Recent Posts

Morning Methane Limits

DC chat today, it’s Friday! Travelling to Atlanta via Washington and Durham today with son Max. I accidentally sprayed my son’s deodorant into my mouth this morning. Now when I talk I have this weird Axe scent. If you lose one of your senses, your other senses are heightened. That’s why people with no sense of humour have a heightened sense of self-importance. I told my wife I was making a bicycle out of spaghetti. […]

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7:12 AM

Morning Acronyms

One of the great recent charts has been the index performance of unprofitable stocks shown below. It is notable that this index has basically doubled since the last quarterly reporting season. We expect the current reporting season to underline how insane valuations have become across non-profitable sections of the market. Furthermore, quarterly results will provide full year 2020 results and some kind of outlook for 2021. Equally, for the oils, what might be good results […]

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8:40 AM

Morning $NOG

Yesterday was one of those thematic days. “You don’t buy a cheap oil stocks, you buy good management.” We started with an activist getting aggressive on Ovintiv, had a great conversation with the CEO of Northern Oil & Gas, had another activist letter to Delek USA from Carl Icahn’s CVI Refining, and rounded out with Happy Hour. But first, it’s Friday, and that means we start with… What do you call a mythical beast that […]

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8:25 AM

Morning Oxy

Really strong relative day for oils yesterday, in fact all energy is running as the Biden administration battles its way to the inauguration. I’m driving my son Max to Emory for college on 21th January, through Washington, and one plan was to drop in and see the action on Inauguration Day, a moment in history and all, but DC has been declared a Federal Emergency Zone for the event and we figure that two mysterious […]

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9:00 AM

Morning Ideanomics

Client feedback to Sunday Sankey: 1) Did you see exactly what the stratospheric warming event was?  It’s a fast 100 degree warming…. All the way up there.  100 DEGREES… it’s bananas.  Happens once every couple years. 2) Check out this chart…. Nothing to see here.. just super high intraday correlation of TSLA and Bitcoin!  It’s insane.  TSLA should be $780 based on this… and XBT… well… See below for the chart. Inflation? A current boiling […]

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8:37 AM

Morning Sankey 1/7/21

We always thought that Donald Trump would be massively disruptive, but that the genius US government system would survive the test, and boy did we get that in spades! The “Duck Dynasty Coup” was very reminiscent of the “They will Bomb Iran!” counter-question, which was “What will they do on Day 2?” It was always a brilliant counterpoint to a syndrome that horribly played out in Iraq. While George W Bush declared “Mission Accomplished”, there […]

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8:23 AM

Morning Saudi Did What?

Sankey raising Brent oil price forecast to $54/bbl for 2021 (from $45) and $58/bbl for 2022 (from $56). Sankey raising WTI oil price forecast to $52/bbl for 2021 (from $42) and $55/bbl for 2022 (unch). It’s difficult to unpack what just happened to oil markets in terms of Saudi Arabia’s shock move to unilaterally “gift” cut production by 1mb/d for February and March; right down to 8.1mb/d, the very low of their historic production levels. […]

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8:41 AM

Morning Joe

Valero webinar today! Me vs CEO Joe Gorder and team. Not too late to register on www.sankeyresearch.com Briefly OPEC+ noted: Russia wants to increase production, to satisfy its own private oil companies and probably thinking of inflicting sustained pain on US E&Ps as much as anything. Saudi wants to maintain cutback discipline, probably concerned about future oil supply shortages if the global industry faces another year of low prices in the $40/bbl on high OPEC […]

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8:41 AM

Morning Elon Ma

Refining conference today! Not to late to register on www.sankeyresearch.com Strong delivery numbers from Chinese automakers over the weekend followed on from Tesla’s dash to the line for 2020 which fell just short – within the margin of error – for its 500,000 annual target for 2020, which is indeed a very impressive achievement. There were reports of Tesla asking existing customers for help in delivering vehicles. One mystery to us is how the company […]

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8:45 AM

Morning Hindsight is 2020

Duly noted: ExxonMobil confirms $20bn writedown with better upstream and chemicals earnings; refining still horrible. Smoke rising around Iran in the Middle East. Sabers are being rattled as the Trump Presidency reaches its final days. Clients should consider upside VIX exposure or other risk protection into the Iran situation and Georgia run-off that with as many as 3m votes already cast, may well swing Democrat to start 2021 off with a crazy first week for […]

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9:41 AM

Morning Valero Darling

We continue to focus on refiners as we move towards our Monday January 4th refining conference. Register interest above. Before moving on to the subject of Valero and renewable diesel, it is worth noting that while the Dakota Access Pipeline situation is a known negative for PSX, as covered yesterday, the company is clearly, alongside Valero, the premium US refiner. In both cases, highly capable and credible managements led by well-established CEOs – Greg Garland […]

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8:35 AM

Morning Garland

Today we note who benefits from low natural gas prices, especially with propane prices ripping higher, and take a look at a key theme for Phillips 66 at our refining conference, the Dakota Access Pipeline. We will cover other themes for the big refiners this week as we run into our refining conference next Monday January 4th. Basically, a forgotten winner from low natgas prices is refining. Also Canadian heavy oil producers, like refiners, have […]

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9:13 AM

Morning Sankey 12/28/20

Good morning! Back from a week in Springs, out in the Hamptons. In retrospect I should have not only logged off, as I did,  but also deleted Twitter, where the tag of the week was “ATH” All-Time High, and an upsetting drivel of “I told you so” posting on Bitcoin and Tesla, among others. Most interesting Twitter post came from Lightshed, a fellow AnalystHub platform (which hosts Sankey Research for compliance etc) covering media, with […]

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9:00 AM

Morning Grumpy

Just as we highlighted yesterday that the oils are stretched on valuation, we get a couple of face slaps this morning. We are sticking with our call for $35/bbl Brent in Q1 on a major dollar rally. See our oils overvalued story here: https://www.sankeyresearch.com/2020/12/20/sunday-sankey-12-20-20/ And we have a couple of classics today: Don’t expect analysts to love a deal announced during Christmas week, but Diamondback $FANG has announced a deal to take over QEP. Diamondback […]

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9:25 AM

Friday before Xmas Sankey

Call to start 2021: our refining conference features all six independent refiners at CEO level. Sankey fireside chats back to back. Please join, you will start 2021 with a great understanding of markets, notable oil and and renewable diesel, but much more besides. I’ve got a case of Corona and I am not going to work today. I’m not sick, I’m just taking the day off to drink the whole case. Customer at a farmer’s […]

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8:28 AM

Mornin’ Changin’

Washington DC vs Wall St. Renewables stocks are ripping on word of early progress on both energy and infrastructure bills in Washington DC. Clients are talking Sunrun and all solar, $TAN the solar ETF. Daqo New Energy the Chinese silicon/solar play is almost off the chart in the past 5 days – +35%. (see below) There has been a huge move in Enphase Energy $ENPH past week, as well as $SPWR, $NOVA, $SEDG and Canadian […]

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9:02 AM

Morning TiO2

Sidetrack today into Titanium Dioxide. However before that, noted that the IEA’s latest report this morning, albeit always trailing, shows that global oil inventory was drawing very hard in October. The underlying dynamics here are extremely bullish: OECD industry stocks fell in October by 55.3 mb (1.78 mb/d) to 3 129 mb, and were 183.4 mb above the five-year average. Observed global stocks fell by 4.1 mb/d. Our analysis suggests that the global crude market will […]

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9:04 AM

Morning DC

Gyms should be allowed to stay open during COVID. The constitution guarantees freedom of the press. Who is Irish and stays out all night? Patty O’Furniture What is Beethoven’s favorite fruit? Ba-na-na-naaaa Further to our bullish refining commentary yesterday on net operating losses (NOLs) carry-forward for refiners, and E&Ps for that matter, meaning that companies will pay little or no income tax through 2021 and beyond, a client notes that “the CARES Act allow refiners […]

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8:42 AM

Morning Refining Series II

Invitation to our all-C-Level conference below. 4th January. In this note we continue our series on refining, which we started yesterday. Two key detail points that are very important, that we will cover during this series: Super bullish: Net operating losses (NOLs) for refiners from 2020 will mean they pay effectively no taxes through 2021 and beyond. On the bear side, renewable identification number (RIN) prices that prove that refiners have met their blending requirements […]

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9:01 AM

Morning Refining Conference

It is a delight to confirm that our 11th annual refining conference is on this year, as tradition dictates, on the first working day of the year, January 4th. Thanks indeed to the loyal CEOs of a heavily consolidated sector who find time at a difficult time of year – board meetings, strategy planning etc – to find time to join us. We will be running six fireside chats, back-to-back, with US independent refiner CEOs […]

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8:27 AM

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 Darren

ExxonMobil’s press release last night entitled “ExxonMobil to prioritize capital investments on high-value assets” begs the cynic to ask “what exactly would you say you were doing before?” Well, here is the history answer and it is not pretty. But, this is all looking backward, we will look forward directly in this note with a strategy suggestion. And by “what were you doing before?” we mean this is a twenty-year question. Brief conclusions: the $20bn […]

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9:10 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

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

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 Ex-Wife?

In a moment of desperation this morning I texted Silvio, my former associate, for a question on which he can always help. He called back as always but was on the bus heading through the Lincoln tunnel. I told him I was having a major problem; but the call broke up. He texted me “Sorry to hear you are having a nightmare your ex-wife… couldn’t hear the rest, call me whenever you want, hope you […]

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9:36 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

Election-free Sankey

*** This note is election commentary-free. We got definitive results last night. From Pioneer $PXD, Marathon Oil $MRO, Apache $APA, Energy Transfer $ET, and Delek $DK, boom, boom! Really notable sell-off on solar stocks which came into the past month flaming hot, and have seen major corrections led by Sunrun $RUN – 31% past month, SolarEdge -22% which compounded $RUN’s weakness with a guidance warning this week, and First Solar $FSLR down -15% this past […]

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8:17 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

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

Morning CEOs

Today: how many CEOs per barrel? The calculation was triggered by BP results this morning, which underline our description that the oil market has settled at an equilibrium of “exquisite pain” – sustaining almost exactly $40/bbl since the beginning of Q3 (Brent broke $40/bbl for the first time post-COVID on 5th June and has hugged the price ever since). This is the planning assumption that we believe oils have to assume as their base case. […]

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9:10 AM

Morning Sanknews 10/22/20

News: France quashes a major US LNG export contract on US methane emissions/fracking. Quite where this leaves Russia and Algeria has not been specified by the French. Story broke on Politico Pro. In 2016 a French minister had highlighted that US LNG contained fracked gas, so to speak, and that France bans fracking. We all remember Hess and the Paris Basin, seen to be one of the great fracking opportunities in the world, it will […]

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9:17 AM

Morning Sankey 10/21/20

I am thinking on a long refining short airlines trade. Not least because all my clients are complaining that you cannot make money in the E&P tape. I have a few who say they have been the right side of all four major deals year to date; and barely made money. While you get a 10% pop “this is not why you owned them.” In fact the latest disappointment was definitely Pioneer-Parsley, with an investment […]

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8:39 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

“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

Conoco Poncho

$EOG was the name most speculated about as likely to MAKE a takeover in the wake of the Conoco-Concho story yesterday; the stock that reacted most was $XEC, perceived as the most likely next TAKE over company. Continental CLR is seen as needing to deal, $MRO too, $OVV potentially to offer a blizzard of stock, $FANG and Parsley $PE potentially to join the consolidation fray one way or the other; $CDEV is due to be […]

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9:22 AM

ConocoConcho

ConocoPhillips $COP for Concho $CXO does not generate the “why oh why” outrage of the seemingly ludicrous rumours at the time of Occidental for Anadarko, by any means. Last evening, just as we pondered a solidly in-line-with-expectations Q3 guidance from Diamondback $FANG, Bloomberg published a story claiming that ConocoPhillips is taking over Concho, which was a whole lot more exciting for a Tuesday evening, notwithstanding my wife Patricia getting liquidized chilli directly in her eye, […]

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9:23 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

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

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

EU sure about that?

With so many long term forecasts being thrown around over the past month on energy demand and emissions, this analyst has been deeply cynical after 30 years of following long term energy modelling. The worst long term forecasts are already wrong when they are made. That is close to being the case currently as companies use a 2018 or 2019 base year, skipping the little matter of 2020, which has seen, for example, an enormous […]

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8:29 AM
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