Recent Posts

Sunday Sankey 4/11/21

This week I am heading to Oklahoma to meet Devon CEO Rick Muncrief and then Houston to bid farewell to outgoing ConocoPhillips COO Matt Fox. Opposite ends of the spectrum for me – never met Rick, have hung out many times over the years with Mr. Fox. The lowlight in professional terms with Matt was doing the first marketing trip for COP in NYC after the dividend cut in 2016. The highlight was Matt making […]

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1:36 PM

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

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 3/5/21

It’s Friday. What do you call an overweight kidney doctor who also predicts the weather? A meaty urologist. My thoughts on Mongolian poetry: It has its prose and its Khans. Why do astronauts use Linux? Because you can’t open Windows in space. Noted: Ovintiv results this morning, former rival big oil analyst, and buddy, Kate Minyard has been appointed to the board at the behest of activist Kimmeridge’s Mark Viviano. Viviano/Kimmeridge publish excellent “white papers” […]

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8:55 AM

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

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

Sunday Sankey 12/13/20

Last week we highlighted the difference between speculation and investment. We continue that theme with six Big Oil investment picks for 2021, and six speculative picks. We defer on refining until our January 4th refining conference. NOTE we have verbal confirmation from Greg Goff, that he will join the conference for a fireside chat. See inside for details, and register on the website www.sankeyresearch.com Greg and I have to discuss what we discuss, as there […]

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12:18 PM

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 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

Morning Sankey 11/11/20

Well for sure my timing in the Sunday Sankey making the uber-bear call for oil was completely destroyed one day after I made it, on Monday, by Pfizer’s announcement of a 90% effective COVID vaccine. My old joke is that I am never wrong, it’s just sometimes my timing can be WAY off. And the question of this note, given oil dynamics next move is positive, is timing of entry. Clearly the market was coiled […]

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8:16 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 No EPS note

SHANGHAI, Oct 29 (Reuters) – China’s major state-owned banks have been swapping U.S. dollars for yuan this week, traders said on Thursday, suggesting monetary authorities are trying to rein in the sharply appreciating currency. Those operations in the onshore currency swap market have caused the value of the yuan to fall in the forwards market, tamping expectations that it will appreciate further and simultaneously making it more expensive for investors to borrow yuan. Two other […]

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7:51 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

Sunday Fall Sankey

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

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11:57 AM

Morning Bullish Sankey

Very interesting Happy Hour yesterday… and an overwhelming sense of bullishness swept over me! How can this be when the oil market is still struggling so badly? Well… a couple of things. But first, it’s Friday, and this is the Friday Sankey, so its JOKE TIME. What’s the biggest lie in American politics in 2020? You have 2 minutes uninterrupted.Please respond to your opponent’s total ignoring of the question. You have two minutes.A fly on […]

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8:27 AM

Mega-Theme: Standard Oil vs Big Tech

Client email: Paul, a question to you as a student of history. My recollection is that Rockefeller got even richer when US government broke up his monopoly? Copying my tech colleague who may be pondering what happens if US government attempts to break up their monopolies… Sankey: From recollection the quick answer is yes, the sum of the parts was greater than the whole. I’ll check now but it certainly happened at a time of […]

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8:48 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

Sunday Sankey 9/20/20

Good day! A chill September wind is blowing across Brooklyn Heights, as summer officially ends and fall very much starts. The market is feeling chills too, with COVID continuing to present a major challenge to policy-makers globally. We remain extremely frustrated by the excessive lock down requirements in New York despite effectively zero COVID. With massive testing, less than 1% positives are being found, and essentially no deaths (statistically speaking). This past week we quoted […]

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11:37 AM

Morning Saudi US$ Sankey

There is a glaring omission from McKinsey’s Vision 2030 for Saudi Arabia. It does not mention the Saudi Riyal – Dollar peg, other than in a footnote to indicate that the modelling in the outlook assumes the long-standing $3.75 peg is maintained. We are just wondering if a Biden Presidency would engage Iran, and if Saudi retaliation could take the form of dropping the Riyal-Dollar peg. Our understanding is that while the Saudi Arabian Monetary […]

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9:14 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/6/20

G’day and happy holiday weekend, Middle son Max is studying at Atlanta’s famous college Emory from home, which is deeply unfortunate. I am hoping to have him intern at Sankey Research once I get more organized about office space. Youngest son Harry headed to college at Northeastern in Boston for the first time yesterday, naturally excited, with NY news reporting that 11 Northeastern students had been sent home for having a party in a local […]

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9:50 AM

India vs China; Silk, Opium, and Internet Access

This note started in an effort for the Morning Sankey to explain the current military skirmishes between India and China in the Himalayas. I went down a rabbit hole. It took me on a journey back some 8,000 years, across Empires, continents, religious histories, syncretic philosophies, and to my personal favourite, Bangladesh’s submarine base. Why did it take so long and get to 30 pages? There is a mega-theme behind the confusion of headlines pertaining […]

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7:32 PM

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

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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