Recent Posts

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

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

Morning Suez 3/24/21

Covering global oil markets, you can be sailing along peacefully and from nowhere, a new major event leaves you scrambling. And so a vast container ship blocks the Suez canal. Around 10% of world oil trade and 8% of world LNG trade move through the canal. Quite how the captain managed to hit the side of the canal and wedge the ship remains an open question, but we do know that the Suez is a […]

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8:38 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 Sankey 3/18/21

Yesterday’s DOE data was brutal for US refiners and particularly PBF. We had been hoping for a much more bullish picture – we got increases in crude AND product inventories. Imports surged particularly into New York Harbor – hence the PBF reference – as European refiners, desperate for market, scramble to attack the surge in gasoline prices caused by the Texas Crisis. This should be a brutal month for refiners, as the quarter ends and […]

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8:49 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 3/2/21

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 2/21/21

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

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 2/3/21

Pondering the results and performance of Marathon Petroleum and ConocoPhillips, led me to thinking to what is really working for clients. The answer below is solar, but onwards! The issue is that Marathon Petroleum is mildly outperforming the XLE energy ETF, ConocoPhillips under-performing, so what? This is a swing for the fences market. Note we do have speculative stock picks, and investment stock picks every week in the Sunday Sankey, and these are both on […]

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9:40 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

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

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 Joe

Valero webinar today! Me vs CEO Joe Gorder and team. Not too late to register on www.sankeyresearch.com Briefly OPEC+ noted: Russia wants to increase production, to satisfy its own private oil companies and probably thinking of inflicting sustained pain on US E&Ps as much as anything. Saudi wants to maintain cutback discipline, probably concerned about future oil supply shortages if the global industry faces another year of low prices in the $40/bbl on high OPEC […]

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8:41 AM

Sunday Sankey 1/3/21

Well Happy New Year! This week in the Sunday Sankey we run through slides with attention on our refining conference starting tomorrow. It is not too late to register, dear clients… welcome to the slimmed down distribution list that like me, will be on a strict diet. At the same time, tomorrow OPEC meets, believe or not, as they shift to a monthly meeting. JMMC is meeting today, word is Russia is keen to increase […]

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12:02 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 Valero Darling

We continue to focus on refiners as we move towards our Monday January 4th refining conference. Register interest above. Before moving on to the subject of Valero and renewable diesel, it is worth noting that while the Dakota Access Pipeline situation is a known negative for PSX, as covered yesterday, the company is clearly, alongside Valero, the premium US refiner. In both cases, highly capable and credible managements led by well-established CEOs – Greg Garland […]

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8:35 AM

Morning Garland

Today we note who benefits from low natural gas prices, especially with propane prices ripping higher, and take a look at a key theme for Phillips 66 at our refining conference, the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will cover other themes for the big refiners this week as we run into our refining conference next Monday January 4th. Basically, a forgotten winner from low natgas prices is refining. Also Canadian heavy oil producers, like refiners, have […]

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9:13 AM

Morning Sankey 12/28/20

Good morning! Back from a week in Springs, out in the Hamptons. In retrospect I should have not only logged off, as I did,  but also deleted Twitter, where the tag of the week was “ATH” All-Time High, and an upsetting drivel of “I told you so” posting on Bitcoin and Tesla, among others. Most interesting Twitter post came from Lightshed, a fellow AnalystHub platform (which hosts Sankey Research for compliance etc) covering media, with […]

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9:00 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

Morning DC

Gyms should be allowed to stay open during COVID. The constitution guarantees freedom of the press. Who is Irish and stays out all night? Patty O’Furniture What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit? Ba-na-na-naaaa Further to our bullish refining commentary yesterday on net operating losses (NOLs) carry-forward for refiners, and E&Ps for that matter, meaning that companies will pay little or no income tax through 2021 and beyond, a client notes that “the CARES Act allow refiners […]

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8:42 AM

Morning Refining Series II

Invitation to our all-C-Level conference below. 4th January. In this note we continue our series on refining, which we started yesterday. Two key detail points that are very important, that we will cover during this series: Super bullish: Net operating losses (NOLs) for refiners from 2020 will mean they pay effectively no taxes through 2021 and beyond. On the bear side, renewable identification number (RIN) prices that prove that refiners have met their blending requirements […]

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9:01 AM

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 […]

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8:27 AM

Morning Sankey 12/3/20

Save the Date for the 11th Annual Sankey Research refiners conference January 4th & 5th 2021. We have all six major independent US refiners line up for a series of fireside chats with yours truly: Marathon Petroleum, Valero, Phillips 66, HollyFrontier, Delek and PBF, with a couple more to be added. All at C-Level. Contact me for details. Last evening rumours broke that OPEC has reached a deal to gradually increase production in a tapered […]

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9:11 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 […]

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8:18 AM

Sunday Sankey 11/22/20

Good day from Brooklyn Heights, Enjoy life, look up and consider what to you is everything right now. Live in the present. I have a professional friend who was one of the dominant hedge fund managers in oil during the legendary 2003-2008 oil bull run. As the true legend goes, he ran $1bn levered in oil equities on his right hand, and $1bn levered in oil commodity on his left. So it was understood. They […]

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1:23 PM
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