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Crude Observations

Jul
12

Stampede!

One of the both great and (occasionally) annoying things about living and working in Calgary is navigating the annual all-consuming celebration of fun and cowboy hats that is the Calgary Stampede. Whether it’s surviving double-deep-fried scorpions coated in Oreo batter, boiled corn rolled in ground-up spicy Cheetos, mainlining mini-donuts or running the gauntlet of corporate gatherings, Stampede is a unique event in our city.   How unique? Well it’s got its own verb and language – that’s pretty unique.   “Have you been stampeding yet?”  “Sure have, we were at the chucks the other day […]


Jul
06

Yahoo – The End of Q2!

Is it the end of Q2 already? All I can say is thank god! It has been a long one what with elections and pipelines and sanctions and all things Trump. And it is that blessed time of year here in Calgary called Stampede and if you are wondering why this blog is a day late and a dollar short, you can blame my buddy Kim and his First Friday party which happened to coincide with my usual blog posting time. Beer, party, blog. Blog, party, beer.  Party, beer, blog. Pretty easy call actually. I […]


Jun
28

Canada D’eh!

It’s time for my annual celebration of all things canucklehead, what with Canada’s National Holiday, the NHL season opener, just around the corner. What’s that? Oh, oops, sorry. What with Canada Day, just around the corner. Canada Day being the day that we discovered we could appropriate the practice developed by first nations of tapping into the sweet spring sap of maple trees and making a syrup out of it, or, put another way, drinking tree blood. What? Wrong again? Egads. OK. One last try. Canada Day, the day our nation was founded, after  24 […]


Jun
21

54 is a magic number

Where does the time go? Why it seems like just last week everyone was all in a lather about US production being up another 100,000 barrels and storage in Cushing being up 2 million barrels or some such number with the net result being that the world was awash in oil and we were in an age of peaceful plenty. Then some guy in Iran goes and drops a US drone into the strait of Hormuz and reality hits home. Yeah, I guess that there oil supply chain can get pretty dicey at times what […]


Jun
14

Happy Day?

So here we are, June 14th which should be a happy day for a number of reasons yet we are all wondering just what the heck is going on. I went away last week and the world seemed relatively stable, then it all went to hell in a handbasket. I mean seriously, if you weren’t somehow exposed to volatility and uncertainty in your day to day life this past week, then I suspect you weren’t paying attention. If it wasn’t someone pretending to be Iran attacking some oil tankers it was the Toronto Raptors upsetting […]


Jun
07

Time to Buy?

This is one of those abbreviated blog posts because I find myself travelling this week, which is unusual. Even more unusual is that I am travelling with my family somewhere cool instead of acting as the glorified bus driver that I seem to be most days or doing work travel. And, I’m leaving my laptop where it belongs – at the office.   The benefit of the abbreviated blog post is that I can get away with just one subject. And that subject is one that is near and dear to my heart, specifically the […]


May
31

Mexican Standoff

Wow, just when you thought it was safe to get back in the water, along comes Donald J. Trump with another broadside to the global economy, this time in the form of another set of reckless tariffs on an ally and major trading partner. It was hard to miss, but if you did, the gist is that as of June 10th, Mexico will be slapped with monthly increasing tariffs on all exports, starting at 5% and ending at… who knows. These tariffs will remain in place until Mexico takes steps to end the passage of […]


May
24

Ministry of Silly Walks

You know how every once in a while you get this sudden wave of inspiration flowing over you and you feel that you can do no wrong and are pretty much on top of the world? I get that every once in while working on this blog and the words just flow from my brain to my hands to my non touch-typing trained (sorry ma!) carpal tunnel wracked index fingers onto the blank slate word document and create something without peer. A true creative transfer that leaves the writer with a sense of smug satisfaction. […]


May
17

Enough with the Negativity

Well, that was interesting. Clearly, judging by the overwhelming feedback, I hit a home run with last week’s blog. The straight up re-characterization of the pipeline file as a re-imagining of one of my favourite plays (Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett) was, I thought, fairly spot on given the senseless navel gazing and mindless discussion that informs the pipeline debate. Senseless waiting is a legitimate theme. OK, I lied. Last week was a dud. But it made an important point we are all feeling.   It also served as an potent outlet for my […]


May
10

Waiting

I believe it is well established at this moment in time that I, like many energy sector participants, am not terribly patient when it comes to infrastructure. I want my pipelines and I want them yesterday. It goes without saying that a strong regulatory approval process is required, environmental protections must be in place and proper consultations held. But it’s the waiting that kills you. And it’s not even. Why do some projects take so long and others seem to get approved in the blink of an eye?   It’s not a level playing field […]


May
03

Answer in the form of a question…

Ever notice how sometimes there are cultural phenomena or global events that arise and transfix people for weeks at a time such that they become very much a part of the public dialogue and which allow complete strangers to find common cause or shared experience that they otherwise wouldn’t? These things can take any shape or form and run the gamut from “knowing where you were when Kennedy was shot” or 9/11 memories or, conversely, rather than some world changing event, it was a cultural phenomenon that swept the world. Like the Macarena. Or Baby […]


Apr
26

Draft Day

Welcome everyone to the end of April. The time of year when Calgary gets its annual dose of freak snowstorms and patio weather, often in the same day. That’s right, the time of year when you thought it was safe to go back outside for a run or spark a doob on a patio downtown (what? That’s not allowed? That’s stupid) some crazy weather comes along to remind you that it is still in fact winter here notwithstanding the calendar. We are officially in the end of winter doldrums.   Other signs that we are […]


Apr
19

Now What?

Well there you have it. The election is finally over. What was 28 days of full-on flinging of mud, rage and other nasty stuff has, in typical Canadian fashion, rolled over into the smooth and peaceful transfer of power from the Rachel Notley NDP to our new set of overlords, the United Conservative Party lead by Jason Kenney.   With the election over I can finally catch up on my sleep and with the all-consuming rage messaging toned down I no longer find myself curled up in the corner hiding from the world at large. […]


Apr
12

Making the Call… Ugh.

This is it. The last blog before the big day. I know I have been threatening it for some time, but this is the day I have to actually make my prediction in this godforsaken Alberta election. I can’t avoid it anymore So I’m going to do that. Soon. But first, I feel I must veer off topic and tell a wee story.   This blog started about four years ago. Under oddly similar circumstances. You see, at that time, in 2015, Alberta was going through an election, the economy was under duress, the Conservatives […]


Apr
05

One More Week!

Okay, I lied. Can you forgive me? It was too easy. It was spring break, I was relaxing with my family and it was Friday. And I really didn’t want to go inside and write my blog and I refused to leave poolside because I had a freshly cracked Dos Equis XX by my side. So, I thought to myself, “Self, it’s Friday – you got nothing to write and Monday is April Fool’s and to leave that alone is a disservice to pranksters everywhere. So I did what I did. But really, theer is […]


Apr
01

A last hurrah

Sorry everyone for the tardy delivery of the blog. But I have some bad (good?) news for you.   As many of you know, I have been wrestling with this for a while, but I have decided, after much contemplation and consultation with loved ones and colleagues to call an end to the blog after this week. After all, I am running out of things to talk about, what with the ills of the energy sector being solved by our Liberal Party of Canada overlords and the wise men of OPEC (+). I mean, think […]


Mar
22

Madness! It’s March!

Wow, has it been a year already? I guess it has, and here I sit in my office transfixed by the opening rounds of my favourite sports tournament of the year and contemplating the meaning of college sports. And as always, as my basketball bracket implodes and I see all my bets wither and die, I am reminded that the big dance is also happening in the energy world and, as tradition dictates, I need to do my picks.   Last year was a pretty intense energy tournament and my final match up was a […]


Mar
15

Trust me – this is a good idea!

Good afternoon everyone, an abbreviated blog this week. Why? Because this week I am coming to you remotely. Ironically from Montreal, a city that I slagged so magnificently last week.  Where in Montreal? Well I am paying a return visit to my roots, pretty much THE root, the Montreal General Hospital where yours truly was born – many, many, many years ago. And wouldn’t you know it, just up the street from here is the Trudeau family compound, and down the street is the head office of SNC Lavalin and right in between, where I’m […]


Mar
08

Definitely NOT normal…

Another week gone by and another hot mess of scandals, crises, economic malaise and assorted bad news. Unless you are Bryce Harper signing with Philadelphia for $330 million over 13 years, you likely have had a pretty challenging week. But even that isn’t good enough for the sports punditry. He should have taken a shorter deal for more money per year! Why Philadelphia! What a moron! I’m not really sure what measure of moronity the guy calling in to a sports loudmouth show at 11:35 pm on a random Tuesday is using, but he might […]


Mar
01

Scandal! But not what you think…

I know all of you think I am some loser who sits around all day reading technical articles about oil & gas, energy policy and energy services, while also spending way too much time on twitter debating politics from all sides of the aisle. And that armed with all that, I sally forth and spend the balance of my time holding industry and the political establishment to task – critiquing their policies and market interpretations, busting myths, spreading truths. The usual blog hero stuff.   And you what? You would all be absolutely right. In […]


Feb
22

Even if TMX takes forever, at least there’s rail…

Finally. At long last. Phew. A week where I can sit back, take a deep breath and then unload on a variety of different topics. It’s taken a while and as always, a number of them have been festering beneath the surface, like acid reflux, or natural gas under pressure, just needing one little ghost in the machine to let everything blow out in a torrent of rage, or words as the case may be.   Okay so maybe that’s a little melodramatic and probably raises expectations too high on the actual rantiness of what […]


Feb
16

A Green New Deal

Ah Valentine’s Day, I hope everyone had a good one and was able to celebrate with loved ones and scored copious amounts of chocolate, flowers, edible underwear – whatever floats your boat really.   I of course scored my favourite gift, a platter of the finest cheese, a Keto friendly baguette that I was able to enjoy with a flagon of the finest wine and the company of my own Valentine.   But enough about me. Today for some reason I feel the need to talk about the environment. Specifically the environment as it relates […]


Feb
08

What’s the deal with this Venezuela thing anyway?

Given my well-documented struggles with writer’s block these last few weeks, it is surprising that I haven’t taken the time to pen a missive about the unfolding events in Venezuela. Well that ends now, especially since the chattering class seem to have finally noticed what is going on in Venezuela and seem to have a passing interest in what has led to the current situation – which is about as mild a word as one can use for what is in reality a calamity.   Regular readers of this blog will know that I consider […]


Feb
01

We’ve all seen this movie

Okay folks, this is it. I am officially stumped and torn this week. I don’t know what to write on. You see there are two themes rattling around in my head. First, it’s Super Bowl Weekend. My favourite chicken wing mainlining time of the year. And this year yet again we have a super-intriguing matchup. Sean McVay the boy genius coach facing off against the Sith Lord of the NFL, Bill Belichek. We have the young gunslinger in Jared Goff against the old man who just won’t quit and who is universally loathed pretty much […]


Jan
25

Risk On, risk off.

Well it looks like it’s time for an encore folks. After last week’s ranty blog, I am betting that everyone is up for something more. What is he going to do next? Who’s the target? Horgan, right? It’s gotta be Horgan! (For the benefit of non-Canadian readers or those who (smartly) avoid politics, Horgan is the current premier of BC). No, it’s not Horgan, even though he is a tempting target. And it’s not anyone in the US because as I described last week I am not able to make any comments on American politics […]


Jan
19

A Letter!

I was drawing a little bit of a blank this week as last week’s torrent of wisdom relating to my Fearless ForecastTM  was, shall we say, somewhat draining and we appear to be in the middle of some January blahs right now what with the snow and the government shutdown. It’s so blah not even the upcoming Super Blood Wolf Moon (a real thing) or Donald Trump serving hamberders (another real thing) can seem to shake me out of it.   So accordingly I am going to do something that I should have done a […]


Jan
11

The Fearless Forecast – Uncurtailed

Are you ready for it? Because I sure am! Brace yourselves dear readers – it is that time of year where I lay myself bare to all of your collective scorn and ridicule and put out the one and only Fearless Forecast that you absolutely must read, right now, before the market opportunity escapes you! Read it!   That’s right, step right up now and let me tell you about the prognostications that will amplify and electrify your portfolios. The stock picks and the macro directions that will set you on the path to eternal […]


Jan
05

The worst time of the year. Forecast Review

Note from me – WordPress changed the way it does its posts so I haven’t been able to figure paragraph spacing yet. Many apologies. Just think, 2018 only ended a mere 4 days ago and it is so forgettable that I have forgotten all about it. Except when I am reminded of it. Like now. When I am forced to look back at what happened last year and compare that to what I expected to happen. Put another way, ever wonder what happens when a prognosticator celebrates their own brilliance a mere ¾ of the […]


Dec
24

A Christmas Ode to the Patch

Well here it is, Christmas Eve, the shopping is finally stopping and the family is sitting around being uber-lazy and getting ready for the big day. Normally I don’t do a midweek blog but this year I feel the need for one last communication as we wonder what 2019 has in store for us. I know one thing for sure, I am extremely hopeful we aren’t in for a repeat of, say, the last 4 months, because that’s been pretty ugly no matter where you sit.   That said, I am feeling a bit more […]


Dec
21

Yippee Ki-yay!

Well, that was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? No sooner had the OPEC+/Russia and others deal been extended, signed and delivered as promised than that old sneaky spoiler of the party – unimpeded, explosive shale oil growth and negative market sentiment – raised its ugly head again and promptly knocked the feet out from under the market faster than you can say yippee ki-yay!   You will notice I left out the end of that sentence, but most people in North America know there is an M and an F involved. And of course […]


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