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Crude Observations

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 […]


Dec
14

Checking a List

As the holiday season ramps up and we get closer and closer to Christmas, some of you may have noticed a disturbing trend in this blog. Namely, that we have a whole bunch of things we need to cover off before we leave and that the blog seems somehow rushed, like I am in a big hurry to get out of the office and do some Christmas shopping even though, like most of the guys I know, I have a tendency to do all of this on the last day of shopping in the busiest […]


Dec
07

An Unusual Performance

So that’s it then. All the storm and fury, the price gyrations, the leaks, the tweets, the media frenzy. It has all culminated in this – a very predictable cut in oil production from the OPEC/NOPEC/OPEC+/RUKSA whatchamacallit.   Phew right? I told all of you last week that something momentous and earth-moving was in the offing and I wasn’t wrong. Big things!   It was admittedly pretty exciting to watch from the safety of my chair here in Calgary, but I bet it was far more exciting to be standing around outside the OPEC building […]


Nov
30

Cur”tail” This

This week is what I will call the calm before the storm since as we all know next weekend is the granddaddy of them of them all, the Kentucky Derby of the oil year. That time when all things momentous are decided and the fate of the free world is determined by a gathering of thugs, despots and wannabe dictators. I am referring of course to the upcoming OPEC meeting where they will debate (for show) the cuts in production they have already agreed to.   But really, enough about that. Right now we are […]


Nov
23

Saving Alberta from itself…

An abbreviated blog this week as we at Stormont celebrate American Thanksgiving by sending an endless amount of emails to all our American contacts asking them inane question because we know they are on holiday and it bugs us. Particularly since Canadian Thanksgiving was 6 weeks ago.   Speaking of Thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks for the eminent wisdom of government, in particular the provincial government as they struggle with the issue of landlocked Alberta resources and try to find solutions for how to get Alberta oil out to the masses of buyers […]


Nov
16

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Well it sure has been a tough couple of months for those of us in the oil business as prices have taken it on the chin and it seems even kindly old grammas that you help across the street are swatting at us with their umbrellas.   I know I talked about this last week, but the turnaround has been so rapid, that it is really hard to talk about much else. That said, I am glad to see that markets have stabilized, for now, and OPEC and Russia seem to be ready to cut […]


Nov
09

Five Ring Circus

As some of you are reading this the price of oil has dropped below $26 a barrel which as we all know is the low it reached in February 2016.  This is a remarkable fall from grace for a commodity that just a few short weeks ago was being pegged for a healthy run at $100 a barrel.   What? I’m wrong? It’s not below $26? What gives? Well it must be below $40. What with all the panic selling happening. Honestly, I’m still shocked but $40 has to be the floor right?   Still […]


Nov
02

So,that’s it then?

Well you heard it here first, the Canadian oilpatch is done. That’s what I hear in the media anyway. Shut off the lights and go home folks, nothing to see here. Please move along. Investing in Canada, if it was ever a good thing is now a guaranteed dud. Bre-X after the helicopter thing. An income trust on November 2, 2006. A tech stock after posting record earnings that beat estimates, but not by enough.   Yup, it is indeed hard times here in the oilpatch. Just ask Suncor, Cenovus, Encana, Crescent Point. Literally bleeding […]


Oct
26

Trick or Treat

So folks, here we are. A mere five sleeps away from my second favourite holiday of the year – Halloween. What? It’s not a holiday? That can’t be right. We have a bank holiday, a family day, a May long weekend holiday – why can’t we have a Halloween holiday? I mean it’s not like anything gets done on Halloween. It’s that weird day of the year where you sit at your desk eating black & orange foil wrapped chocolates, avoiding the black licorice and then, when you go for your lunchtime walk, you don’t […]


Oct
19

Doctor’s Orders

Well it’s been quite the week hasn’t it? Exhausting is one word that comes to mind. Overwhelming is another. Actually scratch that. It’s been literally months of this energy and pipeline roller-coaster, such that I feel sometimes I am close to losing my mind.   Speaking of which, I was recently doing a little investigative work for a client who was very curious about the “personalities behind the stories” as he believes that if you truly understand what motivates someone you can make investment profits by exploiting that. My own personal opinion, careful what you […]


Oct
13

Stop him, his consciousness may stream

One of the nice things about Thanksgiving, which I failed to mention last week is the copious amount of turkey and potatoes and gravy and stuffing you get to eat, which of course is one of the bad things about it too. Combine this overindulgence of tryptophan with, say, a bit too much bourbon and wine and then stir in the beginnings of a “man-cold” and you have a recipe for the crazy weird dreams I have been having.   And after having lived through the last few months of project approvals and delays, record […]


Oct
05

Can(nabis)adian Thanksgiving

For those of you who pay attention to these things, this coming weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. If you’re busy, and I’m betting quite a few of you are, you’re welcome for the reminder. If you’re Canadian, yes Monday is a stat.   My American friends will note of course that Canadian Thanksgiving is earlier than American Thanksgiving. The simple reason for this is that we like to have it before the first snow of the season wrecks all of the beautiful fall foliage and the temperature is still warm. I remember growing up in Quebec […]


Sep
29

An Early Q3 Report Card – Not Pretty

Well, another three months have gone by and it seems that all of the progress we made in the second quarter has been mercilessly unwound by forces both within and outside of our control.   And the result is that my fearless forecast of 2018 appears to have completely upended and sent on its merry way as pipelines got under way and then were stopped, stopped pipelines were suddenly back underway and once left for dead pipelines (no, not Energy East) appear to have been resurrected and suddenly have a schedule.   Production growth continues […]


Sep
21

Definitions…

I don’t know about you guys, but I find the energy sector to be a really complicated industry. It’s multi-faceted and there are so many aspects to it. There is an up/mid/downstream, there’s exploration, production, transportation and retail. There are multiple products, raw and refined, petrochemicals, onshore, offshore, conventional and unconventional, shale, sands, rules, regulations, environmental considerations, consultations, land claims, farm-ins, joint ventures, cartels, multinationals, IOC, seven sisters, seven dwarves… It’s never-ending and enough to make your head spin.   And then there’s the terminology – rathole, annulus, toolpush, birdbath, mud, dog collar, cat walk, […]


Sep
15

That stuff again?

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I wake up in a cold sweat with a sense of impending doom. I’m sure this is a fairly common occurrence and the product of an over-active mind and not some manifestation of my advancing years or chicken wing habit.   But what caused this panic? Was it the planned reckless use of the Notwithstanding Clause by Doug Ford in his no-holds barred efforts to show Toronto City Council that he’s the new sheriff in town? Was it the ongoing NAFTA renegotiation or the […]


Sep
07

Are you ready for some football?

That’s right, the NFL is back and for the next 5 months I get to stay up late and watch PVR’d football games while the rest of my family snores away, oblivious to my ridiculous addiction which is so bad that last year I watched a Cleveland game. Why am I bringing up football in an energy focused blog? Well first of all, because I’m super-excited for football, always have been and always will be. Secondly (and thematically) because like all true fans, I have been consuming a never ending barrage of top 10 lists […]


Aug
31

Take a deep breath. Put down the sharp things.

Usually the Friday before Labour Day is a quiet time. A time for reflection before it gets super busy in the fall. An opportunity to calmly lay out a reasoned list of things to watch for over the next few months – issues that need a critical eye, undercurrents that may not be entirely evident but could impact the energy space, emergent trends requiring analysis or upcoming events that will be of major significance.   This time frame works because it is after all the last long weekend of summer, before school gets under way […]


Aug
25

A Canadian Con…

So I was away this past week – squeezed in one last summer trip, to my hometown of Montreal. A short trip, enough time to turn off the brain, gobble some smoked meat, visit friends and family and get caught in what appears to be the largest series of construction projects in Canadian history (yes, I know, equalization).   But I’m home now and before cleaning my skeleton of a blog, I decided to check the news feed to see if anything interesting happened while I was away since I had elected not to look […]


Aug
17

Well that didn’t go well

Remember last week when I said my blog was going to be unpopular? Well I was right. I did indeed receive some feedback of the opposite of positive variety. Oh well, it happens, right? I mean not everyone agrees about everything.   For those of you who don’t recall or didn’t read it because you thought it was going to be one of my damn poems again, the gist of it was as follows:   No, the Saudi dispute is not evidence that the Energy East pipeline project needs to be revised. No, it is […]


Aug
10

Enough Windmill Tilting

So here I sit reading all the blather about Canada’s escalating dispute with Saudi Arabia, which actually is more like Saudi Arabia’s dispute with itself or Saudi Arabia acting like a spoiled and petulant child because someone called them on being stuck in the middle-ages, mean-spirited and disrespectful of human rights.


Aug
04

Short Verses

So here we are. Week 3 of me trying to be brief and let’s be truthful with each other. It’s not actually going that well. It’s hard. I know it, you know it, my family knows it. I can’t help it. I’m naturally long-winded. After all, why do something in 2 words when you can more easily do it in 167?


Jul
27

Fairy Tale Time

Since I’m continuing on my vacation and shorter blog theme from last week, I am going to keep this week light and frivolous. Fortunately I am able to spend a few days at home before heading out on a family road trip which means what? Well if you are in my house it means a little tidy up activity (remember this is a blog – not all things presented occur as described – artistic license).   At any rate, I decided a fun thing to do would be to clean up a bookshelf or two. […]


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