Entries by Simon Lack

Still Fearing Another Financial Crisis

“Concerns about trade and Gulf tensions spur rush towards sovereign debt.” warned the Financial Times last week. Almost $12 trillion in bonds trades at a negative yield.  According to Tim Winstone, fixed income portfolio manager at Janus Henderson, “Investment grade is nuts. About 24% of my benchmark yields less than zero.” Even a dozen European […]

Is NextEra Running in Place?

Investing in midstream energy infrastructure today means pipelines, storage, gathering and processing and all the physical networks that sit between oil and gas wells and their customers. It doesn’t have to be limited to servicing non-coal fossil fuels. We research and think about other sources of energy including nuclear, renewables and coal.  We prefer the […]

Real Returns On Bonds Are Gone

A recent short term strategy outlook from a large buyside firm walked through market expectations for Fed policy, S&P earnings, the election and drew conclusions about the likely direction of stocks over the next six months. Such analysis is endlessly fascinating even if trading profits are unreliable. The essay touched on, but didn’t examine, what […]

Reviewing Russell Gold’s The Boom

Although Russell Gold’s The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World is now almost five years old, it still provides a relevant commentary on America’s Shale Revolution. Unlike many other chroniclers of America’s energy renaissance, Gold managed to obtain an invitation to see first-hand how drillers unlock hydrocarbons from shale. […]

Texas Reconsiders Flaring

Nothing exemplifies America’s low natural gas prices more than its flaring where takeaway infrastructure is inadequate. In the Permian basin in West Texas and New Mexico, from where most of the growth in crude production originates, associated natural gas is more often a disposal problem, like wastewater. Oil production has grown faster than expected, leaving […]

Partnering with Pipeline Protesters

Suppose that the owner of a pipeline operating at 100% capacity opposed the construction by a competitor seeking to meet unsatisfied demand. Or consider two operators of competing pipelines that agree to refrain from adding needed capacity. Such behavior would be anti-competitive, hurting consumers but good for the pipeline operators and their owners. Scarcity of […]

America Questions Role As World’s Super-Cop

On Monday, President Trump asked, “Why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation?” Few American voters give much thought to the U.S. Navy’s role in ensuring safe passage for seaborne trade around the world. This interactive map, although seven years old, provides a fascinating picture of the volume […]

Oil and Gas Growth Powered by U.S.

Last year the U.S. set a new world record for annual increase in production of oil and gas by any country in history. The recently-released BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 highlights these and many other useful facts. Total U.S. energy consumption rose by 3.5% last year, the fastest in 30 years and a […]

Plain Talk, Fuzzy Math

Plains All American (PAA) held their investor day last week. Continued growth in output from the Permian in West Texas is driving new pipeline construction, for which PAA is at the forefront. Limited pipeline capacity has hurt economics for some drillers that have resorted to trucks to move their crude, which is far more expensive. […]

image_pdfimage_print