week firmly re-establishes oils – almost even including MLPs – into the position of market leadership this year. Other leading sectors year to date, but not the past week, are Retail, Homebuilders and Communication Services.  See […]

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9:10 AM

About as American as it gets*

Good day! Happy Hour tonight if you fancy a chat. No special guest, but I am in an extremely good mood as tomorrow I head back to Mexico to go fishing offshore Ixtapa on the Pacific Coast. I hope you are getting some time in August, and the market gods give us quiet volumes and a gentle drift higher. Happy hour registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocuuprTooG9SqNZxj9rgUjl9KZxTOEHAJ The Vix looks more and more tempting, but making money from […]

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2:39 PM

Sunday Sankey 8/8/21

The US has negative unemployment, by one measure. The confirmation of that on Friday led to an interesting market reaction. The data point on negative unemployment released before the market was that there are 8.6 million people considered out of work in the US and nearly 10 million job openings. This could be a moot point in the EU where movement of labour is much more challenged by language and culture, but in the US, […]

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11:47 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 […]

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8:38 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/1/21

We found ourselves standing on the North Slope, Alaska, above the Arctic Circle, surveying the endless flat tundra. There there is no sunlight from October to early March; total darkness over half the year. For the rest of the year, the sun does not go down – no darkness. That place, my friend, is Far North. The nearest city is Anchorage, 1,000 miles south, itself as distant as Perth Australia; palpably remote; strange and distant […]

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1:25 PM

Sunday Sankey 7/25/21

Greetings, It is all about the presentation this week; please click on the attached file for a look at what is in store for the week ahead – earnings; OPEC chat; what to buy when US natgas prices hit $4/mmbtu, which they did this past week; factor performance disconnection; and our only solution since we wrote The Renaissance Thesis of US E&P in 2017, namely hard cash return to shareholders. These oils have to bribe […]

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12:39 PM

Viernes Sankey 7/9/21

It was the optimum Happy Hour last night, with two expert witnesses, Kathleen Kelley and Jan Stuart, both highly tenured oil market experts, and a mix of long-only and long-short investors, mutual fund and hedge fund. We were also spread across the globe from Amsterdam to Mexico, with Kathleen struggling in a New York flash flood situation that resulted in a viral video of a lady wading into waist deep water to the NYC Subway. […]

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12:03 PM

Sunday Sankey 7/4/21

Happy July 4th Here’s to democracy and freedom. Usually, I make some dumb joke about being British and not celebrating any Independence on July 4th, but this weekend marks the first anniversary of Sankey Research. My first note, quoting Public Enemy as a statement on freedom of speech, was sent out the Friday of July 4th weekend 2020, and for long as it may continue, the anniversary of Sankey Research will be Independence Day weekend. […]

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12:30 PM

Sunday Sankey 6/20/21

Happy Father’s Day, Markets are roiling on Fed comments, and how we get off the heroin of money printing to stimulate the economy. It will be very hard, and markets clearly will not like it. We hosted Steve Levine on Happy Hour this past week, he’s excellent. He does not support my argument made on Thursday last week in the morning note, that EV adoption by consumers will be slow. He asserts that EVs will […]

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3:03 PM

Morning StEVe LEVine 6/17/21

Tonight Happy Hour 5pm we are delighted to host Steve LeVine, world battery expert and author of “Powerhouse, America, China and the Great Battery War”, editor at large, Medium, “covering the turbulence all around us, electric vehicles, batteries, social trends”. He writes for The Mobilist, and is ex-Axios, Quartz, WSJ, NYT. 5pm ET tonight, https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEtc-2vqz8jGtxwSq3R416BOuVoJD9v1vnE Steve and the debate that follows will allow me to finish my thematic “Electric Vehicles, not so fast”. The fact […]

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9:22 AM

Sunday Sankey 6/13/21

The note today is delayed by England vs Croatia, thankfully the currently ongoing Austria vs North Macedonia game is not imperative for me to watch.  There are some great slides in today’s presentation. For example on how solar projects do not deliver their IRR, on worrying Indian oil demand, on the global petchem balance by company, and our new mega-theme, of new young CEOs following through on our “Renaissance” theme of US E&Ps. This new […]

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2:22 PM

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: […]

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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 […]

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8:46 AM

Memorial Monday Sankey 5/31/21

OIL RISK HIGH. We have an OPEC meeting tomorrow, and the word is that Iran is pumping into storage on anticipation of successful negotiations with the Biden administration, which, for reasons I do not fully understand, is very keen to make a nuclear deal. This will allow Iran back into global oil markets. We understand that OPEC is warning Iran not to flood the market, and Iran is saying “we are going to flood the […]

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1:34 PM

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 […]

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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, […]

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12:59 PM

Morning Sankey 5/11/21

Noted: private equity selling down $PXD, and Antero $AR issuing. No sooner had we highlighted the Goldilocks oil market, with strong refining margins implying good demand, the potential for further upside in demand from COVID recovery especially in global jet fuel, and the “Saudi Put” back in effect since January, than a bunch of Russian hackers show up and spoil the fun. The issue is that major negative volatility events like this are negative – […]

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9:02 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 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

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

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

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
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