Recent Posts

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

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

Morning Sankey 5/19/21

Quick note to highlight that Delek CEO Uzi Yemin will be on Happy Hour this week, Thursday at 5pm ET. SAVE THE DATE: Sankey Research 1st Anniversary Party for July 4th Weekend celebrating independence. July 1st in Dumbo, Brooklyn, 6pm. Please RSVP – this is a great area of New York, terrific place to visit to refresh your New York experience, right under the Brooklyn Bridge in the stunning park from which many Sankey Research […]

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8:23 AM

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

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

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

SPAC Alert: The Life Cycle of Li-Cycle

Looking for SPAC names, we had highlighted Quantumscape as interesting from the point of view of long-term potential. However, like so many alternative energy plays, revenues are years away from scale commercialization (a pilot project for the $19bn market cap company is due by 2023), and the company recently issued 13m shares at $64 to finance its high-cost development work (the stock fell to $47 over the next two days). We had the impression “funding […]

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7:54 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

The cliché-myth of the Roaring 2020s

History does not repeat, but it rhymes. Consideration of the Roaring 1920s makes it clear that the major technological, economic, and social advancements of the era were remarkable. There was an incredible convergence of technological development combined with an economic boom into an upsurge of social liberalism. Equally, the Roaring 1920s came after the great 1918 influenza (H1N1) avian-origin flu pandemic of 1918-1919. There is a synchronous argument that says the global economy recovering from […]

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9:10 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

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 3/19/21

What is the highest rank in the popcorn army? Kernel. Where do you find the Andes? At the end of your Armies. Few people know that Bruce Lee had a vegan brother, Brocco. Where do DJs do their research? Wiki-wiki Wikipedia. It’s Friday! Why did oil airdrop? Probably because it was walking on air. Spot “flat” Brent prices fell 7.5% yesterday. A trading house sent this comment: “Vitol offered Brent aggressively, driving Dated lower. Shell […]

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8:41 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

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

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 2/1/21

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

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

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

Morning TiO2

Sidetrack today into Titanium Dioxide. However before that, noted that the IEA’s latest report this morning, albeit always trailing, shows that global oil inventory was drawing very hard in October. The underlying dynamics here are extremely bullish: OECD industry stocks fell in October by 55.3 mb (1.78 mb/d) to 3 129 mb, and were 183.4 mb above the five-year average. Observed global stocks fell by 4.1 mb/d. Our analysis suggests that the global crude market will […]

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9:04 AM

Sunday Sankey 12/6/20

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

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12:40 PM

Morning Game Theory

“We are not going to have an easy meeting. Some members oppose extending the previous production cut. And this makes it difficult.” – Iranian oil minister Zanganeh comments this morning as the meeting kicks off in Vienna. The OPEC meeting started virtually at 8am NY time. There is no more classic modern day example of Game Theory, and more specifically the Prisoner’s Dilemma, than an OPEC meeting. Cortez burned his conquistador boats in front of […]

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9:20 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

Morning Friday 11/20/20

Breaking news: Germany is advising people to stock up on sausages and cheese. This is starting to look like the Wurst Käse scenario. I lost 200 pounds. That’s the last time I go to a British casino. Rudy Giuliani really risked his career on this. The dye is cast. Out of all the inventions in the past 100 years, which one was the most remarkable? The dry erase board. We had a refining CFO on […]

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8:38 AM

Morning Sankey 11/18/20

There are lots of interesting stories out there to consider, hoping to publish on Iran later this week, a sort of primer. Also in this note: UK Energy Policy, Bitcoin, Non-OPEC Guyana & Norway. As tweeted yesterday on my Sankey Research Twitter @crudegusher it only takes a 10% rotation OUT of Tesla into oils, to generate $36bn of buying pressure on this emasculated S&P Energy sector with a $694bn market cap. Energy (S&P ex utilities) […]

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9:02 AM

Morning Iran 11/17/20

Deciding what the rumour has priced into the market price, then watching the actual news hit, always tends to be a surprise, in that the market ripped yesterday on a second vaccine announcement from Moderna, even though it felt like vaccine news was all whispered all over the market just prior to the election, so prior to both announcements. As with these markets, you buy the rumour and buy the news, (you don’t fight the […]

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8:44 AM

Waving or Drowning Sankey

With the first debate in late September followed by President Trump contracting COVID shortly after in early October, the market dynamic this year, in our view, has been 1) to rip off the March lows on Fed US$ printing, 2) then falter on election uncertainty and COVID resilience, then 3) resume ripping on more Fed printing, and then 4) finally, for October and Q4, increasingly price a “Blue Wave” as of October/Q4. Essentially the dynamic […]

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9:19 AM

Morning Sankey 11/3/20

Thoughts and sympathy for the victims of terrorism in historic and noble Vienna yesterday. A city close to the heart of anyone involved in global oil. We are many; terrorists are few. Rest in Peace. A momentous day, and I am not referring to the fact that November 3rd is National Sandwich Day. Yesterday on Twitter Arjun Murti, former Goldman Sachs legendary lead oil analyst, now Warburg Pincus adviser and ConocoPhillips board member, pointed out […]

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8:49 AM

Morning Iran

Iran – clients are asking, naturally worried that 1mb/d+ of oil exports will be added to glutted markets in the case of a Biden win. Comments on Foreign Policy under Biden below. Noted Enterprise posts good results. $EPD has been one of our few recommendations these past months. We have particularly highlighted the units to investors questioning ExxonMobil’s 10% yield, that $EPD offers a higher yield, with a more focused, secular-bull business model (see our […]

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9:26 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

WEO Woah Woe Sankey

One of the cool things about experience in energy that goes back 30 years now, is that long term energy forecasts have come, and gone. Fifteen years ago, I obtained ExxonMobil’s 1980 energy outlook (to 2010), which was fascinating. It correctly predicted $100/bbl oil prices, but unfortunately missed the first move to $10/bbl (1986). CEO Lee Raymond swore never to use an oil price forecast again. At the IEA in the early 1990s, I worked […]

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8:47 AM

Sunday Sankey 10/4/20

Obviously, the week ahead will be dominated by the twin horsemen of COVID and bailout. We are making history. In this note, XOM is now worth less than Jeff Bezos, even after his divorce. Nextera has become the largest energy stock in the US. We also show XOM compared to Big Tobacco, to show this is not all ESG. The oil market looks rough, as we had warned all summer, it would be post Labor […]

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11:24 AM

Morning Sankey Wainscott

The US government Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has projected that some 2,000 offshore wind turbines will generate 22GW of power by 2030 for the US. Its hardly surprising that BP has bought into this spectacular growth, which fits right into their low carbon shift in the 2030 timeframe. Reminder, in a September 10th press release, BP announced it would pay $1.1bn for a 50% stake in Equinor’s 2 GW Empire Wind, located off […]

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8:25 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/30/20

Good day, welcome to the week of summer shut down on Wall Street, The usual variety of great slides in the  Sunday Sankey this week, and an entreaty to “play the game” this week of taking vacation. If we all do it, we can overcome. The personal story is a lot longer this week, because as regular clients will remember, “the only person who talks more than me, is my mother.” After I noted that […]

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11:36 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/23/20

This week we can hardly avoid the elevated market levels, the all-time record of growth over value, and the general unease on Wall Street at the nature of current markets. I had the privilege and pleasure of chatting to a favourite client and senior world-famous investor yesterday, quarantined as he is in the Hamptons, and he said in his long career he has never seen anything like this, but that you have to assume that […]

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12:14 PM

Morning Lumber 8/17/20

With our “new 1950s” theme of US suburbanisation, featured in the Sunday Sankey last week as this week sees many suburban stocks reporting (Home Dept, Lowes), we got some feedback on our lumber price boom commentary yesterday. One thing that your energy transition former oil analyst immediately noticed when he looks at the discussion around lumber prices: nobody mentions the US$. With marginal supply coming from Canada, a quick screen on the DXY trade-weighted US$ […]

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9:09 AM

Sunday Sankey 8/16/20

With several “suburban stocks” reporting next week, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, Target, this week our “New 1950s” theme gets a run, with additional slides on derivatives such as lumber and copper. Notably lumber prices are skyrocketing, and we once again highlight that wood produces more electricity than wind in the US, and that wood with biomass is the largest part of of US “renewable” electricty generation (see slides within). Continue reading

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9:57 AM

Morning Sankey 7/17/20

As we expected since May, as basically happens every year, oil prices run into Memorial Day and then stall out. Same for this year, so in writing about oil in June, it was clear that around $40/bbl was about as good as it would get for 2020, with such major overhangs on supply, never mind the vagaries of demand recovery. One of the major drivers of the run from negative -$37/bbl to +$37 a barrel […]

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8:20 AM
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