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Crude Observations

Jun
11

Referendumb

Well there you go. The Alberta government has finally come up with its referendum question on equalization and has announced it to much fanfare and derision. Fanfare of course is mostly of the self-congratulatory and siloed variety as the UCP is firmly in support of the positions it supports and derives its support from the supporters who support the things they support. Derision is the highly populated domain of everyone who thinks this is just another dumb idea.   Representative democracy is a pretty cool thing when it works. Direct voting on matters of great […]


Jun
04

Mailed it in

Alright, first off, let’s just get this out of the way. Toronto lost. Montreal won. Nanny nanny boo boo. In the great Canadian hockey wars this is both an expected and unexpected outcome and a restoration of order to the universe. The last Canadian hockey team to win the Stanley Cup was the Canadiens in 1993 and since then it’s been an exercize in futility for a series of wannabes. This means that in order for a Canadian team to win the Cup, it will likely have to be the Canadiens. Of course they have […]


May
28

I’m not convinced…

This is one of those weirdo weeks in the energy world that bear some scrutiny and analysis, if only to offset the gleeful dunking that the environmental/energy transition movement is currently engaging in, because I feel that the celebration is premature. Kind of like the CBC and the Toronto-centric media anointing the Maple Leafs as presumptive Stanley Cup favourites while they still haven’t yet ousted the pesky but woefully over-matched Habs from the first round of the NHL playoffs (note to Canada, it is 100% fitting that the first playoff game with actual people in […]


May
21

Crypto Long Weekend

Ah, May 21. A day leading into the best weekend of the year for us Canadians. Any number of reasons. Primarily it is the first long weekend of the year where we aren’t typically house bound. Secondly, because of history.   What history you ask? Well let me edumacate you.   We used to call it Victoria Day in honour of the birthday of Queen Victoria who ruled the Commonwealth for what, 250 years prior to Queen Elizabeth the Second and just after the 1500 year reign of Queen Elizabeth the First. I’m sure there […]


May
14

The Pipeline Edition

So it has been an interesting week, has it not? I think so. But then I am a bit of a an information junkie and I like the chaos that seems to surround the energy industry so I can be forgiven for getting a little too excited at times by what is most certainly excruciating iterations of drying paint to others.   One of the most fun things in the news this week for us energy losers is pipelines. All sorts of them. Pipelines that work, pipelines that aren’t built, pipelines that are partly built, […]


May
07

Something, something, numbers

The other day I was looking back at some of my old blogs looking for a little inspiration and I was struck by how in the before times I spent a lot of blog space looking at numbers (not only for ordering lists) and industry statistics and making pithy or wise commentary out of those numbers. These numbers included production numbers, prices and other meaningful stats that would tickle my fancy during the week and that I felt were somehow worthy of further reflection.   Yet somewhere along the way, I got away from that […]


Apr
30

It’s Drafty

Howdy all, I know many of us, especially here in Canada, have a rough go of it in April, but as the Timberlake dude says, don’t worry because tomorrow “It’s Gonna be May” and not a day too soon if I may say so myself. Which I will. April generally blows for many reasons, to layer in resurgent pandemic waves (I’m looking at you India, Ontario and Alberta), Tesla earnings and a pause in the energy rally just isn’t fair. Then the Kenney government decided to charge a user fee for fun. Come on guys! […]


Apr
23

And the winner is…

Well, this week is going to mark a first of sorts for this blog – I’m going to put a new tome in this writer’s oeuvre and finally acknowledge an event that is universally loved by seemingly everyone I have ever known and, let’s be honest here, everybody else. I’m talking about the Academy Awards of course, the Oscars. The big night where the beautiful and smart people in Hollywood get together and celebrate themselves by talking about themselves and giving prizes to each other, all in the hopes that they will get noticed, either […]


Apr
16

Sometimes Complaining Helps

You ever have one of those weeks that make you want to throw up your hands and walk away from everything? Check out and never check back in? Let someone else do your thing while you relax in the proverbial sun and enjoy bevvies in the (appropriately socially distanced of course and no more than 10 people) back yard? That would be this week. Started good, got weird, got really, really annoying. But now I am venting which is kind of a natural state for me so I suppose that’s a small win.   It’s […]


Apr
09

A Tradition (like no other)

This is another of those seminal weeks in the world of sports, as it is in the world of Canadian oil and gas. Let’s get the boring part out of the way first. As most Canadians know. Well Albertans know. OK, energy sector participants then. Ahem, as most of us industry people know, the end of March and first weeks of April are what’s known as Spring Breakup. No, it’s not the time of year when investors break up with the energy sector (although it often seems that way).   No, spring break up is […]


Apr
02

Foolscast Review

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. Time for me to gobble some humble pie and absorb the shame that is my birthright, at least once a quarter. Yes, it is time to review where I am at in my Fearless Forecast, for better of for worse (typically for worse to be honest). Or as I call it, the Foolscast for anyone foolish enough to follow my picks.   It’s a once quarterly exercise that I both dread and relish. Dread because of the inevitable whiffs. Relish because it saves me from wracking my […]


Mar
26

Egress Options

Has there ever been a better metaphor for the energy sector writ large and Alberta’s place in it than the sight of a giant transport vessel wedged across the Suez Canal, effectively bringing to a grinding halt a significant portion of international trade and shipping, including somewhere around 2% of the daily volume of liquid fossil fuels transport (oil and LNG)? Didn’t think so.   It works on so many levels.   Are we the lineup of ships stuck behind the canal plug desperately trying to get our product to market?   Are we the […]


Mar
19

Sweet!

Ah, NCAA March Madness. How I have missed you. It is hard to believe it has been two years since I have been able to sit down and listen to the sweet and somewhat jarring sound of squeaky shoes on a gym floor as my favourite sporting event unfolds in front of me on office TVs, secretive channel switching at home and late-night PVR’d buzzer beaters. Last year’s tourney of course was laid low by the pandemic so this year of course is probably the most highly anticipated since the early 1990’s UNLV/Duke rematch.   […]


Mar
12

Rules for Oil and Gas Investing?

Over the past few months regular readers may have noticed that I have used this platform to allude to what may or may not be an emerging commodity super-cycle. Driven by gradual (or in the case of Texas, sudden) re-openings of the global economy as the vaccine rolls out and people get more comfortable being part of regular society once again, the theory is that demand for the building blocks of society will accelerate as restrictions come off.   I know many pundits and experts have modelled this as either a gradual recovery with modest […]


Mar
05

Same Old Story?

It’s been a weird week. I have found myself wanting to write about the current surge in oil prices which, it has been noted, are up $100 from their trailing 12 month low of -$37 a barrel. This in and of itself is a truly astounding development that flies in the face of everything we have been told about the pandemic and the drastic drop in demand (unless of course you read this blog).   But I feel I need to park that for a while and continue my journey from last week wherein I […]


Feb
26

A Historic Hole

This week I set out to try something a little different and wanted to bring some levity to the blog as I have the distinct impression that recent columns have been quite serious and not so much fun. This is to be expected of course given the ongoing drudgery of the pandemic, last year’s lousy energy market and, let’s get real, lots of bad news pretty much all around.   As promised, there will be some fun stuff, but it’s going to have to wait a few paragraphs because the real world has a nasty […]


Feb
19

I have questions

Don’t you? Because well, here we are. A mere 7 weeks into 2021 and already the whole thing is going to heck in a handbasket. No, I’m not talking about the debacle that is the NHL season south of the border where games are being cancelled willy-nilly due to COVID exposure. Nor am I talking about the latest vaccine fiasco (no, there isn’t another one, it’s a figure of speech) with the Federal government dropping the ball on procurement for enough weeks to get hammered by the opposition and the provinces who will soon be […]


Feb
12

Hot Under the Collar

Well wasn’t that exciting? Another Super Bowl, another Super Bowl victory for Tom Brady. All I can say is it’s a good thing for him that the game was held when it was since, as the numbers show, he only wins championships when the price of WTI is below $60 a barrel. I say it’s a good thing because if the price signals are to believed we should break that $60 mark within weeks (if not days) as ongoing vaccination rollouts, inventory drawdowns and economic optimism all point to higher commodity prices.   In the […]


Feb
05

The Goat

I’ve decided to take a break this week from my usual vitriol and sarcasm (well maybe I’ll save some until the end, just because). Instead, this week I want to talk about numbers. Different numbers. Lots of numbers. The best numbers. I also want to talk a bit about goats. And age. And baby goats.   Let me start with the first and most important number of the week.   55. Or Fifty-Five. LV. As in Super Bowl LV. This Sunday. Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chefs (Chiefs oops… Great googly moogly). The grand […]


Jan
29

Not This Again…

Last week’s blog was labelled as controversial but in retrospect, maybe it wasn’t as out there as I thought. It seems that many of the themes I brought up resonated with a lot of people from many different backgrounds and political proclivities. That said, I also received a fair bit of criticism, which I appreciate as much as support. I enjoy the dialogue and the sharing of ideas.   On a personal note, I just want to emphasize for the record that I believe I am an equal opportunity excoriator of anyone in a position […]


Jan
22

A Losing Hand

Warning – controversial post. I am fighting mad about this whole Keystone XL debacle but not in the way many might think. For what it’s worth, I have cooled down a bit, but I wrote it yesterday in the heat of the moment and am currently too lazy to rewrite it.   So here we are, officially two and a half days into the Biden administration and we have already managed to hit one of the forecasts I made last week. I feel like I should pat myself on the back, except disappointingly, the part […]


Jan
15

Fearless Forecast 2021!

This is it folks. What you have all been waiting for these last few months with great anticipation and minor trepidation. Investment decisions on hold, life-changing real estate purchases pending, kids college funds in the balance. All waiting for the ethereal flight of fancy that is the annual Stormont Capital Fearless Forecast.   That’s right, not just any forecast. A FEARLESS one.   What does that mean pray-tell? Well, it means it is bold, brash, unconventional and will contain no less than six humdingers. Some of which have as much chance of occurring as a […]


Jan
08

Year End Report Card (ugh)

Well folks, I’m back. Did you miss me? I decided to take a couple of weeks off from blogging since I figured what could possibly happen in the time between my last Blog about – what was it? Naughty or nice lists? Christmas movies? I don’t remember – and now.   Well, I was apparently wrong. But really, who in the world could have predicted that chaos, pandemonium and assault on the norms of democracy that we saw on January 6th in Washington DC never mind the “Wide Right” Buffalo Bills qualifying for the NFL […]


Dec
24

A Yuletide Yarn

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.   I know I promised last Friday was the last blog for the year but I can’t help myself.   The tradition is a poem on Christmas Eve and gosh darn if I’m not going to honour that and regale you. In this oh so not normal of a year, where all our traditions appear to be getting heaved out of the flying sleigh, it’s nice to know that […]


Dec
18

Which list are you on?

Well this has been an eventful year, filled with ups and downs. Market gyrations, pandemics, elections, conflict, Bitcoin, Trump, energy market meltdowns and recoveries, negative prices, skyhigh valuations for tech, record low valuations for energy, transitions, Brexit, Wexit, Texit – you name it.   The funny thing about the end of the year is that there is always a rush of news leading into it and then it goes quiet. It just seems so volatile now and we don’t know where things are ultimately going to land, but with a vaccine and election certainty and […]


Dec
11

Top Ten Time!

Well here we are folks, a mere two weeks/blogs removed from a socially distant Christmas. Three days away from the Electoral College in the United States formally casting their vote for President-elect Joe Biden (did you ever think you would learn so much about US politics?), one year into every Albertan’s favourite sitcom (the Alberta War Room) and a mere ten years away from Canada exceeding its Paris Accord emissions target of a 30% reduction against 2005 emissions. All accomplished through the use of an ever-increasing carbon tax and shameless bribery of the Canadian public […]


Dec
04

Pre Holiday Tweet Storm

Look, I know it’s the holiday season and all of you are waiting breathlessly for me to do a blow by blow review of the latest Hallmark Christmas Movie lineup, but as I am reminded every so often I have a job to do. And that job is to share with you my wisdom and knowledge and ridiculously keen insight into the state of the energy market both here at home in the Province of Alberta as well as across Canada and around the world.   And since this is the last “non-holiday themed” blog […]


Nov
27

Advent Invention

So here we are. American Thanksgiving finally come and gone. The Detroit Lions losing the traditional Thursday game and the Washington Football Team, led by the inspirational Alex Smith (if you don’t know, google it) sticking it to the hated Dallas Cowboys.   And here we are, caught up in the throes of lockdowns, resets (great or otherwise), circuit breakers, rollbacks, COVID resurgence, the Groundhog Day moments of watching Trump lose the election over and over again as his appeals get denied, the partisan sniping and mutually assured destruction that qualifies as political dialogue in […]


Nov
20

It’s a Seven Stage Process

It seems like every week as I sit down to write this here blog, I go through my own version of the seven stages of grief. I start off shocked that I have no ideas, gradually get mad, panic a bit, get a little insight and then start writing and see where things take me. Sometimes it’s a dud and sometimes it works. Ironically we are also seeing the seven stages play out in real time through the manic twists and turns of the US post-election period and I can’t help but think that Donald […]


Nov
13

1+1 = 1.95623

Is it just me or does it seem like there are a disproportionate amount of Friday the 13ths this year? Here we are at another one and I am hard pressed to say whether anyone’s luck has changed since that other one way back in March when we closed our laptops and went home. Certainly not the oil patch, although recent stock price moves have been appreciated.   Casting about for a subject to write about this week I realize that the recent US election has left me exhausted. And while the result may be […]


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