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Crude Observations

May
18

Royal Wedding Dream Sequence

That’s right folks, there is a Royal Wedding this weekend and it is time for celebration. Thus, as dutiful servants of the Crown, most of us Canucks will be donning our fascinators and heading to the nearest Hose & Hound or Parrot & Duke or Rat & Spleen British-themed neighbourhood pub to watch the nuptials of young bonny Prince Harry and the American pretender Meghan Markle. On top of that, it’s also Victoria Day weekend, the celebration of the birth of Queen Victoria. Or as we call it here – May Long.


May
11

Enough with these Canada problems

It’s been a big week in the energy sector, hasn’t it? What with Donald Trump bailing out of the UN/Iran nuclear agreement, supply squeezes and other volatility, it would appear that my tongue-in-cheek forecast of $300 oil is well on its way, right? And, with all the exciting developments on the Canadian pipeline front this past week, well it seems like…. Oh wait, there were no developments on the Canadian pipeline front. Sorry. And $300 oil? Not a real thing. But, hey, it’s important to make it all about us, right?


May
04

May the Fourth Be With You

The force is strong in this week’s blog. So, Someone is forecasting $300 oil. Aside from how ridiculous and reckless that is, let me first say, it comes from a pretty successful hedge fund investor and is backed by some thoughtful analysis. And, aside from being barking mad, the point of the call is that without significant investment in new fields and projects, there is a very real possibility that rising demand and  decline rates crush OPEC spare capacity and the fantasy of tight oil as a swing producer and we find ourselves in the […]


Apr
27

It’s Drafty in Here

As a big National Football League fan, I have to say that this time of year is very exciting to me with the schedule coming out last week and this week getting all wrapped up in the draft, contemplating how badly some of the teams with the top draft picks will screw up this year, which promising young quarterback will be ruined by the New York Jets, the usual.   One of the most fun things to do is to read and obsess about the 367 mock drafts that get prepared because there is nothing […]


Apr
20

A Pipeline Tragedy

So here’s a thing that has been in the back of my mind since I started my blog. Maybe all of you out in cyber-land can give me some cogent advice and let me know whether it’s a good idea or whether you think I have been spending too much time reading my own press clippings. What I’ve been thinking is that it’s about time for me to branch out into writing in a more formal way.


Apr
13

The Fuse is Lit -Show me the Money!

Well that was an interesting week wasn’t it? I feel sometimes that I write these blogs on a Friday and by the time I come back into work on Monday, the whole world has changed or the premise of what I was saying has been turned upside down or something happens that seems to indicate that I am some kind of Energy Prophet, able to peer into the arcane depths of this most confusing sector and emerge Gandalf like with the one true path.


Apr
06

Where did all the moneys go?

OK, I admit it. Time to come clean. I lied. I never intended to stop doing the blog. It’s too addictive. I can’t quit the energy sector and the bully pulpit this blog gives me that easily. So I lied to you. It was a cheap April Fool’s stunt, mainly concocted to distract from my egregious forecasts. But many of you saw right through it, so kudos to you. On the other hand, I did manage to fool quite a few people, so yay for me! I guess.


Apr
01

Fishing for Easter?

Well, here it is. Time for a long thought out and serious decision. I have elected, after much determination, consternation and consultation with friends, family, colleagues, the leaders of the seven major world religions and numerous governmental bodies to make this edition of the blog, being Easter Sunday, April 1 2018 on or before 11:59 AM Mountain Standard Time the last. It’s been a good run, but with the energy sector in such good hands, I think the timing and reason for the end is obvious. I have nothing left to add to the discussion.


Mar
23

Life comes at you pretty fast

I believe that I owe my loyal readership a massive apology. It all starts with last week’s Sweet 16 energy bracket and the fact that I was in such a tizzy about the opening round basketball games that I didn’t give anywhere near enough thought on what I was writing and picking and I sure paid the price. Well at least my NCAA bracket did. I hope no one took any of my picks all that seriously.


Mar
16

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 a day stuck between the Ides of March and St Patrick’s Day. 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.


Mar
09

Well since you asked…

Last week I was in Montreal visiting family and while there I was asked the dreaded question that most people in Alberta fear. And no, it wasn’t pipeline or Jason Kenney related.  No, the question du jour was “How’s business? It must be tough in Alberta right now.” Ugh, cue the deer in the headlights expression for me, right? I mean I have a hard enough time telling people what I do, never mind articulating if I’m being successful at it!


Mar
02

Happy February 30th and other fake days.

OK, a bit of a different spin this week as I have been a bit busy trying to do my actual day job! First off, the date. February 30th is one of my favourite days of the year – I’ve always found that the dog days of February, namely the 30th and 31st are among the coolest days of the year where the fog of winter starts to give way to overwhelming anticipation of a sunny, happy spring. Or is it a reflection of the drudgery of a winter that seems to have no end.


Feb
23

Is it really as bad as it seems?

This past week I have found myself engaged in a fair amount of soul-searching. And not surprisingly, I have found on further reflection that I have spent a disproportionate amount of time in recent weeks (OK, months) piling on Canada and pointing out the foibles, weaknesses, regulatory hurdles, lack of capital infrastructure woes and other flaws in the Canadian energy sector. And truth be told, I feel kinda bad about it. I mean it’s my country right?


Feb
16

Trojan Rabbit?

I held off on writing too much or really about this week’s topic last week because it was all so fresh and I hadn’t had a chance to absorb it – not to mention it is an excruciatingly boring topic. Anyway, last week, the Liberal government released its long-awaited reforms to the way energy projects are assessed and approved in Canada (already bored right?). And, of course, as in all things Liberal, it’s a bit confusing.


Feb
09

Faster Higher Stronger

So there I sat on Thursday, at home, watching Calgary Snowpocalypse 2018 unfold all around me. We have received at last count about 35 to 50 cm of snow in the last 24 hours. In non-metric speak, that is about 12 to 18 inches. Part and parcel of that is a snow day, because driving in these conditions can at best be described as white knuckled terror. Of course as we all know, it’s not the driving so much as the drivers.


Feb
07

Shameless Self Promotional Supplementary Edition

Here’s an urban myth that I never really believed: the camera adds 10 pounds. Who knew? I mean I suppose intuitively I knew it, I just didn’t believe it. Now I know.  And those extra pounds? Neither evenly nor fairly distributed. I learned this because I recently had the privilege of appearing on an edition of CTV2’s Alberta Primetime. a daily news show covering topics of interest to people in the Province of Alberta.


Feb
02

Of losers and goats

Last week’s ranty diatribe about the Canadian energy sector sure seemed to strike a nerve with a number of readers, as it certainly appears that there are many people who, like me, are completely frustrated with the state of the industry and the attitude of various levels of government towards it.


Jan
26

Not out of the woods

This is one of those weeks where there was a lot of stuff getting under my skin or poking at me. Irritatingly tapping me on the shoulder to the point where I almost felt the need to turn around and scream “What!?!?!?!” until I realized of course that my co-workers might very well have me committed!


Jan
19

Time to Sell!

No, not the market. Not oil. I’m good with that. I’m thinking more of the great global fossil fuel divestment movement. In fact, I am so moved by the effortless logic of their position that I have decided to liquidate all of my oil and gas holdings, yes, even as the market appears to be finally turning forever in my favour.


Jan
12

Fearless Forecast!

Are you ready for it? Because it is that time of year again 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!!!!! In all seriousness, this could very well be the most important thing you read today. Before you put another dime to work in the energy sector.


Jan
05

Time to Critique The Forecast

Happy New Year everyone! It’s great to be back – refreshed and ready to tackle the raging bull that is going to be 2018. In fact, I am so confident in the future that I will say without hesitation that 2018 is going to be significantly better than 1918, which as we all know was the last year of World War I. But before we go there, time for THE RECKONING!!!!


Dec
22

A Holiday Ode to the Oilpatch

So this is Christmas. And what have I done? Another year older and a new one about to begin. But really, John Lennon aside, this is it, the last of my lazy Christmas/holiday season blogs. I mentioned earlier that this is the time of year I get lazy, well it’s also the time of year I take a brief hiatus.


Dec
15

Naughty or Nice?

Last week as everyone knows, I divulged one of my deepest and darkest secrets, namely that I am hopelessly addicted to cheeseball Hallmark Movie Channel Christmas movies, most of which seem to star Lacey Chabert. It was a soul-cleansing moment for me and I certainly appreciate the support of the blog community that I have received.


Dec
08

Top 10 Time!

Well, that was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it? No sooner had the OPEC deal been extended, signed and delivered as promised than that old sneaky spoiler of the party – unimpeded, explosive shale oil growth – raised its ugly head again and promptly knocked 10% off the price of oil in less time than it takes to say: “the moose at the gate should have told you”.


Dec
01

The Inside View

By now everyone involved in the oil and gas industry will have heard about the outcome of the bi-annual special gathering of OPEC ministers and the NOPEC crew (otherwise known as Russia). will they, won’t they, how long, who will be the first to cheat – these are all interesting questions that will have interesting answers and in fact some have already been dealt with and the opinion makers for all the major publications have had their say already and they are all far, far wiser than I so I wouldn’t dare to cast up […]


Nov
24

Turkey Time 2

Every once in a while, I will realize that I have spent way too much time talking about oil, complaining about pipelines, Permania, free money and the impending “End of Big Oil because of Electric Vehicles”. And it’s on those days that my attention turns to oil and coal’s neglected stepsister who we know as natural gas. And in the spirit of American Thanksgiving, I would like to say that I, for one, am thankful for natural gas, the current turkey of the energy sector.


Nov
17

Time for a Sequel

OK, so no more cop-out blogs for at least the foreseeable future. I am instead going to try, this time around, to do a stream of consciousness style ramble, starting on one topic and moving, hopefully seamlessly, to various others, most of them seemingly unrelated except that they probably bother me a little bit. So I guess they do have something in common after all?


Nov
10

Mailing It In

Just over one year. A smidge over 12 months. 52 weeks and change. 367 days. 8,808 hours. 528,480 minutes. 31,708,800 seconds. Seems like a lot, but really it hasn’t been that long in life terms. At any rate, that is the approximate amount of time (wrong as soon as I wrote it) that has elapsed since Donald Trump stunned the universe (and by universe I mean the Democrats) and won the presidency.


Nov
03

Is $60 the New $50?

Alright folks, enough ranting. It’s too tiring to be angry all the time, even though the government makes it so easy. This week, it’s mostly positive stuff. Why? Because oil is solidly above $50 and there are many reasons for optimism. In fact, I’m so pumped that I just bought tickets to an “Up With People” revival.


Oct
27

Spooky/Unspooky?

Every once in a while, I am struck by events or occurrences around me and struggle to figure out what is really happening. As an example, in the energy industry, news comes at you fast and furious and from all angles. It’s like chaos theory – it’s all non-linear and causation is often difficult if not impossible to find no matter how much you think you squashed that butterfly under your heel.


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