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

Today’s Yesterdays

Owing to a COVID protocol in Dubai, our guest today on Happy Hour has been delayed. I will open the Zoom at 5pm tonight for chat, and encourage a couple of top money managers to join. Call it a therapy session, how to stay long your winners and cut your losers. Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUodO6rqz4uHNQ7LrjcpfaRoLZPrNGXSy-g That’s the bad news, no star guest today. However save the date for next week with Tourmaline […]

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9:30 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

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

Fear of Market Collapse (FOMC) Day

Sankey Strategy Session tomorrow evening: Bob Jonke, Oil trader for Engelhart CTP and Kathleen Kelley, Oil Market Expert aka “the OPEC Whisperer”. When: May 5, 2022 05:00 PM ET, Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcofuqprzMuHd0CDoGbkzN6CiapFAdCg6k2 The Strategy Session this week will be in the context of what will be an extremely low-key OPEC meeting tomorrow with no press conference. Why no press conference? No comment on Russia. Simple as that. Bloomberg 5/4/22 The European […]

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8:14 AM

Morning E&P Cash Return

As anticipated, we saw strong results and cash return promises from several E&Ps reporting last evening, with capital discipline still a strong feature, alongside re-iterated volume targets (modest growth) and cost control. Impressive stuff. Several names now offer in excess of 10% cash return to shareholders. We believe this is sustainable, in most cases, with some concerns over inventory at Devon, Marathon Oil, and Coterra. Given we do not see any need to grow, but […]

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8:54 AM

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

Antero: the Mets of Natgas

One of the great advantages of the Sankey Research Strategy Sessions (5pm Thursday) is that we get very smart people to join the call, and probably the best stock pick we have had over the past two years has been one client’s unremitting bullishness on Antero Resources. The call really started when we wrote bullishly on propane in a September 2020 note “Propane Sankey”. To give you an idea of the times, part of the […]

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7:38 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

Mega-Bear Call: Oil to 10% of SPX

Yesterday on CNBC I repeated the call that oil could get to 10% of the S&P500 based on the current dynamics in global energy. In the segment (link below), which was in the context of Netflix stock collapsing 35% yesterday (down hard further in the pre-market today), I gave a hack explanation of how a growth stock valuation can collapse. Basically, if the market is anticipating huge growth in a zero interest rate environment, the […]

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9:42 AM

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

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

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

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

$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

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

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

The Big Shot

Big Shot, Big Short moment. Nickel suspended at $100,000 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange. That means that today a Nickel (5c coin) is worth 12.5c, given it is 5g in weight and 25% nickel. The other 75% of a Nickel is copper, by the way. It’s being reported that Chinese entrepreneur Xiang Guangda – known as “Big Shot” – had a large short position on the LME through his company, Tsingshan Holding, the […]

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8:42 AM

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

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

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

I just dropped in…

Hi I am just checking in to assure you I survived the Houston NAPE conference, landmen and all, but am still on the road, headed to New Orleans. This week has been discombobulated – my initial flight on Tuesday was cancelled by United, I rushed to Newark, made the 2pm, just made dinner in Houston, made the NAPE conference yesterday, made dinner with a Nebraska CEO, went to the after party rave and here I […]

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10:50 AM

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

The rage of the Intelligent Investor

What’s going on the market? The Intelligent Investor is back from extended sabbatical and he/she/they is furious. Key current trading ideas: Long Shell into results tomorrow. Long Suncor into results tonight. Stock has lagged CNQ badly, one month, three months, six months, one year. We had strong downstream chat from Suncor’s EVP of downstream Kris Smith on our refining conference, which continues tomorrow with Joe Gorder’s Valero, RSVP. SU has key differentiation from CNQ in […]

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9:33 AM

The Big Unit is back

Strategy Session this Thursday 4:30pm with Joe Gorder, Valero Chairman & CEO; Lane Riggs President & COO; Jason Fraser, EVP, CFO; Homer Bhullar, VP IR & Finance. Joe has overseen enormous success as CEO of Valero overseeing a cumulative return since he started in 2014 of 94% for Valero stockholders. Not only does Joe lead the world’s largest independent refiner, he has also built the largest producer of renewable fuels in the US. All the […]

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8:53 AM

How to get to $100 (Hess)

My friend Hunter has gone vegan. Now we call him Gatherer. Where does Putin keep his armies? In his sleevies. Why does the Norwegian navy have barcodes on the side of their ships? So when they arrive back at port they can Scandinavian. A man rushes into the Doctor’s office “Doctor, I am shrinking!” Doctor: “Can’t you just be a little patient?” Think you are good at English? Try this: Why do British people love […]

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9:15 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

The most bullish I have seen this chart

Super bullish charts today, see below, especially with Hess beating. Are returns up in oils? Well, Hess just reported 85c for the quarter compared to -32c a year ago. They should put it in the growth index <wink>. But first, as the market melted down this week, somebody responded as to why, that the Fed was raising rates and World War 3 was about to start. But I just can’t get past my gut feeling […]

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8:52 AM

Then Su me

Strategy Session last night with William Su of Blackrock, a tenured oil analyst & investor. My first question was whether we would see a positive gamma squeeze in oil given the rapid increase in open call interest. The charts below show: 1) the price of a 3-year at-the-money (ATM) WTI call, going up and up and up, and alongside it to the right 2) the scale of open interest in $100/bbl call options for June […]

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11:47 AM

William Tell

Strategy Session “Happy Hour” tonight 5pm, special guest is William Su, Director of Research/Head of Energy at Blackrock in New York. One of my jokes about “Happy Hour” is that we don’t have a quorum to start until we have a trillion dollars on the line, with Will we get $10trn in one go, as Blackrock reported this week assets in excess of that number assets under management. Obviously we want colour on CEO Larry […]

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10:17 AM
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