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Crude Observations

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 […]


Nov
06

November 629th 2020

Dear world. It has now been 1327 days since the US presidential election on November 3rd. And we find ourselves strangely waiting and waiting and waiting for a resolution of some kind. And you know what they say – idle hands do the devil’s work or something like that.   In the case of the candidates, this means they are unable to move on.   Donald Trump, watching his re-election prospects fade with every mail-in ballot discovered in a storage room in Philadelphia or under a bridge in Atlanta or in a potted cactus on […]


Oct
30

Halloween. Election. Full Moon.

What could go wrong!   It’s Blog time, time for a super scary Halloween edition filled with spooks, ghosts and surprises. Terrors both large and small, the usual litany of candy and trick or treating fun and, for those who want such things, a bold election prediction.   But first, Halloween. Way more fun than crazy lection predictions, although I am sure I can weave some random bouts of politics into this.   Remember trick or treating back in the day? Running around the neighbourhood like the hyperactive sugar-mainlining little twerps we all were, stomping […]


Oct
23

Debate?

As we careen madly to the close of this most unusual election season, Canadians can be forgiven for reaching peak election exhaustion. I am talking of course about the two simultaneous elections in BC and Saskatchewan and a narrowly averted one nationally since, as we know, each of those two elections will set Canada on an unalterable course for the foreseeable future.   Eager to show my prognosticative bona fides to my illustrious audience, let me share with you what is going to happen in each of these places.   First off, Saskatchewan will reliably […]


Oct
16

Rolling On

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately and my brain has been spinning. First off, I got left off a “circle of smart friends” meme on Twitter so my feelings are currently a bit, shall we say, frayed. But I will get over it. Because I know I do a pretty good job pretending to be smart most days, sometimes even rising to the occasion and delivering a real dose of smartness right when it is least expected.   As just one example, I have been thinking a lot about Alberta. Our government. […]


Oct
10

Thanks, eh?

Another week come and gone, and our deranged world got just a tiny bit stranger. So strange in fact that  am writing this blog in the past because it was due on a Friday and today is Saturday and if things hold, I won’t be sending it out until tomorrow, which is Sunday.   So what happened that I am early/late with the blog? Well I went for a bike ride with a friend yesterday, along what is called the Legacy Trail which connects Canmore to Banff and runs just a shade under 45 km […]


Oct
02

Q3 Report Card. Oh My

Well folks, here we are. Three quarters of the way through the year and we still don`t have a good picture of where things are going to end up although the picture is possibly getting clearer by the day.   And yes, I realize that publishing my Q3 report card the day after Donald Trump and, it seems, a large portion of his inner circle has tested positive for COVID19 seems to miss the mark on being topical. So let’s get that out of the way.   First off, let me state my actual sincere […]


Sep
25

Whither LTO?

Well folks, another week gone by, another political crisis or two under our belts. I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s getting to the point where instead of being constantly exhausted by all the hyper-partisan rhetoric and aggrievement that I am becoming numb to it.   Speech from the throne that doesn’t specifically address the issues facing the oil and gas industry? I’m over it, expected nothing more. Prime Ministerial address in prime time that was nothing more than an infomercial for government policies? You thought it might be different with this […]


Sep
18

My Interest is Peaked!

For us oil and gas types, there is a thing that happens around this time every year. You can almost set your old timey pocket watch by it, it is that predictable. No, I’m not talking about football (although let’s face it, I could be), nor am I talking about the annual exodus of Canada Geese to warmer climes or the annual weather debacle that is the Atlantic Hurricane season.   No, I’m talking about that September rush to get predictions in for next year, particularly on the energy side where it seems not a […]


Sep
12

Money Well Spent?

Well that’s annoying. As you can tell, this week’s blog is late (again). Rest assured, this is not a new thing I plan on doing. It was partially a deliberate choice. I had decided some time ago not to publish on 9/11 for a variety of reasons, but primarily because it was my daughter’s birthday and we had a small, socially distanced and masked birthday party planned at the Cat Café (it’s a thing – you get coffee and pet cats). Anyway, that was to be my afternoon, so I delayed publishing until the 12th. […]


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