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Paul Sankey, the widely-followed oil analyst who was first to call for negative oil prices when COVID began impacting world markets, started his own research firm Sankey Research in the depths of COVID, June 2020. An independent research company, not a broker-dealer, Sankey’s independence has allowed him free voice, unconstrained by typical Wall St limitations, such as on stocks which he does not cover, on government policy, and notably on China.
Among other recognized calls, Sankey in the past tagged premium oil company EOG “The Apple of Oil”, ExxonMobil “The Big Unit”, pushed “The Diamond Age of Refining” over the past decade for US refiners, and has called for “The Renaissance” in US Exploration and Production in terms of companies reducing growth, reducing debt, and increasing cash return to shareholders. He has also styled himself an “analyst as activist” and heavily covered controversies such as Chevron vs Oxy for Anadarko, and most recently the Engine #1 battle for ExxonMobil’s board. His note “Chevron for ExxonMobil” at Sankey Research was subsequently shown by the WSJ to be written in fact, just when Chevron and ExxonMobil considered a merger in 2020. His CNBC pair trades have become widely followed, starting with “Long XOM Short AAPL” totally against consensus in August 2020, and most recently in early January 2022 “Long Marathon Petrolelum, Short Rivian” that has returned +50% vs the S&P500 -10% since he made it.
Sankey started covering oil in 1990 out of Manchester University, joining the IEA in Paris, with subsequent stints at Wood Mackenzie, Deutsche Bank, Wolfe Research, and most recently Mizuho. He has ranked consistently highly or #1 in many investor surveys since his arrival on Wall Street in 2004; and was ranked #1 ii for three straight years at bulge bracket DB before joining boutique Wolfe Research as their 60th employee. He was also the 60th employee at Wood Mackenzie. Both companies have subsequently grown exponentially since those formative days.