VIRTUAL
DATA ROOM

Crude Observations

Apr
03

He Ain’t Pretty

He’s my forecast…   Many apologies to the Hollies for that fairly cheap appropriation of one of their biggest commercial hits but, as this self-isolation social distancing thing continues I find myself going ever deeper down the rabbit hole of music that I used to regularly listen and waxing nostalgic about repressed memories.   Moreover (what a great word), it seems apt as a title for my first quarter report card on my forecast. It is not pretty. It is downright ugly. You can rest assured that there is no real passing grade in anything […]


Mar
27

Peak (tight) oil?

Good day everyone, I hope you are all safe and sound and self-isolating to the best of your abilities, I understand it isn’t easy for everyone, jobs are different, some people are on the front lines and others don’t have the luxury of being a home office, cloud based desk jockey like me.   These are truly bizarre and uncertain times and as such, everything appears to be in flux, including where to take this blog on a week to week basis. Last week was about our response to COVID-19 and what we are doing […]


Mar
21

Covid-19 and Stormont

Or as I like to call it, Office Cat Week 1.   Another abbreviated blog this week, which of course is weird seeing as how I have so much time on my hands what with being housebound for the past week and how verbose I can be. But as luck would have it, my message this week is intentionally brief and to the point and is focused on what we are doing in the short term to manage through this COVID-19 crisis.   Like most companies, our business has felt immediate impacts from the Coronavirus […]


Mar
15

Connections

Abbreviated this week AND late, but please read to the end, and no hoarding!   Another week, another 7 days of mayhem and chaos across the globe as the insanity of Coronavirus Panic sweeps North America and picks the scab off of civil society – exposing the festering underbelly of human nature while all the while governments attempt to wrestle this crisis to at the very least a stalemate.   I’m not going to get on too much about what is happening in grocery stores as I am kind of all done with that. From […]


Mar
06

Remain Calm!

Alright folks, it’s March! Are we ready for 2020 to be over yet? I most certainly am. Are you desperately waiting to hear the sweet guitar intro to Here Comes the Sun on the radio – always my first indication that we are finally emerging from the depths of winter and the only song 100% guaranteed to put a smile on my face?   It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter folks, but I think we may just make it through. Days are longer, smiles are returning, all that stuff. As they say, we all […]


Feb
28

A Grand Break

Hi everyone, I’m back! Did anyone miss me? Did anyone even know I was gone? Seriously, did anyone even notice? This is important to me because, well, I like to feel important. And I like to think that I play some small role in my readers’ lives whether it is through the injection of some levity into their lives or some pithy and relevant insight into the events that shape our lives or just an entertaining five to ten minute read in your favourite place to do such things.   So, where was I last […]


Feb
14

Not a Protest Column

I originally thought this week’s blog would be a sweet and sentimental riff on Valentine’s Day (given that today is of course Valentine’s Day) and I may still include a poem at the end because that’s what I do, but that didn’t seem topical enough.   Then I thought, hey, what if I write something about the current fever swamp of protests against the Coastal Gas Link pipeline by, at last count, dozens of groups earnest and ill-informed protestors across the country and the chaos they are causing for commuter and industrial rail traffic across […]


Feb
07

Piping Hot News

Good afternoon fellow readers. It brings me great pleasure to announce that the month of January 2020 has now come to an official end. Feel free to stand up and applaud as the longest and worst month of the past decade has come to a merciful close. And in celebration of that august occasion, I am taking this moment to turn over a new leaf, to put on my relentlessly positive hat (yes, I have one) and engage in a blog that will be filled with nothing but good news. Okay, it won’t be nothing […]


Jan
31

Super Groundhog January Over Bowl Day

Are we actually doing this again? This is now the third week in a row where cockamamie outside events have made it impossible for me to write cogently about the state of the energy industry either here or abroad. What with the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday (more on that later of course), the ongoing coronavirus madness, the impeachment protocols and now, of all things, Groundhog Day to contend with, I am at a loss as to when I will ever get the chance to write about energy issues ever again.   Although, with […]


Jan
24

Doomsday

First we come for the writer’s block, then we come for the writer. What a week it has been. You might say downright apocalyptic. Seriously folks, has there been a week in the recent past like this past one where it felt we were just hanging on by our fingernails?   Considering that just last week here in Canada we were shivering our way through a typical Canadian cold snap, thanking our lucky charms that we are the beneficiaries of a bounty of energy availability, the events that have transpired and accelerated over the past […]


Jan
17

Icy writer’s block

Ugh, here we are. It happens every year. One week I expend an inordinate amount of energy and mental capital preparing my Fearless Forecast and the next I find myself sitting in my exceedingly messy office, staring hopelessly at my monitor (a nice oversized Hi-Def one by the way but not one of those fancy pants pretentious curved ones that some people get – ahem), shivering from how absurdly cold it is and completely unable to start, let alone finish, the blog.   This of course is truly bizarre to me because there is so […]


Jan
10

Fearless Forecast – Decade Edition

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! And sorry, it is long.   Anyhoo, step right up 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 […]


Jan
03

Year in Review – Ugh

OK folks, that’s a wrap. The year is over. Finally. And what a year it has been, particularly for the energy sector. And by that I mean it hasn’t been a particularly great year. In fact, I feel it has been a bit of a lousy year. A forgettable year. A dumpster fire of a disaster year. Even with prices staging a super-excited late year rally, the sector is still stuck in the weeds, trying to figure out its way.   Here in Alberta, it’s even worse than elsewhere. For the umpteenth year in a […]


Dec
24

Twas the Night Before

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. While I rarely veer off my scheduled Friday blog, it has become somewhat of a tradition to do one last post before Christmas and after subjecting everyone to movie lists, Advent calendars and all that jazz, it’s nice to do a quick best wishes for the holidays missive.   It is worthy of note that unlike last year, where we careened into the new year on a wave of […]


Dec
20

Top 10 Movies Plus 1

Well what an eventful week or so it has been. We had Andrew Scheer step down as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Boris Johnson winning an unprecedented and bizarre mandate to wreck the United Kingdom via Brexit and good old Donald Trump getting the bad news that he is only the third president in the long and illustrious history of the United States to be impeached (I’m not orange, I’m peach!). Topping it all off was the Alberta War Room getting caught red-handed in a case of amateur hour logo theft. Ouch!   […]


Dec
13

Not Naughty? Nice!

So anything interesting happen this week? Any leaders of political parties facing headwinds? Any movement in commodity prices of note? It’s weird, isn’t it how so much news rushes up to swamp us in the run-up to the Christmas holidays and the new year? It’s like people want to get a whole mess of news out of the way so they can start the new year with a fresh slate. Who knows, maybe they are trying to clear the board in time before Christmas so that the big guy can move them from one list […]


Dec
06

So Many Meetings

Well folks, here we are entering the home stretch of the year, a time where many people wind down their work activity to accommodate as much holiday celebration as possible. At least that’s what I do because let’s face it, there are no new deals going into the market in December and transactions that close on December 31 are typically mostly wrapped up by mid month. That’s just how it rolls in the M&A world.   On the other hand, the end of the year is also an opportune time to cram in a bunch […]


Nov
29

A Calendar’s Worth of Comment

Well, as our friends down South finally get around to celebrating Thanksgiving, I think it is safe to say that we have finally hit the holiday season. I don’t know what gave it away – the endless deluge of Christmas ditties while standing uncommunicative in the grocery store check out line, the Valentine’s display at Costco, the endless snowfalls we’ve endured, the annual Hallmark channel assault of Christmas movies or the lights and the trees that have sprung up on pretty much every house in the neighbourhood (except mine). Any one of those factors could […]


Nov
22

Quid Pro Quo(s)

Well I hope everyone is relieved. We appear to have made it through an entire week without any major scandal or government edict causing chaos locally, regionally, nationally or globally. OK, so that’s not even remotely true, but it does feel like this week was less eventful than the week before, at least here in Canada. OK, not in Canada, maybe in Alberta. Well except for all the stuff that went on here too. Fine, I give up. It’s been another week of random chaos, government bills run amok, new cabinets (more on that next […]


Nov
15

The Grapes of Wrath

Alright folks, I’m mad as hell this week and I just can’t take it anymore. No, really, I’m hot under the collar mad. So mad my head is about to explode. I am mad and aggrieved and can’t believe all these things are happening to me, caused by forces outside of my control and for reasons I don’t understand. I’m so mad in fact that you could call me outraged, triggered, enraged, berserk, fuming, livid, beside myself, positively fuming… You get the picture.   What is making me so mad you may ask? I DON’T […]


Nov
08

Back to Basics

As I sat ruminating on what exactly this week’s blog was going to be about I did a little soul-searching about the last few months, which have, admittedly and of necessity, been consumed by all things politic all the time, culminating in a post election free for all and Halloween jaunt. But it’s over now, I think. The interesting thing about elections and politics is that you can write endless articles about them and all the attendant issues and then after the election you find yourself writing even more about the results of the election […]


Nov
01

Missing Candy Bowl

Wow, is it November 1st already? Where has 2019 gone, it seems like only 10 months ago were celebrating New Years! At any rate, here we are, the day after Halloween, unless you are in Quebec, in which case it is Halloween. Or Chicago, where it’s the day before Halloween. Confused? Yeah, so am I. Blame the fossil fuel industry and climate change. On the other hand, we had snow yesterday morning and our typically frigid Trick or Treat fest, with the only timing issues being whether we started the journey at 6 PM or […]


Oct
25

Welcome to the Goat Rodeo

Well folks, there you have it. Canada has held a federal election and the results are in. An official Justin Trudeau led Liberal minority government. I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. And with this election, Canada has now officially joined the goat rodeo that seems to be sweeping across liberal democracies around the world, with the highlight being crazed partisan and regional rivalries.   Whether it’s Brexit nonsense in the United Kingdom, the usual multi-party gong show that is Italy or the swamp and spirit draining fiasco that […]


Oct
18

Vote Smart and Often!

  So if last week was a time for giving thanks, this week is shaping up to be something completely different.  That’s right. It’s Debbie-downer time, otherwise known as time for my bold and completely detached from reality Canadian election prediction.   That’s right. The Canadian federal election campaign is finally coming to an end and, as the self-proclaimed “most important election in history”, it deserves a fitting send off. Given that, I think we can all agree that there is nothing more fitting than this esteemed blog and blogger passing judgment on the campaign […]


Oct
12

Thanks Turkey

Here I sit on yet another Friday, albeit quite a bit later than I normally do to write this missive but there are extenuating circumstances – I’m looking at you Air Canada and YYC airport ground crews! So yes, it is late (kind of deliberately so actually, as you will see later) and for that I am mildly apologetic, but everything worked out in the end and Air Canada and a very chatty and surprisingly well-informed cab ride later we are safely ensconced in a Phoenix cocoon and I am soon out the door to […]


Oct
04

Report Card Time

Wow – three quarters of the way through the year and there is still a full three months to go. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am about ready to pull the pin on 2019 and start 2020 right away, if only to get away from this gad-awful Canadian election and the ongoing Trump-impeachment circus.   And as we all know, quarter end is when I look back at my Fearless (Foolish?) Forecast and grade myself on the various qualitative and quantitative calls I made. I haven’t yet looked at my […]


Sep
27

Striking Climate Striker

Sorry for the late blog this week, I was out participating in a day of action for the environment, otherwise known as the Global Climate Strike. Okay, you got me, no I wasn’t. I was actually out of town briefly to celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary.  Doesn’t mean I wasn’t thinking about the environment though – or climate, as I prepare for the annual Alberta September Snowmageddon (ASS) this weekend with up to 50 cm of snow expected in some parts of Southern Alberta over the weekend.   You see, during the drive out and […]


Sep
20

Remain Calm!

Well I sure blew the timing on that one, didn’t I.   If only I had waited a week for my election cheat sheet I would have so much… umm… more… to say. As the expression goes, a week is a lifetime in politics, although this past week has been more like 1001 Arabian nights.   But what do I really want to say? Do I actually want to wade into the latest iteration of the chaotic fever swamp that is Canadian politics? Is it really that important to discuss what I understand to be […]


Sep
13

Elections and Inquisitions

Well it sure has been a busy week here in Albertaland and Canada. It seems that it has been a week full of launches, with new initiatives popping up all over the place, previously announced undertakings finally taking shape and getting underway and, finally, inevitabilities finally being unleashed.   What do I mean by all this? Simple. In Alberta we had the official launch of the House Committee on Unalbertan Activities which is the inquisition into foreign funds messing around with our livelihood, closely followed up by the UCP announcing an official inquisition into the […]


Sep
06

What’s the appeal?

Does anyone remember last August 30th? I sure do. That was the day that the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) came down with their judgement that the Federal Government had failed in its duty to consult with Indigenous communities on the Trans Mountain Expansion project and that the NEB and the Cabinet had inappropriately not considered the environmental impact of shipping related to the project nor its impact on the Southern Resident Killer whales.   Remember now? Remember how mad everyone was that that had happened? That we had somehow checked every box there was […]


Crude Observations
BLOG
Sign up for the Stormont take on the latest industry news »

Recent Posts

Categories