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Crude Observations

Aug
18

It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Look, I know I do this same column seemingly every few months, but really, isn’t anyone else tired of reading about the pending demise of the energy industry? It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. I just had a quick look at oil prices and note that as of Thursday August 17, the price of oil was $46.98 which is exactly eleven cents more than it was at the same date one year ago. What’s up with that?


Aug
11

They say the best advice is free

I’m back! Did anyone miss me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Probably not I guess. But I missed all of you. Really. I did.


Jul
28

A Canadian Welcome Mat

The doomers and gloomers were hard at work this week after yet another international oil company announced plans to stop investing in the Canadian energy sector. It’s getting so a Canucklehead can’t shoot a puck without hitting some Euro/Asian/American energy company in the butt as they skeedaddle out of the country.


Jul
22

On the Road…

Shorter missive this week as I am on the road, exploring Canada from the comfort of my gas-guzzling SUV’s Captain Kirk commander seat – keeping the revs high, passing indiscriminately and wearing those tires down as quickly as humanly possible. No one can ever accuse me of not “walking the talk” when it comes to wanton consumption of oil and oil based products. We even ate KFC – it doesn’t get any greasier than that.


Jul
14

A Stampedean Metaphor

One of the best and most 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 deep-fried French fries 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.


Jul
07

No One Fails in June Right?

Arg. Another half year in the books in this wild and woolly industry we all love so much. What with the past two weeks celebrating birthdays of people and countries, a guy could be forgiven for not taking stock of where his accumulated wisdom sits. Unfortunately, the day of reckoning is at hand.


Jul
01

Nope, not 150 facts about Canada

While last week was significant in that I was able to celebrate a major milestone birthday (cue eye roll in 3, 2, 1 …), this week of course presents a much more unique opportunity. I am referring of course to Canada’s sesquicentennial, or 150th birthday. And who am I to resist the rather obvious temptation of waxing poetic about one of my favourite subjects, the true north strong and free.


Jun
23

52 Things to Think

Well, this is exciting. This week, yours truly’s book of life finally turned from page 51 to 52. I am now one year old for each week in a year and I have managed to get my weight to less than 4 times my age. Not through any genius of diet mind you, just by lazily aging.


Jun
16

Alright, now what?

It’s all well and good to admit defeat on my oil price prediction for 2017 as I did last week. But to then avoid any substantive discussion about the implications of that conclusion is actually a bit of a disservice to readers. So I will try in here to correct that.


Jun
09

They’ll either go this way, or that way.

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but is anyone else feeling a bit hinky about the price of oil? Every time we seem to have the table set for a rally, someone comes along and saws off a leg. So many indicators going in opposite directions at the same time. It’s… unsettling.


Jun
02

This Agreement is Covfefe…

  Alright, admit it. You are for sure thinking that you are about to be subjected to some boring, windy diatribe about Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord, full of fury about short-sightedness, the upcoming environmental apocalypse and the degradation of America’s standing in the world. Well, you would be wrong! Ha!


May
26

So? What does it all mean?

Well, if it’s the end of May, it must be time for another OPEC meeting. And sure enough it was. Yet again the representatives of the OPEC nations got together in beautiful Vienna (I hear it’s tremendous in the spring) to decide the future of the oil industry and set the course for everyone’s favourite and most hated commodity for the next few hours, days, weeks and months. Joining the OPEC flashmob this time were members of the non-OPEC nations who were participating in the first round of production rollbacks agreed to last November.


May
19

Is Capital Finally Back for Service Companies?

  Read some promising news for service companies recently, particularly those south of the border as it appears that there has been a pretty robust recovery in the capital markets for oilfield service. While too early to declare a solid trend, it’s a long weekend and my glass is half full, so I say it’s positive!


May
12

The BC vote is in. It’s not anarchy. Yet!

So what happens is you throw an election party, everyone votes and you still can’t tell who won? I’ll tell you what – migraines for the energy sector, courtesy of Canada’s leftmost, oddball province.


May
05

Will They or Won’t They?

Wow – that was quite a week in the oil market, with prices collapsing drastically at the end of the week amid much market concern about OPEC cuts and US shale.


Apr
28

Canada in the Crosshairs

If it seems for the past few weeks that you can’t open a newspaper or google a hockey score without someone seeming to take a drive by shot at Canada, well you’d be correct. 


Apr
21

Let’s Make a Deal!

Q1 2017 saw a record US$73 billion of energy M&A, mostly upstream producer related and hot on the heels of a robust $29.6 billion of oil field services deals in the fourth quarter of 2016, the highest amount since 2014. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that that’s a lot of deals.


Apr
14

Good… Friday and Happy Easter

Short stuff this week as I know most people are off for the Easter weekend and don’t want to be bothered with having to think about the industry much. So I will therefore try to keep it simple and, possibly, use pictures. Like the cute rabbit you already see.


Apr
07

Mid Term Report. Yuck.

So there I was the other day thinking about all the forecasts that I read and how dumb some of them seem to be. I mean seriously, how detached from reality do some people have to be to make the picks and forecasts they do.


Apr
01

Is it a joke?

I know I write a lot about the Permian Basin and all the hype associated with it. I know that I can come across as somewhat skeptical about the hype machine. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity.


Mar
24

Quack. Quack.

Ah spring, is there anything more refreshing than spring in the air? Allergies, buds pushing up from the ground, leaves getting ready to burst forth, the migration of ducks… Or should I say DUCs? You remember those, Drilled but UnCompleted? Those thousands of drilled wells in the US that were ready to flood the market, what happened to those anyway?


Mar
17

The Energy Sweet Sixteen – Yes!!!

I am channeling my inner Verne Lundquist here as I prepare to submit my bracket for the second annual energy sector sweet sixteen, prepared in metaphorical fashion as we seek to make sense of all the nuances of the market and try to pick a winner.


Mar
10

Meanwhile in Canada…

Last week I went off a bit on the burgeoning over-investment in the Permian Basin in Texas and shared some observations about the state of the financial markets and hype associated with that particular play.


Mar
03

It’s Madness I Tell Ya!

If last week was a Twitter storm, then this week must obviously address the likes, retweets and replies (both positive and negative). And yes, I do receive replies and comments on occasion.


Feb
24

Wait, is it a Twitter Storm or Blizzard?

In true Trumpian social media fashion, I have recently come to the conclusion that any and all things can be described and explained in a well scripted twitter storm – not to exceed 50 tweets in a thread.


Feb
17

Joe who?

Super short this week, as I am sitting in a pub writing this as part of my apres-ski on a quick family trip to the mountains and I don’t want to drip beer on my keyboard.


Feb
10

Pragmatic Environmentalist – umm, what?

So it turns out that that feeling of ears-burning during Super Bowl wasn’t because I failed to predict the completely preposterous, epic comeback win by the Patriots, although that was kind of embarrassing and I lost a lunch bet on it.


Feb
03

Wait, was it 6 or 8 weeks until breakup?

So, it’s Groundhog Day and I wasted all my intellectual ammo last year doing a whole metaphorical dissertation about one of my favourite movies – Groundhog Day (work with me here) with the oil-patch as Phil Connors.


Jan
27

Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It!

As many of you may have noticed, I’ve closed a lot of my blogs since the election with the line “where’s my damn pipeline” and guess what, as of this week, we are a whole bunch of steps closer to having our damn pipeline. Or as some commentators have said, in 4 days Donald Trump has done more for Canada’s oilpatch than Trudeau or Notley has done in 2 years.


Jan
20

Inaugurate this!

Well, there you go. It’s done. I have to say, the inauguration has always struck me as one of the more uneventful events in the political theatre, everyone is on their best behaviour, it’s civilized and quite often it’s cold and rainy so it seems like everyone just wants to get on with it and go to a party.


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