Crude Observations

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 upbeat for the Canadian energy sector in 2019, particularly on the infrastructure side which, unbeknownst to many Canadians outside the energy sector or people outside the country, has been on a bit of a roll for much of the past year.


So, in the spirit of the season, best wishes, happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you. I will see you in the 2019 as I take a break this week.


Finally, as a now annual tradition, I present the following poem that you should feel free to read to all the children of the land – I know I will be reading it to my children.


A Christmas Ode to the Patch


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the patch
not a rig-hand was stirring, no need to dispatch.
The frac-trucks were parked by the fence-line with care,
in hopes that new capex soon would be there.


The welders were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of pipelines danced in their heads.
And Rachel in her ‘kerchief, and Trudeau in his cap,
had just settled down for a TransMountain nap.


When out in the market there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.
Away to check prices I went with a flash,
Hoping the market did not again crash.

The price of oil seemed to be floundering hard,
Despite OPEC playing the production cut card.
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a curtailment report showing more cuts are near.


With tight oil soaring, the signals are mixed,
But I swear to you all, the market is fixed.
More rapid than eagles, the opinions abound,
and the sector, it seems could soon make up some ground.


“Now OPEC! Bin Salman!
Now, Climate and Notley!
On, Trudeau! On, Trump!
On, Saudi and Putin!
To the end of the world!
To the end of the glut!
Give it up! Give it up!
The oil patch wants up!”


No more slagging of oilsands, plastics and pipe.
Export markets to open, the timing is ripe.
But up to their pulpits the pundits they flew,
Lower for longer! And end of times too!


And so, in a panic, I think this can’t be,
is the world really over for people like me?
As I turned off the news and was turning around,
the thought of the end made me fall to the ground.


Fossil fuels done for – green power they say,
and coal is a goner, by sometime in May.
The wind it blows turbines that spin all around,
and the sun warms up panels, not just worms on the ground.


The world it is changing! Adapt now we must!
The future’s renewable, opportunity robust!
Who cares if my taxes go up, up, forever?
Our leaders know all, since they are so clever.
The fate of our industry held tight in their hands,
While advantage is gifted to faraway lands.
Yet even at that, I hold firmly to hope,
that when all’s said and done, surely we’d cope?


The prices drift round, there’s no rhyme and no reason,
yet with OPEC in play, the rally’s plainly in season.
A simple cut here, some aggressive demand,
Three years of no spending – we’ll be back in command.


For the sector is fickle and it sure is some work,
it gyrates, it shakes and then turns with a jerk.
The bears’ time is done for, the prices will rocket,
and then I’ll have plenty of cash in my pocket .


So doomsters take heed, your view is short-sighted,
The market I know is no longer blighted.
So here I exclaim, ‘ere I drive out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to oil, and to all a good night!”


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