Recent Posts

Sit Chat Get Banged

Strategy Session was back to the round table stock discussion. It was sufficiently enjoyable that we will now have a monthly round table on stock ideas. Next week we have Tourmaline, week after Bob McNally. In between, Memorial Day is a week Monday, check the whites in your wardrobe and start yelling at the pool guy’s voicemail. Companies mentioned last night: Long Inventory E&P’s. We discussed oil volatility and beta skew as oil holds over […]

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10:47 AM

The Value in Scarcity: US Refining

Re-iterate Price Target: Valero $150/share by June 30th. Re-iterate Overweight all US refiners. Illustrating Valero $190/share argument. This is a time of year when the weekly Department of Energy US oil data is crucial: it will be released at 10:30am today. We see an emerging crisis in US oil product markets, depending on how much of that crisis we export to Atlantic Basin markets. It will be a battle of demand destruction: who blinks first […]

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8:37 AM

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

For Love & Money: Chazen Time

Recommending BUYBACK PLAYS in this tape. We love the Diamondback approach of buybacks when the stock is cheap, specials when the stock is expensive. PREMIUM EVENT Sankey Strategy Session: Kaes Van’t Hof – President and CFO, Diamondback Energy This Thursday May 12, 2022 05:00 AM US Eastern Time. Register Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0rcuyorD8rEtFYFdOdB79bWBSDY7MFzYzP ~ Legendary oil executive Steve Chazen on yesterday’s Magnolia $MGY conference call; “I think that the re-evaluation of the industry from 4% of the […]

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8:52 AM

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

May Day Sunday Sankey 5/1/22

Happy May Day Sunday, Today in partnership with Greg Bordelon of Isentropic Capital, we publish a note on natural gas markets by way of thesis overview to a theme that we will continue to pursue. The note is long graphics, and particularly interesting on US markets. If you only want to read half, read the second US half. It is as noted graphic intense. European gas markets are fundamentally far more un-analysable than US right […]

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2:48 PM

You said that; Hess, Antero, Suncor

First quarter reporting season is always a crazy flurry, and this one is no different. To add to the excitement, just as I sat back yesterday having published on Antero, news broke that Elliott Associates had gone activist on Suncor. We had Hess IR Jay Wilson on Strategy Session. Hess could be worth $200/share on a five year view, at $100/bbl oil. For sure, Guyana is just about the only major global oil supply growth. […]

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9:03 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

Morning Joe

Good looking results beat from Valero setting up the “$5 in Q2” call we made over the past week – CEO is Joe Gorder Valero may turn oils performance that was undermined by oil service results last week, Halliburton leading the oil tape lower; we have had a brutal week since my “Mega-bear call: Oils to 10% of S&P500 note”. Sorry about that. ARCH coal announces an $8 dividend up from 25c. Watch Peabody and […]

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8:30 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

LNG: Gordon & Gorgon

This LNG round up with Gordon Shearer (Poten & Partners guru) from Thursday night took longer to write and I got tangled in the SLB results, which came in okay – readers will know I am not pushing service companies but love oils… “to 10% of S&P500!” Chatting to a client with Midstream expertise before Gordon Shearer, LNG expert, came on Strategy Session Thursday evening, the view was that Kinder Morgan results were decent owing […]

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5:43 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

Give them an inch

Thanks to those of you – Chuck Yates; and the classiest guy on Wall St, Mr Sully at Goldman – who called me regarding the Brooklyn subway incident/terrorism/whatever this morning; Patricia takes the subway all the time. She’s flying back from London right now, so totally safe. Very classy to call, thanks. Hope you too are all safe. Of course needless to say, my breezy offer to run any stock in the S&P500 earnings share […]

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12:30 PM

Oil’s share of the SPX

Ripper chart, most bullish I have seen in 30 years following US E&P – quant analysis. Any chart available on request, any stock in the market… Share of S&P500 market cap vs share of S&P500 earnings. Black line is sellside. Blue line is buyside (share of market cap). Buyside is smarter than sellside, read the charts. Mi amigo US E&P, chart most bullish in history; Oxy, PXD, COP, FANG, APA, Hes.. Unprecedented bullish chart, buy […]

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5:05 PM

PBF & PBS Strategy Session

China rant PBF – Q1 likely half messy, but finishes running strong into incredible margins as Q2 starts Sankey Recommends: Liverpool vs Man City Premiership decider tomorrow – two of the best club football teams ever to play, at their peak. PBF CEO Tom Nimbley, President Matt Lucey, CFO Erik Young, and IR Colin Murray were on good form on Strategy Session yesterday evening. Nimbley started his career in refining in the 1973 oil price […]

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8:53 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

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

Elastic Policy

ALL STAR STRATEGY SESSION tonight 5pm ET: Paddy Nicoll, UK Defense expert, Frank Kelly, DC expert, Kathleen Kelley, oil market guru, Jan Stuart, oil market guru. Register Here https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtcu-vrjsvHNZytoBYUkhN5LzpcaKa-p1O Nothing beats a crisis to test a framework, and loyal readers will know that our framework has been that the marginal producer of global oil (& gas) is the USA, and the marginal consumer of global oil is the USA. Sure enough, cometh the crisis, cometh, […]

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8:58 AM

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

Context: Most Extreme Prices

The following chart shows the spot price this morning of key commodities, vs their average price 2010-2019. That is, where is the greatest shock. Most extreme of course, to an extraordinary extent, is European gas. As a fixed asset market with certain major structural limitations, notably Germany’s total lack of LNG terminals, this will take years to fix, although restarting German nuclear would reduce gas use in power generation. Biggest recent suprise and enormously out […]

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7:53 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

Chevron-REGI

We have been pretty rude about biodiesel, because it makes no money. Things should get worse. So Chevron’s decision to buy major biodiesel player Renewable Energy Group (REGI) was greeted with quite the lack of enthusiasm by us and indeed from other analysts on their deal call today. We were presented with a deal at over 10x EV/EBITDA that would make perfect sense, apparently, based on 2025 multiples. Assuming… a bunch of assumptions Chevron were […]

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1:11 PM

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

Morning Shells

Strategy Session this week 2/24, 5PM EST – Arjun Murti, Warburg Pincus, ConocoPhillips board member.  As lead oil analyst and then head of research for Goldman Sachs, Arjun made the greatest oil call in the history of the sellside, predicting $100/bbl oil in the early 2000s at a time when oil traded around $25/bbl and had never traded above $40/bbl. He was right for the right reasons. Now publishing a Substack “Superspiked”, Arjun is one of […]

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8:32 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

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
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