Recent Posts

Morning Hyde Park

Greetings from Hyde Park, We are back in London, Paris was controversial; Patricia considers it the greatest most wonderful place on earth, I get into arguments with Parisians, Selloff dynamics Hess reminder Phillips 66 Comments Morocco? Algeria It’s only rock ‘n’ and I’m 80 On the selloff: To me, the charts are not broken, but we nibbled 5% of the S&P500, then collapsed back to just over 4.1%. It is actually barely visible on the […]

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11:47 AM

Morning Chefchaouen

Action items: Every house in Morocco has a flat roof – but there all-but no visible solar. The projects here are mega; centralised. In Mexico you see a lot of panels. Our overall thought/dream has been that almost everything that uses energy should have a booster solar panel on it, attached to a battery. A “US Solar Buyer Consortium” is open-bidding $6bn for 7GW of US-built panels. Stalking horse to justify solar panel imports? Sure, […]

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6:52 AM

Sunday Marrakesh

Greetings from La Villa des Orangers, Medina (Old Town), Marrakesh, Today – are the big E&Ps cheap? Antero LNG exports – 70mmcfd or 1bcf/d? Postcard from Morocco They say if you want a question answered on the internet, don’t ask the question, but rather post a bold false statement, and you will be flooded with corrections. It is an interesting point on human psychology. Earlier this week we said that Antero was exporting 1bcf/d of […]

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10:06 AM

Burning Victory (for the Gold Cup)

Off to Royal Ascot today, thoughts before we take the train, suited, booted, and in Patricia’s case, hatted. We are with the plebians for a variety of reasons. So, I do not need to dress as a penguin/full morning suit and topper (Royal Enclosure dress requirement; there are tiers of “enclosures” descending from Royal, down to Windsor, based on social class, or in America, you would say money (debt will do)). A suit, plain shirt, […]

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6:56 AM

The Texas Power Parasite: Bitcoin

We have postulated, for example in our note on Dr Copper (Sweet Chile & Mines, Jan 2022), that China’s total dominance of global primary commodity processing, would eventually force the US and Europe to re-domicile supply chains and manufacturing industry. Having massively and excessively out-sourced energy and commodity-intense industry to China over the past 15 years, the world, not least the US & EU governments, are now recognizing the need to re-domicile core production, back […]

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2:58 PM

Fortunes lost, and won

January 6th 2021, my personal story, or how the best call of my career cost me a lifetime fortune. DINO, how HollyFrontier won a lifetime fortune Starting with DINO, we had “me old mucker” Rich Voliva, CFO on Strategy Session last evening. He has always been impressive, and we had to laugh about him writing a searing indictment of US ethanol policy, as part of our sellside refining team at Deutsche Bank, when it was […]

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9:50 AM

Early June Sunday

June, A beautiful day here in Brooklyn Heights, I wish you a wonderful Sunday. I always maintain that if you ignored the media, you would think it’s a wonderful world. And it is! That said, I am enjoying the mass media coverage of the Jubilee. BREAKING NEWS: QUEEN WAVES FROM BALCONY. Headline on my screen here. And we are kicking ourselves for not being in London, given my mother lives right on Hyde Park, in […]

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3:05 PM

The Only Hawkish Central Bank: Saudi

Concerns that Russia may go ex-OPEC+ quota system, system such as it is, have seen oil prices fall hard this week… from $120/bbl to $113/bbl Brent. The chart continues to look extremely powerful, and I was pondering this morning what happened to all the “Peak Oil” community – which was huge in the 2000s, arguing that we were out of oil supply. Of course, US unconventional oil production growth humiliated them, none of whom forecast […]

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9:26 AM

Rose Tonight: Tourmaline

Tonight, in conversation, the CEO of Tourmaline, Mike Rose, carrying an extremely high reputation. Also CFO Brian Robinson, and Scott Kirker Chief Legal Officer. We also really like IR Jamie Heard, who clearly gets it. 5/26, 5PM EST – Sankey Strategy Session: Tourmaline Oil (TOU) CEO, CFO, CLO, IR Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtd-qgrTgiGt1U3rdbkLIZZZRt5VcpfcKR 6/2, 5PM EST – Sankey Strategy Session Bob McNally, President, Rapidan Group Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUud-iopzIjHtwxZSBacic_3OqJmo5vAzQj […]

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11:33 AM

Sunday Gündoğan

A couple of weeks ago, we highlighted that week ahead as being packed with high multiple growth stocks that could airdrop. And airdrop they did, led by the notorious Upstart, made viral by the analyst live on CNBC who pretended to have an audio problem when pitching the company bullishly, then being asked what Upstart actually did. “I’m sorry… sorry… you’re breaking up…” hilarious. He then compounded the error by furiously posting a video on […]

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4:30 PM

Good times in the right places

Happy Sunday in May, Never a bad thing. Fog this morning has lifted. Aramco results this morning rounded out a week when it became the largest stock in the world by market capitalization, surpassing Apple (not by free float, the Saudi government owns 94%). It  generated an enormous profit in a quarter when Brent averaged just about $100/bbl (actually $99.53/bbl Q1 average).   Refining earnings, as well as continued huge upstream earnings, will be even […]

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3:56 PM

It’s a Marathon and a Print

We had Kathryn Kelley and Bob Jonke on the Strategy Session yesterday. The story of how I managed to steal a major client’s wallet after we watched the Real Madrid vs Man City game with Kathryn was not repeated. It was an accident! Bob is worried about demand destruction and not super-bullish crude here. By contrast, Kathryn sees a 3mb/d shortage of oil in 2H which simply cannot be drawn from inventory, so something has […]

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8:47 AM

Arch Comments

Client feedback on yesterday’s Long ADM short Tyson note. “If you love ADM and think it’s attractively valued, you must not be able to contain yourself over Bunge 😊” Long Valero and Refiners – Valero streching for $7 EPS in Q2 and $150 price target Long Arch Coal and/or Peabody – huge free cashflow and implied cash return, like Archer Daniels, like refiners, everything is going their way. Don’t fight it, embrace reality. ~ CNBC: […]

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8:01 AM

Sunday Sankey

Quick read today as you got a longer note yesterday on LNG, and I am running late. Just pictures today, and Betsey asked to be on the cover of the Sunday Sankey so it’s a presentation. All the fun favourite charts. Key slides: next week’s earnings highlights starting with Valero. Relative performance, oils performance, high free cashflow yields, and a cash return chart that will be updated on a rolling basis through earnings. Earnings calendar […]

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5:46 PM

Happy Anniversary

The only good number in oil is the oil price The only good demand number in oil is refining margins The only barrier of entry to being an oil analyst is units You are only as good as your last call CNBC want me on this afternoon – unusually they booked me two weeks ago – for the second anniversary of oil prices going negative. Let me go to the grave saying I called for […]

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9:43 AM

Iraq and a Hard Place

This note starts with some near term Iraq production and export analysis, and works backwards through the short term political history, and long term political history, of the country, in the context of oil. Bottom line, Iraqi political instability continues, but oil production has steadily risen over the past 15 years to around 4.3mb/d – an all-time historic high for Iraq – and can likely rise a few more 100kb/ds, certainly in the medium term. […]

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8:52 AM

Sunday Philosophies

Greetings from Maryland, With limited computing power at my disposal, and having been in thought since watching Elon on Thursday give a TED interview, followed by self-identified philosopher Alex Epstein on our Thursday Strategy Session, a couple of days off, a stroll in Annapolis, this is note is more ideas in 1,000 words, to make a picture, than pictures worth 1,000 words. No demand destruction because there is nowhere to go to substitute Therefore self-compounding […]

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12:48 PM

Life and taxes

Strategy Session Tonight 5pm ET Alex Epstein “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”. Next Thursday 5pm Gordon Shearer, Poten & Partners, on Global LNG, save the date. Investment themes: long refining, long US oily E&P; rushing to do more work on US natgas but have loved Antero as our play; Tourmaline interesting, Energy Transfer interesting. Worried about oilfield service earnings upcoming, but clients want to buy them on operating leverage and global oil & gas […]

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8:14 AM

Nets, Knicks, Refiners

Tonight PBF management on Strategy Session, 5pm for a tight hour. RSVP. I was at the Knicks vs Nets game last night with a global oil executive; combined with conversations with ConocoPhillips management Tuesday, some brief points. First, Shell profit warning this morning. Break it up. We would like to see a global LNG & gas and power trading powerhouse, a downstream “high carbon” operation with refining, chemicals and retail, a deepwater company. We don’t […]

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8:48 AM

$COP a load of this

Tomorrow Thursday 7th April, Strategy Session with PBF Senior Management 5pm – RSVP Today DC hearing, House Energy and Commerce “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump.” ExxonMobil 8k indicates $2bn increase in upstream earnings, beermat (see below) suggests $2.50 EPS Cocktails with ConocoPhillips management yesterday evening Starting with ExxonMobil 8K on earnings guidance released yesterday evening, I am chatting to them today. The company gives you what they […]

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10:00 AM

Zen and the art of refining maintenance

This Thursday 7th April, Strategy Session with PBF Senior Management 5pm – RSVP Tonight – ConocoPhillips senior management in town for informal sellside drinks Tomorrow, DC hearing, House Energy and Commerce “Gouged at the Gas Station: Big Oil and America’s Pain at the Pump.” In oil, the excitement this morning is New York jet fuel prices going off the scale, part of the theme we talked about over the past couple of weeks, especially after […]

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9:20 AM

Tilting at Windmills

Well, that was quite the Q1 2022! But we got it in the books. I think the low point of Q1 for me was the evening of Thursday 3rd March, shortly after the 24th February Russia-Ukraine invasion, when the largest nuclear plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, appeared to be under direct attack and burning, right as I had a one-hour briefing with the State Dept, and my contact told me that surviving a nuclear attack is […]

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11:52 AM

Uzi said then done

We have the perfect guest on Strategy Session tonight at 5pm – Delek CEO Uzi Yemin, a refiner who actively buys oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. One interesting line from regular guest Kathleen Kelley – the expected 1mb/d SPR release announcement strongly implies no Iran deal. Houthi attacks on Saudi – who squarely blame the Iranians for Houthi support – have further reduced the likelihood of a deal. She also states that the move […]

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9:26 AM

Coterra & US E&P: Keep Your Discipline

The attached note started as a focus on Coterra, the $22bn market cap combination of two US E&Ps, Cimarex and Cabot, one oily, the other gassy, that merged and just started trading as $CTRA in late 2021. In the note you will find the rank data: the value destruction for shareholders of the US oil exploration and production (E&P) industry in their giant shale oil science experiment 2010-2019. Line from the note: “from 2006-2019, the […]

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7:58 AM

Sunday Targets

This week, a three page thematic overview, followed by supporting charts. First the text, then the charts. ~ Noted refinery explosion last evening, no deaths reported, at ExxonMobil’s small (“only” 60kb/d) Billings Montana niche refinery that is important for local balances. Would drive margins higher for Midcon players such as HollyFrontier, Coffeyville, Delek, and West Coast PBF, and might accelerate ExxonMobil’s long standing attempts to sell the plant (price always said to be too high). […]

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3:22 PM

$200/bbl by next Friday (disty)

Key messages from Strategy Session with Kathleen Kelley: Oil supply crisis – you ain’t seen nothing yet. The oil market is trading very physically right now, making price discovery more volatile. Watch for distillate markets, which are pricing like crazy, with particular volatility (upside) likely next Friday on expiry – we can see (Sankey says) $200/bbl on expiry of the April contract 31st March, the same day as OPEC is expected to disappoint. Kathleen boldly […]

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8:42 AM

Kazak Whisperer

Kathleen Kelley, “OPEC Whisperer” tonight on Happy Hour. Additionally in the following weeks we have two major refining CEOs ready to talk about oil markets. 3/24, 5:00PM EST – Kathleen Kelley 3/31, 5:00PM EST – Delek CEO | Uzi Yemin 4/7, 5:00PM EST – PBF CEO & CFO | Tom Nimbley and Erik Young You can participate on application, but if you don’t pay Sankey Research, why would you ask? If you want a charity, […]

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8:57 AM

Aramco’s Tax Windfall

Aramco’s full year 2021 results released Sunday (3/20/22) were more historic than perhaps the market appreciated. First, an announcement of a major increase in capex did not yield a major boost in oil supply, from a global perspective. Saudi capacity will rise just 1.5mb/d, exports 2.5mb/d by 2027. Second, an extraordinary statement from Saudi’s foreign ministry should give any observer of global markets pause for thought: Saudi Arabia said on Monday it would not bear […]

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9:02 AM

Sunday Overtime

Extremely busy this weekend, juggling Patricia wanting to go spring-time walking dogs and window shopping in (packed) SoHo, and me wanting to solidly sit in front of the TV watching March Madness while making bets online. Somehow she does not see the appeal of watching seven games of college basketball back-to-back over seven hours. Of course, she wins. I did snag North Carolina to win it all at 50-1 BEFORE they beat #1 seed and […]

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2:35 PM

PBF is the new Oxy

Friday joke in serious times: yesterday a “Stop Oil” pitch invader interrupted the Everton-Newcastle (Saudi-owned) Premier League soccer game by attaching himself to a goalpost mid-game. An additional 17 minutes of extra time played. The joke? What does he think the zip tie that he used to attach himself with, is made of? Yep, he used an oil product. While wearing plastic glasses. He should have used rope? So much more inconvenient. Client question of […]

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8:16 AM

You are the champion, Pasha

Tonight Strategy Session with Jan Stuart, Cornerstone Macro global energy economist, on oil markets. Zoom call, 5pm. Kathleen Kelley is busy, unfortunately for us, happy for her, she is hosting a St Patrick’s Day party. God Bless Ireland! My paternal grandmother was from Cork, Ivy Sankey (nee Jefford). We have an oil trader joining to ask questions. A real live, oil trader. In the early 1990s, Jan was my first colleague at the IEA in […]

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8:41 AM

Nickel Back, Not

Up bright and early this morning, I will miss “the clocks going forward” now that, as the world ponders World War III, the US Congress has addressed the urgent issue of daylight savings time. The big picture remains that the Democrats are headed for a shelacking in the November 2022 mid-terms and the legislative potential for a major offset victory for the Biden Administration before then is getting very tight. Kudos to Biden for the […]

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9:18 AM

Silver Linings

Emailed question from DC this morning: I’m so confused – why is Brent now below $100??? I thought it would just keep rising and rising! Sankey: Shenzen shutdown is the big one. Also deeply discounted Russian oil coming to market. Also emergency stockpile releases. Also seasonally weak time for demand. In other news, the scale of Devon’s airdrop yesterday relative to a weak sector gives rise to chatter that an M&A deal is coming (and […]

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8:55 AM

TINA Turner

“Only the dead have seen the end of war” – Plato (Attributed). The Quote is writ large at the entrance of the Imperial War Museum in London, one of London’s great museums, if lesser known. Recommended. Thoughts & prayers with the suffering in Ukraine. Peace in Brooklyn, the weather our worst direct concern. The hard yards, I always say from my First World Wall St perch, are January 1st through to March Madness. And today, […]

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4:17 PM

Trade: Buy Tech Short Oil & Pray for Peace

There have been massively structural changes as a result of Vladimir Putin’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine. In the short term we believe that negotiations for peace are more advanced than seemed to be the case yesterday morning. We also received intelligence that the loss of a disproporionate number Russian commanders, starting, it was said, with the Chechen death squad sent to assassinate Ukrainian President Zelensky, who were apparently “neutralised”, indicates that elements of the Russian […]

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8:43 AM

Sunday CPC

In the drama of the week, we never got to publish the dreaded and yet celebrated “Sankey Porcupine” charts that reveal the key message from two analyst meetings last week, Chevron and ExxonMobil, in four charts: capex and volume targets. We do that in this note, and cover Chevron risk in Kazakhstan. Do NOT try to pick the top in this oil & oil equity market; there could be a long way further up to […]

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2:32 PM

Deep Thought

After a very enjoyable Strategy Session with the impressive Kimmeridge Team yesterday, I had a one hour debrief with a Senior US Government Official with long energy experience yesterday evening: Notes from deep Washington source. Watch out for oil exports from Chevron’s Tengiz, reports that 3 cargoes (of 3 tendered) were unsold yesterday. The oil is transported from Kazakhstan across the CPC pipeline in Russia and mixed with Russian crude before loading at a Russian […]

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8:54 AM

Morning Strategy 3/3/22

Strategy Session Tonight, Mark Viviano & Megan Hays of activist Kimmeridge. A former Portfolio Manager at mega-player Wellington Management, Mark leads the first public/private active funds at Kimmeridge, one of the top activist managers in the oil space. Megan Hays has joined Kimmeridge after 15 years of IR experience including Concho and Cimarex, and even allowing for that length of experience, still recently rated as one of Hart Energy’s “40 under 40.” Please click this […]

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9:00 AM

Vlad the Impaled

Extraordinary times: In the great energy regression that has massively further regressed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it was somewhat surreal to watch Chevron’s Colin Parfitt (VP Midstream) conclude at the company’s analyst meeting yesterday at the NYSE, that we need more export capacity in the US, particularly for natural gas, and for the company then to confirm $10bn of spending on New Energy Ventures over the next decade, on hydrogen, carbon capture, and […]

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8:37 AM

Sunday Kharkiv

Well, this bloody mess was why we could not believe Russia would launch a full Ukraine Invasion. Reports that Ukraine has fought back and held Kharkiv are somewhat incredible – Ukraine’s second largest city is to the east and very close to Russia. The idea that Russia could not take control here, is a massive problem for Putin. Military experts are expressing surprise that Russia has not obtained air control, and is suffering logistics issues. […]

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12:22 PM

Friday Disease

Calls: pushing $MRO. 15% cash return to shareholders this year at least. Thematic note available. Yesterday was a puff move from solar, wind, but E&Ps fell, makes no sense. We like the thematic theory that you buy wind on Russia invading Ukraine, but we think this was a short covering move/macro move (the market rip yesterday led by solar). Short term trade, short oil into coming Iran deal, then buy the weakness (commodity, stay long […]

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9:21 AM

Yikes

Huge shock. Particularly to major European clients that had stated their house view: no invasion. Their view was weeks of noise, no invasion. What will happen to this extraordinary chart? We see demand destruction at $120/bbl, and think oil prices will continue to go to that level of demand destruction if US demand remains as strong as it currently is. Lagging US economic strength and upcoming summer speak to ongoing demand strength, even if it […]

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8:18 AM

Sunday Silence

A correspondent asked if I would be writing this Sunday about what to do if Russia invades Ukraine. “I wrote about it in early January,” I sourly texted “I am more likely to write about Venezuela,” I added snootily. “But you’ve been saying Russia won’t invade.” He pressed. “I had to take a week off because I didn’t know. No point in chasing the puck.” Not wanting to chase the “will they/won’t they” puck, I […]

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1:36 PM

Friday Highlights

Having featured a fellow independent researcher on Strategy Session last night – Doomberg – today’s note is a highlight reel of other people’s research. But of course first, Friday you demand jokes, and we are not here to disappoint clients. I used to play the triangle in a band, but it’s just one ting after another. I swallowed a dictionary, and now I have thesaurus throat. My boss arrived at work in a new Lambourghini, […]

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8:41 AM

Flock of Seagulls: Iran

Strategy Session tonight, Doomberg. New guest date to-be-confirmed, Florian Thaler CEO of oil analytics company Oilx. We spoke to him yesterday on the subject of… The potential impact of Iran on oil markets in 2022. It is very different from 2015. In this note we briefly explain why. Iraq production falls 160kb/d in January – covered in this note. Accusations of cross-border shelling in Eastern Ukraine. No further comment in the note, but you can […]

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8:52 AM

Brassy Sunday Sankey

We have a big Renewable Diesel note coming later today, so in recognition of your Sunday time, just a couple of points on next week. Valero management are in New York City Monday/Tuesday. See what we are doing here? Our Renewable Diesel note is not published tonight by happy accident, it is a cunning plan. One Valero event is a Mark Mills presentation, presumably he of the Manhattan Institute and steely-eyed critic of the energy […]

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4:16 PM

Not Joe Rogan, but a little Toby Keith

Nothing ruins a Friday faster than realizing its only a Tuesday. Psyche! Yes, you guessed it, it’s Friday jokes after a LONG week.   Where does a mansplainer get his water? From a well, actually… The Irish army has a sniper famous for bouncing his shots off rocks and other hard surfaces. His name is Rick O’Shea. We should also mention the Irishman who sits outside: Paddy O’Furniture. For a second consecutive year a team […]

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9:12 AM

Aaand… it’s gone. And you owe tax.

Strategy Session this tonight 4:30pm with Joe Gorder, Valero Chairman & CEO; Lane Riggs President & COO; Jason Fraser, EVP, CFO; Homer Bhullar, VP IR & Finance. https://www.sankeyresearch.com/2022-refining-conference/ After big volume (Permian) growth numbers from ExxonMobil and Chevron over the past week, today ConocoPhillips held the line with capex guidance in line with previous guidance at $8.2bn. CEO Ryan Lance has said that the company will grow when there is no spare capacity in the […]

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9:39 AM

It’s behind you!

Tonight, Strategy Session with Jay Wilson, Vice President, Hess Corporation. 5pm RSVP. You are not going to believe this: Valero beats. That would be the 17th straight quarter that Valero has beaten analysts’ estimates. Kudos to IR! It does beg the question of why would any company ever miss estimates? After all, Valero earnings since 2017 have hardly been a cake walk. This period includes COVID and the worst possible environment for a refiner. They […]

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9:11 AM
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