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Crude Observations

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.


Jan
13

Don’t Aim, Shoot! – The Fearless Forecast

As promised, this week’s edition is all about forecasts. It’s about good forecasts, bad forecasts, stretch forecasts, random thoughts and vague justifications. But mostly, it’s about the Fearless Forecast, 2017 edition.


Jan
06

Cloudy with a Chance of Report Cards

Well that was sure a nice break, anyone miss me? But now it’s time to get back to the grindstone and get everything ready for the gong show that 2017 is already shaping up to be what with the coronation, oops “inauguration” of President Donald Trump (still can’t say that without giggling), a brand new carbon tax in Alberta and Vladimir Putin as master puppeteer for the globe!


Dec
23

Mailing it in for Christmas

I’ve always found at Christmas time, that I tend to be really unfocused and end up overlooking some critical things, like work, stocking stuffers for my wife – you know, minor stuff! Case in point, last week was (in my mind at least) my end of year post except I forgot to actually say it was, and today being Friday, I find myself in a bit of a bind.


Dec
16

Letters to the Big Guy

So just the other day, I happened to be walking by one of those postal pick-up thingys – whatever they are called, you know, where Canada Post dumps and sorts your mail and you have to throw on your bathrobe and slippers in the dead of night and drive out to and pick up the mail? The ones they suddenly want to get rid of and go back to home delivery along with, apparently, buying myspace and AOL?


Dec
09

It’s Cold and It’s Making Me Cranky!

So here I sit, housebound by the excruciating cold snap we are going through as well as by (currently shirked) parental responsibilities towards a sick kid. At any rate, other things I should be working on than this blog right? So I will keep it short, like my trips outside. -25? Seriously?


Dec
02

Pipeline Happy Days and OPEC Avoids Jumping the Shark

I hope everyone is super-pumped by that awesome week of energy industry feel-goodness. What with OPEC and pipelines, you can almost be forgiven for not noticing our spiffy new website and masthead for the blog! We are pretty excited about it.


Nov
25

Is OPEC All Thumbs?

OPEC?!?!?!?! What? These guys again? Seriously? It’s hard to believe that we are here yet again. I mean wasn’t it just like last month that we went through the wringer? But that was just the opening act.


Nov
18

I Can Answer That Question!

So here we sit a week or so removed from the US election and you know what? I feel kind of liberated. Not a voting-result based monkey off my back, just relief that I don’t have to spend as much time getting distracted by another country’s crazy politics, at least until January, when the transition happens, or if I suddenly develop an interest in Italian politics (ay, caramba!). Besides, as a private equity buddy reminded me the other day, the blog was maybe getting a little too political in nature, so herewith, back to business! […]


Nov
11

Back to Business, I Guess?

So now that that whole Drumpf election is behind us, I guess it is time to pick up the pieces of our shattered psyches, pick our collective jaws out of the dirt and figure out exactly what is going on, what may happen, what will happen and how much we should be worried about.   As it regards social commentary and the fitness or unfitness of a candidate for a position, their moral compass and whether their supporters are cut from the same cloth or not, much ink has been spilled by far smarter and […]


Nov
09

Didn’t see that coming, did we…

Well, what a night!   It was fascinating watching the results trickle in and seeing Wolf Blitzer get way too excited about a 10 vote swing in Fiddle-Faddle County North Carolina and CNN with their magic wall and talking heads and pundits and smug Canadians like me and people around the world telling everyone in the United States how to vote.   And that is exactly what they did. In big numbers. In surprising numbers. In surprising ways. Some people got the result they wanted. Some people got the result they never wanted. But you […]


Nov
04

Okay Folks, this is it…

**Caution – Provocative and long-winded opinion to follow. May contain nuts**   So, this is what we have been building up to for what seems like the past 2884 months. (Months since July 4 1776).   I am of course referring to the NDP carbon tax economic impact analysis. No wait, the ATB economic update for the province of Alberta. No, the federal government and its fall economic update. Seriously folks, it’s the joint PSAC/CAPP drilling forecast for 2017. Bank of Canada rate decision? FOMC meeting? Cubs win?   Okay, okay, okay. We are talking […]


Oct
28

Trick or Treat

Ah Halloween, that favourite time of year where kids run around in costume yelling at their neighbours, demanding candy, counting their loot, hoarding their bounty and ultimately falling twitching into bed in a massive overly stimulated sugar high as their teeth disintegrate in their sleep.   It’s also the vastly amusing time of year when it is not unusual to pull up at a stop light and have Batman sitting in the car next to you doing something completely mundane like texting or eating a cheeseburger.   By the way, I have my costume picked, […]


Oct
21

It’s Debatable (WRONG!)

So, phew, that was a bit of an experience right? (IT WAS WONDERFUL) Is anyone out there like me after last Wednesday’s debate thanking their lucky stars that this is all finally, mercifully over? (I DON”T ACCEPT THAT RESULT, IT’S NOT OVER TILL I SAY IT IS)   What? It’s not? There’s more? Surely not that much more left. What? 17 days? That’s a freaking eternity! (LOSER)   Look, I actually know how many days there are until November 28th, I mean 8th. (IT’S JUST NUMBERS) I am just at a loss as to what […]


Oct
14

Report Card time? Oh no!!!!!

Well look at that, another three months gone by and it is time to do a Q3 report card on my bold predictions. I would note that so far, there is no Trumpian risk factor showing up, but I expect that volatility may increase as we approach November 8th and by that I mean volatility of the market variety as well as the political.   At any rate, still happy with my forecast as far as it stands. Not like I was really out there on some of it – I am always in favour […]


Oct
07

A Canadian Turkey

Ah, Canadian thanksgiving, turkey, mashed potatoes etc.   Falling leaves and sunny afternoons watching football…   A wonderful time of year and a great opportunity to take stock and give thanks for all the things that matter in the year that is past and the year that is to come.   So, in no particular order, here are some of the things that I am thankful for.   Not being in Calgary today. Seriously, a short vacation to the sun. And what happens? It freaking snows in Calgary! Turn on those furnaces everyone!   Green […]


Sep
30

Some Bigly Good News for Once?

So, after weeks and months of wandering in the wilderness, the energy sector, nay the world, was finally blessed with some seeming good news this week, at least enough to temporarily lift spirits that were otherwise sitting despondently nursing a warm gin and tonic. That is, before reality and the overwhelming negativity of the analyst community and the market at large crushed this nascent hope like a bug.   What are these good news/bad news stories?   Someone Blinked As postulated in this space last week, OPEC did indeed surprise the market with an announcement […]


Sep
23

Deja vu Redux, Version 15.4

Look, I have to write about it, it’s become a big deal and it is the most compelling/interesting thing going on in the energy sector this week.   That’s right, I’m talking about an apparent Canadian invasion of New York City, with Rachel Notley attending “Climate Week” and Justin Trudeau addressing the 71st General Assembly of the United Nations. I mean seriously, has there ever been a time when a confluence of events has brought Canada’s leaders so close to the power and influence we so desperately crave? In one fell swoop, we are once […]


Sep
16

Oops!

As we enter year 3 of this big giant mess of an energy industry, I feel myself compelled to put on my Saudi Arabia hat and ask myself – has it all been worth it? Sometimes a little introspection is important especially because I believe that Saudi Arabia needs to own up the abject failure of its strategy, not that I have any strong feelings about this or anything.   I don’t say that lightly and I know that many will dispute this given the state on the energy industry. However, if you take a step […]


Sep
09

It’s All a Big Deal

It’s amazing isn’t it? Last week I predicted a rebound in M&A and then whammo, here we go. I gotta get me some lottery tickets.   I suppose the big news this week is the announced Enbridge-Spectra mega merger, which will create the largest North American pipeline and energy infrastructure company, the fourth largest company in Canada (enterprise value of $165 billion) and an energy transportation colossus based right here in little old Calgary.   This is an exciting deal on many levels: it is a sign that M&A is back in a big way, it […]


Sep
02

It’s Labour Day and that means…

Nope, not a pro-union polemic or an ode to summer in Canada. Instead, more of an observational piece designed to make everyone feel a bit better heading into the last weekend of summer. Earlier this week, Tervita announced that it had sold its service rig business to High Arctic, a deal which followed on Strad Energy Service’s acquisition of Red Neck Rentals a couple of weeks ago   There has been ink spilled already on these deals, discussing whether so and so got fair value, or who won the deal or whatever. I`m not going […]


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