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Friday Sankey 12/4/20

What is the most dangerous part of a car? The nut holding the steering wheel. Who is this Pavlov guy? I cannot place him. But his name rings a bell. Using a cinnamon stick to stir your Christmas party drink is not a religious act. It’s egg nog stick. They call it the Labrador market – delighted with everything it bounds after. NASDAQ yay! Bitcoin yay! Copper yay! And thus, as we said in our […]

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8:50 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 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

OPEC Special

Please find attached our OPEC Thanksgiving 2020 note. Have a great Sunday. Best regards, Paul

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10:43 AM

Morning X-Ys Club

Last week we published a chart showing the x-y plot of trailing year-to-date free cashflow vs volume growth for the big oil group. This if you remember, prompted Silvio’s legendary joke when I called him to tell him I was having a nightmare with x-y charts, which he misheard to be “having a nightmare with ex-wife chat”. Anyway, a major Long Only investor replied immediately to the note last week pointing out that the chart […]

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8:47 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

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

Friday Sankey 11/13/20

Friday jokes: I lost all my sense of taste, I think I have COVID! Oh no wait, this is Bud Lite. My son said he was quitting college to move to the Arctic Circle. I said “I don’t like your latitude.” A kid goes to a Halloween party. The host asks him what he is dressed as, kid says “A harp.” The host rudely says “Your costume is too small to be a harp.” The […]

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8:24 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

Sunday Sankey 11/1/20

Good day, A quick note today, there are slides highlighting yesterday’s note on XOM that got a lot of traction. There was criticism for not specifically calling out Rex Tillerson, and skepticism on my bull call for refining in summer 2021. Let’s be honest, I made the call for summer 2020, and that worked great when we made the call in April. But turned out to be a disaster by May. We were a year […]

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2:02 PM

Friday Saturday Sankey

Yesterday was tricky to publish a worthy note, until conference calls were complete. So this is the Friday Sankey on a Saturday. Happy Halloween! If life gives you melons you may be dyslexic What’s Sherlock Holmes’ favourite tree? A lemon tree Daddy, do all fairy tales start with “Once upon a time”? “No kid, there’s a whole series of fairly tales that start with “If elected, I promise…”” There were two key takeaways from ExxonMobil’s […]

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2:51 PM

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

Sunday Sankey 10/25/20

The Sankey Research website was down this morning, and there is absolutely no truth in the rumour that this is somehow related to Hunter Biden. Rather, the website may have crashed on ANOTHER BIG OIL DEAL, this one a bit of a shock. Years ago, ConocoPhillips announced a massive deal to buy Burlington Resources, a $36bn deal that was announced on 13th December 2005, literally the day before US natgas prices hit their all-time record […]

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2:02 PM

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

“Happy” Hour & Friday

When Kasparov beat Carlsen I cheered so much I lost my voice. Now I am a hoarse chess nut. Kermit the Frog playing Hamlet got great reviews. It was a ribbeting performance. My friend wants to dress as an island off the coast of Italy for Halloween. I told him not to be Sicily. Happy Hour Comments and Why is Concho selling itself? We had a real live oil trader to start Happy Hour last […]

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9:10 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 10/11/20

Good Day, Guess what, we are back to results. In the week ahead Q3 EPS starts. Crazy to think, Schlumberger reports Friday; nothing much on Monday but watch JP Morgan report massive trading results on Tuesday – work from home right – starting off the week. Also Citi reports Tuesday, and important for Bail Out, Delta Airlines too, with United Airlines Wednesday alongside some bank called Goldman. Could be a bullish week for the market, […]

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1:40 PM

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

Tesla vs ExxonMobil Porcupine Battle I

Looking at the future of US gasoline demand, I got sucked into the history of Tesla’s SEC filings essentially with a view to replicating my notorious chart of ExxonMobil’s volumes since 2000, vs their annual analyst meeting target for volumes. The dreaded porcupine chart, which has no more inappropriate quill than the last, which was repeated at the March 2020 analyst meeting at peak COVID in NYC. ExxonMobil’s volumes vs their analyst meeting targets As […]

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10:25 AM

Friday Air Sankey

Well indeed, there are a lot of jokes out there this morning… you can say the news has gone viral. However, given our self-imposed standards of taste and decency, we will limit the news jokes to non-Presidential. If you’re driving a stolen Tesla… Would it be called an Edison? Mark Zuckerberg is in a car accident. Guy : “Let’s exchange personal details” Mark : “You are Scott Thomas, you have 237 friends out of which […]

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10:23 AM

Propane Sankey

Yet another bull point on propane. The Morning Sankey goes down the rabbit hole. New York City has made outdoor dining permanent, and the City has lifted the post-911 ban on propane canisters in Manhattan (welders were excepted). With indoor dining limited to 25% capacity, operating restaurants are dependent on outdoor dining, and there has been a scramble to buy propane heaters. My neighbour manages three restaurants and said he was about to buy 15 […]

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10:02 AM

Mid-Morning Sankey

Tonight, Happy Hour Zoom, contact me for details. It’s 5pm and always fun and interesting, always frankly to my surprise. All welcome to a maximum of eight. In due course this 5pm meeting will feature corporate access guests. Tomorrow 5:20am CNBC with Brian Sullivan. Brian was interested in yesterday’s Morning Sankey which made the Renaissance argument for “orderly liquidation” of major oils. So this week the Dallas Fed published a survey that had me just […]

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10:23 AM

Morning Mini Sankey 9/22/20

Today, on Tesla battery day, a quick look at electric car economics. Why are so few electric cars sold? Because they are more expensive. Why when the fuel economics are so over-powering, are so few taxis electric? Because electric cars take too long to fill for taxi drivers. Why does this matter? Because the single largest part of the world oil market is US gasoline. As shown below, the red balloon is North American gasoline, […]

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9:15 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

Let me fly!

The future of global energy, key focus points: Battlegrounds: EU, US, China, India. Reminder: nearly 60% of Chinese and Indian energy still comes from coal. Or, as a refining CEO tells us “China has more coal-fired power plants under construction, than the US has coal-fired power plants”. Noted, US is still 12% coal-fired, vs 9% renewable (total energy balance). In this note, jet fuel demand. Jet is the key to the future of global oil. […]

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9:04 AM

Morning Sankey 9/14/20

Start your engines, or rather, share your computers as part of our future, for the longest analyst meeting in history starting this morning at 8:30am Eastern Time, as BP commences “BP Week.” We have five hours today, followed by three hours each on Tuesday and Wednesday. To kick things off, BP has released its World Energy Outlook. One of these outcomes fits our world view for energy to 2050. Can you guess which one it […]

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7:54 AM

Sunday Sankey 9/13/20

“One thing I know for sure, In the battle between humans and the environment, the environment will win.” This has been one of my standard lines for more than a decade. It sits alongside “environmentalism is a luxury” in terms of the parameters for considering the subject of alternative energy. Another an old line: “the only barrier of entry to being an oil analyst is units.” In this edition of the Sunday Sankey we lay […]

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10:50 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 8/30/20

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

Where is oil as Laura hits? Morning Sankey 8/27/20

Corporate newsflow remains quiet, with the market awaiting more details on the historic announcement from BP on its climate change plans, due September 14th-16th. Several major US oil investors consider this BP move a 100-year strategy shift for big oil. Notably the stunning -40% oil and gas production reduction, as a strategy pillar. US investors remain cynical, the most negative seeing the announcement as a smokescreen for the dividend cut. Elsewhere re-injection issues for ExxonMobil/Hess […]

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8:35 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

ESG Monster Problems: Gorgon and Three Gorges

This will be the first year our family doesn’t vacation in Hawaii because of COVID. Normally it is because we can’t afford it. What is Britain’s biggest export? Independence days. I was overtaken by a car being driven by a sheep in a swimsuit. I think it was a lamb bikini. We’ve had some impact research this week, based on feedback, but there is an altruistic side to everything we do, and, much as you […]

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9:39 AM

Morning COVID Crimes 8/20/20

The demand recovery is flopping around. Our contention is that we modelled COVID really well, by using the Diamond Princess model (published still on my Linkedin in March and now clipping 14.000 views), but we should have realised that in an election year, the Democrats would be incentivised to make COVID run into the election, and by the same token Republicans would be furiously trying to deny COVID is a big deal. Yesterday in NYC […]

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7:35 AM

Morning Sankey 8/5/20

Q2 2020 will be remembered as a hugely historic quarter for the oil sector, not because it was massively bearish, with record losses, but because it was massively bullish. Particularly for the oil equities at historic lows. Mark my words. Continue reading

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8:40 AM

Friday Sankey

Friday jokes! What do you call a magician who has lost his magic? Ian. My Dad is a bitcoin trader, I asked him to lend me $20. He replied “$18.23? Why do you need $21.42?” What is the difference between a cooked sweet potato and a flying pig? One is a heated yam, the other is a yeeted ham. Say what you will about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he has an impressive resume. Top […]

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8:40 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

Morning Sankey, Oil’s restructuring is ripping

Huge day yesterday for the re-balancing of oil markets, consolidation of the oil corporate landscape, and ultimate mega-tightening of the oil balance leading to global inflation. The biggest oil producer in California, $CRC, files for bankruptcy Top class Permian player $FANG slashes its activity and volume outlook Spare capacity gets cut by OPEC, noting additional OPEC oil demand from unusual seasonal demand patterns from COVID, that will reduce exports. Quickly on OPEC – the extra […]

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8:13 AM

Morning Sankey Biden Time

Washington Brief: the latest Biden energy plan announced yesterday is essentially roll up of the AOC/Bernie Sanders Green New Deal and Nancy Pelosi’s recent HEROES Act, not passed by the Senate, which represent huge – multi-trillion – US$ government spending. Intelligence from Washington: if the Democrats sweep in November, it’s happening. Intelligence from Washington: will the Democrats sweep in November? Yes. These are opinions based on public facts, but informed and respected opinions. Meanwhile, also […]

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8:50 AM

Morning Sankey 7/13/20

Well, there goes another bankruptcy. Hi Crush ($HCR), the Frac sand play has filed with some $500m in debt. As readers of the Sunday Sankey yesterday https://www.sankeyresearch.com/2020/07/12/sunday-sankey-7-12-20/ can see , the collapse in US E&P activity has been extraordinarily severe in terms of rigs, and equally severe in terms of Frac Spreads. Running at 350 crews as recently as Mid-January 2020 (see chart below), by May 2020 spreads dropped below 50 and currently stand at […]

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7:40 AM

Dakota Access Shock

PSXP stock is getting hit hard on today’s surprise Dakota Access shutdown ruling, alongside Energy Transfer (ET) and Bakken players such as Contintental, OAS, WPX, NOG and diverse names such as MRO. Winners: Canadian suppliers, Permian and other Basins than Bakken, and in refining “Valero wins by not losing.” Of course in the grand scheme of things, the most environmentally-friendly way to move oil is by new pipeline, less by rail, least by truck. But […]

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4:07 PM

Oil Balance

Notable recent changes: MORE SUPPLY, with resumption in Libya likely and Neutral Zone due back this year for additional Saudi/Kuwait (and Chevron) volume, both are outside quota. Noted that all is suspiciously quiet from Iran recently…. Continue reading

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9:14 PM
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