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Crude Observations

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. […]


Sep
05

Are you Ready for Some Football? (and M and A!)

Ah Labour Day. That annual celebration of the righteousness of the downtrodden worker, the brave collectives and essential workers, putting it all on the line day after day in order to enrich the greedy capitalist fat cats who live for exploiting the masses.   Or at least that’s the way it started. Now Labour Day is just the last long weekend of the summer, the flashing beacon that your time sitting around on your duff at the lake has come to end and that it is time to go back to work and back to […]


Aug
28

A Proposal to Stabilize our Treasury

Or, alternatively, a way to address our Paucity of Savings and Taxes.   On Thursday, Alberta’s provincial government gave its fiscal update and, folks, it’s grim and Pretty Scary Times.   The pandemic, combined with the downturn in the energy sector, has taken a chainsaw to Alberta’s already challenged financial situation. The deficit has exploded from a fairly pedestrian $8 billion (in Canadian terms) to close to $25 billion and counting. Debt is predicted to rise to close to $100 billion before the dust settles. It’s a Prodigiously Startling Total.   It’s ugly here, but […]


Aug
24

Whoops, This is Really Late

Apologies for the late blog everyone. I really have no excuse for my tardiness except that I have been a complete slacker lately. I suppose I could blame the Conservative Party and say I was waiting on the results of their leadership race, that isn’t actually entirely accurate. Well I guess it’s accurate enough for why the blog is out this morning rather than last night, but in all the reality, the CPC race wasn’t really a “stop the presses” type of event, more of a slowly developing car wreck.   So how has everyone’s […]


Aug
15

On a break!

Alright folks here we are. It’s mid-August and the blog is late. Why you may ask? Well, simple really. I was on vacation. Taking a break. Spending a few precious moments with family not thinking about what mask I’m supposed to wear, what the restaurant protocol is, do I have to run the lettuce through a liquid hydroxychloriquine rinse before I eat it, can I send my kids to school without all the attendant insanity of potential infection, contact tracing, lockdowns, online learning and quarantines. Never mind obsessing about when can I open the office […]


Aug
07

Buying Low

So here I was this week hoping for something to come along and inspire me for blog writing. Some seminal event that I could latch onto and use as inspiration for a mid-August barn-burner. I gotta say though, this type of hope appears to be increasingly misplaced as we, as a world and an energy economy, seem to be permanently stuck on a hamster wheel of inanity and self-loathing.   Don’t believe me? Consider these news topics and opinion pieces from the prior week.   Trump reinstates aluminum tariffs on Canada.   Dakota Access Pipeline […]


Jul
31

The Mask Edition

Ah the dog days of summer. It is truly the best time of year. We are currently in what we in Calgary call “the one week where the weather doesn’t 100% suck” and where we try to get all the summer activity we can in before the various indignities our weather regularly foists on us return to make our lives more of a living hell than lockdown and social isolation. Don’t believe me? Why it was only last week that the daily pattern of “Severe Thunderstorm Warning” followed by terrifying hailstorm and sheet lightning finally […]


Jul
24

These are my Demands!

I was taking a look at the calendar this morning and I realized that we are a week away from the halfway point of summer. How did that happen? Where did the time go? I mean think of it, by the time you read next week’s blog, we will be into August. I think these are officially the dog days of summer and all we can hope for is that the weather, at least here in Calgary, will warm up and we can maybe go outside for more that an hour before yet another severe […]


Jul
17

An Idle Pursuit

You ever wonder about how the human mind works and how much truly trivial junk is stored on those overloaded servers? It’s fascinating to me because every week I have to come up with a theme for this blog and the path usually goes something like this:   Monday – well, I have 5 days before I have to deliver the blog, that’s lots of time but I can’t start now because there may be some late-breaking news like a pipeline ruling or a government patronage appointment that I need to deal with.   Tuesday […]


Jul
10

Stampede?

Another week, another Pandemic caused moment of weirdness in our already disrupted 2020 lives. If you have been a reader of this column for any length of time you will know that I am, if nothing else, a creature of habit. Certainly when it comes to the themes I apply to my regular columns.   Don’t believe me? You think it’s just some weirdo random walk through the tortured synapses of a brain filled with too much trivia? Well, you’d be partially right. Or mostly right, but there is pattern. And part of that pattern […]


Jul
03

Halfway There!

Well folks, it’s official. We are halfway through 2020 and I have to say that this past six months has been the longest decade ever. But we’ll make it, I swear.   And with that halfway point reached, it is now time, yet again, to do a review of my 2020 Fearless Forecast, which I have now officially renamed the “Living on a Prayer” since any and all sanity and substance has been wrung out of the peerless prognostications due to COVID, price wars, economic shutdowns and all the attendant chaos that has been the […]


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