Breanne Dougherty (00:06):
Welcome everybody to this edition of EnergyCents. I'm Breanne Dougherty and I'm here as always with Hill Vaden to discuss all things at the intersection of energy and the financial markets. Hill, how are you doing today?
Hill Vaden (00:18):
I'm doing well, Breanne. How are you?
Breanne Dougherty (00:20):
Pretty good. It's almost the middle of December.
Hill Vaden (00:23):
It is. Yeah, it's moving fast. We've got a Christmas tree as of yesterday and Elf on the Shelf and all of that stuff already lined up. So it came fast.
Breanne Dougherty (00:38):
[crosstalk 00:00:38] Has improved significantly since yesterday because you've got an Elf now observing?
Hill Vaden (00:45):
Yes, I guess.
Breanne Dougherty (00:47):
Hill Vaden (00:48):
I still have a lot of questions around this Elf. So a friend of mine in Spain has a similar tradition but it's [inaudible 00:00:58] which is some Santa spy.
Breanne Dougherty (01:06):
A Santa spy? Okay, I'm going to put out there, I find the Elf in the Shelf idea, I understand the concept and kids seem to be all into it, creepy. I am that person that doesn't love the idea of something watching me. It's one of the reasons why I had to unplug Alexa and unplug, I got the Google Home. I've had both the different occasions. They have been unplugged because it got too creepy when it would all of a sudden turn on. So the elf on the shelf concept, I mean, does it really help you sleep at night with the idea that something's watching you?
Hill Vaden (01:36):
No, quite the opposite because you get out of bed and move it.
Breanne Dougherty (01:40):
What are you talking about? It doesn't move itself? I thought that Santa was in on this.
Hill Vaden (01:46):
Yeah, I guess we need to put like an explicit warning or something on this so people under a certain age don't listen to it, spoiler alert.
Breanne Dougherty (01:52):
Yeah. We don't want to ruin the magic of Christmas for anyone.
Hill Vaden (01:56):
Breanne Dougherty (01:56):
Or the magic of the holiday season in general for all those who celebrate the various choices that are out there for holidays, of course. But yeah, I mean, so we're staring at the end of 2020 and just as a little bit of a heads up, that's kind of what this podcast is all about, the end of 2020 and moving into 2021 as it's been quite a year. And Hill, I guess we've been, well, we've mentioned this before, Hill and I talk probably eight times a day, but we officially have these recorded conversations almost once a week and we've been doing this for quite a while. So I feel like we're all up in each other's business, so that's what's been happening through 2020.
Breanne Dougherty (02:38):
But it was interesting because I was thinking the other day how different 2020 has been obviously and my changed behaviors or things that have worked their way into my daily routines that have shifted how things are and I was thinking to myself, what am I going to hold on to once we get onto the other side of this and the things that I will just reverting back to previous behaviors on.
Breanne Dougherty (03:03):
And it's funny because a friend of mine said, "Oh, I'm just forever going to be going back to comfortable clothes and you're never going to catch me in a heel again." I'm a bit on the opposite. I'm like, "Oh, I miss some of these small common everyday things as far as when you get up and you go to the office and things like that." But one thing and this is going to sound a little cheesy and I'm just going to put it out there anyways, I think something that 2020 taught me is a whole different understanding of what essential worker is, for one. So that I think was really interesting and something that hopefully we'll all carry through going forward.
Breanne Dougherty (03:42):
But the other thing and I'm going to put it out to you guys and I won't change behavior on your side, I think that I've always liked spending time outside, I think I'm spending a lot more time outside because those are your options inside in your own home or outside. And I think that's really, really nice. At least I'm hoping that I'm going to continue exercising outside and doing this and spending a little bit more time outside and enjoying the day a bit more. So that's what I'm hoping I hold onto actually as we get to the other side of this. So I'm going to throw the question out to all of you. Hill, maybe [crosstalk 00:04:18].
Hill Vaden (04:17):
I can start. Yeah, yeah. I'll go with audio books and one of my big Christmas or birthday presents this year were the noise canceling headphones which we're not using right now, but I listened to three audio books over Thanksgiving break which was a great way to, I mean, as I was cooking, I'm listening to the Beastie Boys Book and as am sitting at soccer practice watching my son, I'm listening to something else. It's been great multitasking [crosstalk 00:04:52] book.
Breanne Dougherty (04:52):
Yeah. And which is why you always have so many fun facts to share as well. That's actually a great thing. That's something I probably... I know more and more people have worked audio books into their driving experience. I know a lot of people now that don't really listen to music in the car, but now listen to books. But I hadn't really thought about it the other way. No, that's a great idea. I liked that one. Reed, you're up.
Reed Olmstead (05:13):
That's a tough one. So I've got a couple, one would be as cliche as this sounds, just time with the kids, they get home around 3:30 and my desk is downstairs so I really don't have a lot of option but to be around them. Which a person is a bit of a drag, but now I'm much more engaged with my daughter. She's 10, she's starting to think for herself, express her individuality for better or for worse. And so that's been great.
Reed Olmstead (05:36):
One of the others is just the ability to do little random tasks. [inaudible 00:05:41] buddy challenged me to do 50 pushups a day, which is a little awkward to do it in the office and I'm just like, "Eh, well, I'm going to do 10 pushups right now." But I can do that here. So those two have been really benefits of the work-safe, stay-at-home order in Houston. Hopefully I can maintain that.
Hill Vaden (06:04):
50 consecutive or five chunks of 10 or one, did another one later in the day. How are you doing that?
Reed Olmstead (06:12):
Hill, you've met me. You know I'm not [crosstalk 00:06:14].
Hill Vaden (06:16):
I'm really aware of the baggy shirt and I haven't seen you in months. So I didn't know if this was like [crosstalk 00:06:21].
Reed Olmstead (06:23):
Baggy shirt is a disguise. The baggy shirt is definitely concealing. It is a sneaky trick of a large man [crosstalk 00:06:32].
Breanne Dougherty (06:33):
What about the beard, Reed?
Reed Olmstead (06:34):
The beard also is to conceal things. Yeah.
Breanne Dougherty (06:37):
But did you think it's a keeper?
Reed Olmstead (06:42):
I don't know, it's been met with mixed reviews. Actually I should rephrase, it's been met with consistently negative reviews and I'm hoping for a positive one so I can say it's been met with mixed reviews. But there's never been a time that I didn't value my physical appearance, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to experiment.
Breanne Dougherty (07:08):
Take the opportunities where you can. And then I am so sorry, I just realized I forgot to introduce who our guests are today. Shame on me. We've got Reed Olmstead but you probably recognize his voice because he's been on several times. So for all of you listeners that tune in frequently, that was Reed Olmstead. And we also have David Vaucher with us today, whose voice you might also recognize because he's a frequent contributor to the podcast as well. [crosstalk 00:07:31] Yes. Yeah, exactly. The fan, we were talking a little bit earlier that the fan base hopefully has flocked. When we put their names into the podcast teaser, we expect the base to really flock to this particular podcast this year. David, how about yourself?
David Vaucher (07:48):
Yeah. So thanks for having us on, first of all, it's always fun. But I will say so Reed I have a brother who's a bit of an introvert and when we talk about how this is going on, what are you doing? He goes, "Are you kidding? I was made for this, I get to stay home." "I get heads down on my work, I was made for this." So I guess Reed you and he would get along quite well.
Reed Olmstead (08:13):
[crosstalk 00:08:13] Yeah or not at all.
David Vaucher (08:14):
I will say that for me one thing I think I'm going to hopefully try and carry over or just from being in the lucky point of view that we have where we can work from home is sleep more. So before all this happened, I would get up quite early to pack everything in because then you obviously have to spend time getting ready for work, going to work. And I was trying to do that when this started, I said, yeah, I'm going to wake up early, keep my schedule but then your day obviously gets longer when you're working from home. And I quickly realized that was like one way ticket to burnout city.
David Vaucher (08:47):
So try and sleep at least an extra hour in the morning and I can see maybe someone's going to shake their head, Hill or Reed or maybe Breanne as well, but I have no children. So I'm in a position where I can do that. I realize that's not everyone can do that. The other thing too, Breanne you mentioned reevaluating what an essential worker is. I think for me it's just really appreciating that we're in a collective and I know that for a podcast that gets broadcast in the US, in Texas particularly, I understand that has some connotations to it but I think that a bigger appreciation that, yeah, I mean, we all have to watch out for ourselves but I think we can do a lot of things if we work together as well. And so I think I'm going to try and move forward from now on with that in mind.
Breanne Dougherty (09:31):
Really is, I agree with you, David. I think it's been remarkable and let's be honest, probably very important for all of us to have that put in our face, right? Become increasingly aware of these types of things. So I don't think I'm wrong to probably say that going forward, 2020 is going to be one of those years where you talked about pre 2020, post 2020. It was one of the most critical reflection points. And it's so interesting because it's going to be used with respect to society, with respect to the economy, with respect to and we'll get to it in a second, the oil and gas industry.
Breanne Dougherty (10:06):
Very much so, well, I should say actually the energy industry as a whole. But also with respect to just personal behaviors and behavioral differences. So there's a lot to really unpack there. We're going to do something and both David and Reed, I think cringed when we mentioned that we are going to do this, but I'm going to toss it to Hill because for those listeners that tune in all the time, this isn't the first time that David and Reed have joined on at the end of the year in order to discuss predictions for the coming new year.
Breanne Dougherty (10:37):
And we're going to let Hill give a little bit of a recap of how these two gentlemen did in last year's podcast around their predictions [crosstalk 00:10:45]. You guys can't see it. David is shaking his head and giving one of those smiles that is sending the message to me that I should stop talking.
Reed Olmstead (10:55):
And just as an aside real quickly for the frequent listeners, David and I are going to do a podcast of our own of Hill and Breanne's greatest failures as well. So be on the lookout for that podcast. [crosstalk 00:11:10] podcast.
Hill Vaden (11:13):
So the way we did this last year, hopefully everybody remembers what was the whole, would you rather in terms of 2020 predictions, so it was nice to have a counterpoint. And so I love that as part of his 2020 behaviors, Reed is doing 50 pushups a day and David is sleeping more. So we've got both of you on complete opposite ends of the spectrum, which is going to make for more of... There was a couple agreement that there were some things where you guys agreed last year that it was going to be a better year for operators in the oil field service company.
Hill Vaden (11:54):
There was unanimity around e-Fracks over diesel fracks, electric fracks. Majors would have a better year than independent, so I think a lot of that played out. Both of you missed the pandemic in terms of your predictions.
Reed Olmstead (12:11):
Hill, you and I talked about that after the podcast and I said, I really see a pandemic coming. And you said, I don't believe it. So that's just too far out there, that's a black swan, people will laugh at you. So I'm going to pin me not being noted as calling a pandemic on you.
Hill Vaden (12:29):
Well, your other prediction not recorded was getting run over by your colleague, Emery and I don't think that's happened either.
Reed Olmstead (12:38):
Well, I'll blame that on the pandemic as well.
Hill Vaden (12:42):
Because you were housebound rather than [crosstalk 00:12:44]-
Breanne Dougherty (12:44):
They're in traffic.
Hill Vaden (12:47):
Well, so one where you guys did take opposite ends last year, the first question I think we had was upside price risk, oil or gas. And David, I hate to bring this up but you picked oil and instead oil hit what, negative $27. So I think we're going to have to give the prize to Reed on that who had gas and gas seems to be finishing the year on somewhat of a little bit of a momentum. Oil is also, so I guess depending on where you put the measuring post maybe both were right, but where are you looking in terms of 2021 each of you?
Reed Olmstead (13:31):
In terms of where there's upside, I would say we still think it's in the oil upside. Gas, we were pretty strong on gas earlier this year but that's come down as we've seen oil supply come back. But really, and I hate to say it, it's hard for me to get excited about either one. I think that we're in the period of malaise for a couple of years, while markets rebalance. Obviously we can acknowledge that there are legitimate black swan events that nobody sees coming. But as we've said, with what we know, I don't know that there's a lot of upside for either maybe a little bit more for gas in the first half of the year but that's all I could get excited about right now.
David Vaucher (14:26):
Yeah. I think, the first thing I'll say for the audiences that as you all know, IHS Markit has expert teams for a lot of different things and so it's always a challenge for me at least on the shows not to overstep my boundaries. And so I think with that disclaimer out of the way, I guess I'll just give my assessment on what I've heard internally. So I think that to Reed's point of view, maybe quantitatively the math and percentage changes might work out to be roughly the same or in the same ballpark but if you just ask for my opinion on the qualitative momentum, I think the story that I've heard is that there's more excitement around gas than oil. Now, obviously that's relative.
David Vaucher (15:02):
They could both be doing not great, but one is just more favored than the other. And I think that's what Reed is getting towards. And I think if that were the case, I would agree with that. I will also say that on the comments of malaise, so Jim Burkhart was on webinar recently explaining a paper which was called I think, Moving Beyond Slow Motion if I remember the title correctly. And basically in that paper, he was saying that 2020 was a transition point for oil where it had this very large share of total energy and going forward in the next three decades that might be giving away to that. So I think again, tying into to Reed's point of view that I think, the energy transition is here basically and so you can make a case for oil or gas but can you make one case? I just don't know that you can do that anymore.
Breanne Dougherty (15:53):
Well then, and maybe your answers are going to be either you don't know or you think it's going to be indifferent, but do we think that there's a potential of first half of 2021 versus the second half of 2021 as to which one is going to have the better price volatility or the more pronounced value. Which one's more vulnerable to the more pronounced volatility?
Reed Olmstead (16:17):
Yeah, I think that you can make a pretty compelling case for a stronger gas price. It's all relative, right? We're talking about pretty low prices, historically low prices. But I think you could make a case for a stronger gas price first half of the year and perhaps a stronger oil price second half. I think with the winter coming in the way of gas markets are, I think you can make a case for a little bump in gas price going into the first quarter into the shoulder months. Second half of the year, the unknown is all around the global macro and what happens with the vaccine if we get a vaccine when heavy adoption rates and people feel safe getting on planes, then we're good to go.
Reed Olmstead (17:03):
But I think that we've really seen a secular shift in the way people behave. Our office is open, I went in yesterday on a floor that seats 250 people there were high above us and we've been open for a month. So and that was not just a happenstance but that was a coordinated five of, hey, some of us are going in the office, we should get together. So I've been in where there's nobody. And until we start to see personal transportation, transportation for business and that's all predicated on going out, I don't see a strong way to get a good bump in oil price. I mean, maybe, but it's all dependent on the adoption rate in the vaccine I think.
David Vaucher (17:51):
Yeah. I mean, I think that encapsulates what I'm seeing. I mean, again, there is a forecast out there that is faking a lot of these assumptions in and so I want to make sure I don't contradict that. But if you ask me personally, where do I think most of the strength is going to come from, I think you have to say back half of 2021. I was reading an article just today that just because there was a vaccine does not necessarily mean it's going to be okay, everything's back to normal because how many of those vaccines are going to be stored properly, injected properly, what's going to be the percentage of people that actually get it, what is mask wearing and social distancing look like before that?
David Vaucher (18:26):
So I think that whereas there was a pretty clear shift of okay prior to pandemic and after pandemic, I don't think there's going to be such a clear shift of pandemic ongoing and pandemic over if that makes any sense. And I think that will carry over to the oil and gas story.
Hill Vaden (18:46):
All right. So those are both questions looking forward at 2021 and obviously within the space of our general topics on energy. The other thing that we try to do with these in a year podcast is look back at 2020 at things beyond energy. So looking at 2020 and again, within would you rather concept here. We had a big election this year in the US presidential election and that came with it a lot of press attention, a lot of I suppose, controversy. One of the under-reported controversies is Jim Carrey emerging as the Joe Biden character on Saturday Night Live when previously held by Jason Sudeikis. So who is your preferred Biden by SNL character? Reed?
Breanne Dougherty (19:47):
I'll go first on that. Oh, you're going with Reed?
Hill Vaden (19:49):
I know, let's go on, Breanne because I know how you feel about this, Breanne.
Breanne Dougherty (19:52):
Yeah. So I really think Jason Sudeikis did a great job as Biden, there was something about it and maybe it's because he'd been playing it for so long and I'm just not a fan of Jim Carrey's interpretation to be honest. It feels a little bit over the top and I felt like the subtlety of Jason Sudeikis is much more in line with Joe Biden's actual character and sort of the way and I felt that he did a better job. So I'm actually a little bit disappointed and I wonder if Jim Carrey is here to stay for the next four years or if he's only here for the first few months of the new administration. So I guess it's a wait and see there. But I'm interested to hear if either Reed or David, if somebody out there does prefer the Jim Carrey version because I might be on an island here.
David Vaucher (20:39):
Yeah. So for the audience, we prepped before this and we said no controversies and so my heart started when Hill said election I was like, "Oh, wow, here we go." But to answer your question, I can totally see where the over the top assessment would come from for Jim Carrey but as someone who grew up in the nineties, inspector or Pet Detective, In Living Color, all that, I have to give the edge to Jim Carrey, for sure.
Breanne Dougherty (21:09):
How about you, Reed?
Reed Olmstead (21:10):
I was incredibly disappointed with Jim Carrey's performance, but in thinking about this and listening, I don't know that it was necessarily-
Breanne Dougherty (21:18):
Incredibly disappointed. Reed, it feels like this is the Roger Nebert Show now. Incredibly disappointed.
Reed Olmstead (21:24):
Yeah. I have higher expectations for Jim Carrey and it could have been the writing. When I think about it, I'm looking at Jason Sudeikis online and I think, was it a function of the writing or the portrayal? And that's the real question I'd have to go back and I'll ask for a little bit of a pause on this. I'll spend today doing some solid research, I'll go back and look at it. Both characters, both portrayals and see, try to parse it out. Was it the actor, was it the writing? But I think both the acting and writing were weaker with Jim Carrey.
Hill Vaden (21:58):
Forever an analyst, Reed. Forever an analyst.
Breanne Dougherty (22:01):
I mean, I going to expect a two-page punchy insight about this.
Reed Olmstead (22:05):
Yeah. We'll publish it next week.
Breanne Dougherty (22:10):
How about you, Hill?
Hill Vaden (22:11):
I'll go with Jim Carrey for similar reasons as David, that Jim Carrey started to wear thin after I guess Cable Guy or something. I started to get them to lose [inaudible 00:22:25] did that initial kind of Ace Ventura and Infatuation. But when I saw him back on I was like, Oh, great, he's back. And maybe it's just a consequence of getting old, but I'm going to vote Jim Carrey as well.
Reed Olmstead (22:41):
And just going back to our predictions for 2020, nobody would have predicted the relevancy of SNL in December 19th.
Hill Vaden (22:51):
Yeah, yeah. Fair.
Breanne Dougherty (22:53):
That's also a very valid point, Reed. Okay. I'm going to bring us back to oil and gas on this next one of would you rather, something that's become a very hot topic too sure is around obviously the increasingly carbon conscious nature of the industry. So Reed and David, the higher likelihood of adoption by operators of direct investment in carbon management technologies versus renewable energy technologies, how do you think they're going to green their portfolios?
David Vaucher (23:30):
Okay. So just-
Reed Olmstead (23:31):
David you want to take this one first?
David Vaucher (23:33):
Well, yeah. Wow. Okay. Yeah, so-
Reed Olmstead (23:35):
I've got an answer, but I'll let you go first if you want.
David Vaucher (23:37):
Could probably do like three webinars on this just alone but I think so just to clarify the question, Breanne, so you're asking how much do we think that operators will do more just to mitigate the emissions from their current hydrocarbon portfolios versus who is going to migrate more towards saying, okay, we're not going to do oil and gas and liquids anymore. We're going to try and do wind or solar or just renewable.
Breanne Dougherty (24:01):
David Vaucher (24:02):
Breanne Dougherty (24:02):
Exactly. Or start integrating more of the renewables into there.
David Vaucher (24:05):
Okay. Yeah, a super good question. So if you're asking for my personal view on how this is going to go, I think you could probably look at this from a couple of different points of view. I mean, clearly it's going to vary by geography because regulations are going to be different and I think like Reed was saying people's behaviors and desires are going to be different. You can also certainly look at this, it's like what's the capital structure internally. So what companies are taking heavy amounts of investment from investment firms that have said we will only invest in renewable energies or something like that.
David Vaucher (24:39):
And I think also there's just size. I mean, you're more likely to see a super major commit to something like this than you are to see a Permian player, for example, do that. So I think the answer is, I mean, I know it's weak because you want answers, it depends. But if you look at it along those three dimensions, it'll probably give you a good idea of where... So Reed is rolling his eyes, so he clearly has the answer.
Reed Olmstead (25:03):
I just think you're hedging for 12 months from now so we don't get called out.
David Vaucher (25:09):
[crosstalk 00:25:09] I mean, yeah. I just, gosh, I think I'm just going to say, okay, I'll give you so-
Breanne Dougherty (25:15):
What if we split then? [crosstalk 00:25:16].
David Vaucher (25:16):
... So I can give you.
Breanne Dougherty (25:18):
Can we split it? Can you say, do you have an idea of the difference between, let's say like a major, how a major might do it and then we'll ask you, how do you think like a US independent.
David Vaucher (25:28):
That's fair. Okay. So I think a major, especially one with an international footprint will likely have, say no choice, I try to be careful of that, but we'll have a little choice in the matter of moving towards more renewables. I think they view that as being more expected of them and they're the standard bear. I think the US independent is more likely to shift to mitigation strategies dependent on what the local regulations look like around them.
Breanne Dougherty (25:53):
Reed Olmstead (25:54):
[crosstalk 00:25:54] Couldn't have said it better myself, David. In fact, as we were thinking about this, I made a couple of notes. I wrote US operators, reduction major's renewables. And definitely, I think the US operators will be more driven by a regulation than philanthropy and Goodwill and whatnot I think. Which isn't to say they won't, there's also a competitive aspect, we've heard of US operators calling for zero flaring, but those are also the operators that don't flare. And so it's a competitive edge for them to get out there and point the finger and say, you guys are doing it wrong, I'm doing it right.
Reed Olmstead (26:31):
And so I think that we'll see a little bit maybe of the competitive side come out, but I think in the US independence, it's going to be looking to reduce the impacts primarily driven by legislation. The majors and the [inaudible 00:26:50] will definitely have to focus on renewables.
Hill Vaden (26:53):
So do I hear correctly that we have consensus around, it depends?
Reed Olmstead (27:00):
David Vaucher (27:00):
Reed Olmstead (27:01):
That's pretty good consensus.
Hill Vaden (27:04):
All right. Yeah. Our listeners are probably frustrating. They're hitting themselves in the head. All right. Well, here's another one that maybe gives us another chance for it depends. When we were talking, some of the things we're looking at for 2021 are of course or any year is profitability and each of you has historically, we've been talking about North America or field services. David has been more of your focus and Reed the operators more of your focus. When we look at the two sectors for 2021 in an aggregate basis, obviously there's going to be outliers at the one-off who has a better year in terms of 2021 profits?
Reed Olmstead (27:49):
David Vaucher (27:50):
Yeah. I think I have to agree with that. I mean, at some level you have to assume that in the service world, someone has to be profitable because if you stretch it out and no one's profitable, then no one exists, right? So someone has to be profitable. But if you ask me who has the better prospects for increased profitability, I think I have to agree with Reed. Yeah, it's on the operator side.
Breanne Dougherty (28:11):
Well, David as a follow-up to that, so how pinched are the services right now?
David Vaucher (28:15):
Yeah. It's interesting actually because it's hard to do some of these conversations because I'm trained as everyone else on the call is, right? Like if you say something, you have to have a fact-based to support it and I asked myself at the end of last year, okay, so everyone assumes that the services and pumping companies in particular is what I was thinking of, are doing poorly, but what's my fact-base for that? Can I test that? And long story short, I took a peer group of the largest horsepower providers and it turned out actually that for the peer group I selected which was the top I think, five or six horsepower providers, they were actually making money and they were in a good spot.
David Vaucher (28:51):
So that definitely challenged me to rethink like, okay, maybe this is just a story that gets perpetuated because everyone says, that's what it is and it works for the service companies, because then they can say, hey, don't squeeze us anymore. So look, they have been profitable, they can be profitable. But if you just look at the data that we provide, there's just so much excess capacity in the market and the perception is so strong that if you don't accept this price, like if I'm the operator and the service company does not accept this price, the perception is so strong that that operator can just go down the street and ask for another 10%.
David Vaucher (29:28):
It's just hard to see anyone at the moment making a case. I think right now it's just hunker down and keep basically hunker down and hope that your cash reserves will outrun this first half of 2021 instability that we talked about before.
Breanne Dougherty (29:48):
And so you don't think that anybody who did receive the pressure in 2020 they're waiting on the sidelines ready to re-engage, that it didn't knock anybody completely out?
David Vaucher (29:57):
No, I mean-
Breanne Dougherty (29:58):
It hasn't decreased the size of the pool of the services?
David Vaucher (30:01):
... I mean the nodes, so they were announced. So you have the announcement I don't want to say anything too wrong here, but I think it was early 2020 end of 2019, like Halliburton and Schlumberger announced very large cuts, but I think that's where this caught everyone by surprise was these cuts were dramatic. Any other time people would have said, wow, what is going on here? But then the pandemic hit and they just could not outrun the demand bottoming out at that time, right? And then Schlumberger pretty much said with a liberty deal like, hey, we don't want part of North America. Then there was another company, FTSI announced they were filing for a chapter 11.
David Vaucher (30:38):
So the capacity's coming out. But whenever you talk about supply or demand, you always have to keep in mind the other side of the coin is. So supplies coming out of the market, the question is, is it coming out of the market faster than demand is dropping? It has dropped. And then on top of that, do people understand that picture or is their perception such that again, well, there's 50 others of you I can call on. So either you give me my 30% discount or I'm walking. So I think there's the data piece which is important, but perception is reality. I think that's going to be really key going into the next year as well.
Breanne Dougherty (31:11):
And Reed, I'm going to give some, let's not really pushback, but add a question around your answer of operators though. Is it just because 2020 was so bad that relatively it looks better or do we think that something's happening within these operators that structurally they look just in better position in 2021?
Reed Olmstead (31:30):
Structurally they look a lot better. I mean, we've cut a lot of the wheat from the chaff this year and so that's good. I mean, bankruptcies, we've seen some really big mergers or acquisitions however you want to term it, in the industry. But really what we're looking at is investors. I mean, 2021 is going to be the realization of a three to four year shift in the business model towards profitability. And they were on that path, this has only accelerated it. Now it's not, it was liking it to a guy that goes to college and borrows a lot of money and then goes to grad school and borrows money at some point they got to pay it back.
Reed Olmstead (32:11):
Well, all we're looking at now is this year we're expecting them to live within cash flow, they're not borrowing, but they're not paying down debt. And next year we expect them to actually make money, underspend capital or underspend revenues. But we need to do that, we need to do that for a couple reasons. One, there's a ton of debt that's got to be paid back. But even without that, look, the energy industry particularly upstream US is so out of favor with investors because of the way they were pushed to grow and outspend. And then the investor philosophy changed and said, now I want you to be valued companies. And it's taken a while to do that.
Reed Olmstead (33:00):
So I think we're finally at a point where they have a production base, they've got the balance sheet strength, even at a $47 price that I'm looking at on my screen, they can pull that off. So I think next year is going to be good for them. But to David's point, look, what drives business in the service sector is operator spending money and they're spending a lot less money next year than they did. They're spending less money, what was it in 2020 and 2021 capex will barely equal what they spent in 2019. Something like that.
Reed Olmstead (33:41):
I mean, the capital has just dried up and so, I mean, you can't be a profitable in a shrinking industry. I mean, you can, but the business would say, it's very difficult. So the shift in the way operators are managing their business is pushing down on that profitability of the service sector. We just don't need it. We don't need the activity levels we did in the past because they're not being incentivized to grow production like they were in the past.
Breanne Dougherty (34:10):
I guess [crosstalk 00:34:10].
David Vaucher (34:11):
Sorry, I apologize. So or horsepower for that matter. I mean, if you look at, Reed was saying years earlier, we will incentivize you to bring on more barrels. Well, I think, in the service company case for years, it was, well, we just bring on capacity but clearly if there's no buyer for it, that's a problem. And then on top of that and I think this is to weave into the story of everyone's behaviors changing, you realize that there's a cost to having stuff as well. So bringing something on is one thing, but then when you have to retire it back to the service company side now retiring it costs money, storing it costs money. So you've brought these things on and you've gotten a place for it, and then you're trying to save cash, but just to do something with it on the end, that hurts you as well. So I think you can make the barrels to horsepower analogy for the two service sector and operator companies there.
Breanne Dougherty (35:02):
All right. Well, it's not necessarily always thrilling when there's consensus, but I'll give you guys consensus on that one because you gave some really good and interesting little tidbits as to why it's going to be that way. So it's a little bit more exciting than just both agreeing on something. On the next one, this one I'm actually interested to hear because it's possible because I don't think Hill knew about it before I mentioned it.
Hill Vaden (35:25):
Breanne Dougherty (35:26):
Talking mirror, would you rather be new fitness talking mirror or which one, sorry, do you think is better? The new fitness talking mirror or Snow White's talking mirror? Do you guys even know what the fitness mirror I'm talking about is?
David Vaucher (35:44):
Yeah. Yeah. Reed, do you mind if I take this-
Reed Olmstead (35:48):
Go forward. Go forward.
David Vaucher (35:49):
Yeah. So the talking mirror, I guess yeah, for everyone on the call, it's literally a workout mirror basically. So the mirror has got a screen in it and it's got some elastic bands and it leads you through workouts. And then obviously I think we all, I'll say obviously, I'm assuming we all know what Snow White's talking mirror is. And I guess it comes to, it goes back to the sleeping and exercising things we said earlier because, so I do work out and my wife is like a fanatic. So I'm aware of all the trends.
David Vaucher (36:19):
I will say that I have my own workout routine, I'd also say that when Snow White or the, I guess it's the evil queen asked who's the fairest of them all, I think that'd be a pretty nice way to start your day by having someone say, "Yes David, you are the most handsome and you are ready to go out there and crush your work from home day." So I'm going to give my vote for the Snow White mirror.
Breanne Dougherty (36:41):
You know you could just write those affirmations in pen on your [inaudible 00:36:44], right?
David Vaucher (36:44):
Yeah. It's just different when someone's actually saying that to you, right? Or pretty much for anything you ask them, should I do this? "Yes. Go ahead. It'll work out for you." So I think that the positivity [crosstalk 00:36:56] That's absolutely right. That's correct. Yeah. So I vote for the Snow White mirror.
Breanne Dougherty (37:00):
All right. Reed, how about yourself?
Reed Olmstead (37:02):
I'm going to have to go with the fitness mirror only because I need another $1,500 piece of workout equipment that doesn't get used.
David Vaucher (37:12):
But you can't hang your clothes on this one, right? So unfortunately at the [crosstalk 00:37:15]-
Breanne Dougherty (37:14):
But you can look at your reflection and admire your beard.
Reed Olmstead (37:19):
I can add it to my weight bench, a Peloton, a Wahoo KICKR, I had an elliptical. Yeah, it's great. Let's just bring it in and fortunately this one doesn't take up much space. So yeah, we'll go with that.
Breanne Dougherty (37:34):
[crosstalk 00:37:34]. It sounds as though you could open up a little small gym franchise at your home.
Reed Olmstead (37:39):
Well, socially distanced, perhaps. Yeah.
Breanne Dougherty (37:42):
Hill Vaden (37:44):
So we have [crosstalk 00:37:46]. I'll confess that one of the ideas that we've talked about for this podcast to better appeal to those at home work outers, if that's the right word at-home fitness enthusiasts is to talk to people as if they're working out while listening to our podcasts. So give the occasional, keep going sexy in San Diego or some motivation as they're halfway through the podcasts. So I guess to be determined when we do that, for all of you who are sitting on your treadmill right now looking for motivation, keep going. You're doing great.
Breanne Dougherty (38:22):
We're proud of you.
Hill Vaden (38:24):
We're proud of you.
Breanne Dougherty (38:24):
10 more miles.
Hill Vaden (38:27):
All right. So, looking back at 2021 and again, within the energy industry and this is somewhat of a segue from the consensus that we had just a little while ago on operators, where they are higher levels of spend, XUS or US? And obviously the US has been the sponge for capital seemingly forever with the focus on onshore US. Is it going to be, as things get into a new gear in 2021, where's capital building, upstream capital?
David Vaucher (39:07):
Reed, all you here.
Reed Olmstead (39:09):
Yeah. So I don't know what our numbers for total spend in globally for upstream next year are. But I will say we are looking at you know still very much in the trough of US spending. So look, the world is over supplied both with oil and gas and so I think this goes back to one of the first questions you're really talking about who loses less. We're going to see spending down globally. It's just as it down more XUS versus NUS. I don't know. I think Saudi's perspective or OPEX perspective on managing markets is changing. They've got a philosophy that's really starting to come into fruition that they'd been pivoting towards in the last five years probably. But the world still needs oil and gas.
Reed Olmstead (40:11):
Something like 95 million barrels a day or something like that. So we're still going to need it. I think that probably the US we'll see, I'm just speculating here, the US is going to see less capital spent relative to XUS next year, only because of that business shift I mentioned earlier. So it's not that the capital isn't there, it's not the capital isn't available, it's that operators are going to choose not to spend it because they've got this mandate from their equity holders. Whereas when you look at companies internationally and overseas, they aren't necessarily driven by profits. There are some companies, some associates that are essentially employment organizations. They have government mandates and strategic imperatives they've got to maintain independent of does this business independently make money. So I think that we'll probably see the US capital spend less next year than the rest of the world.
David Vaucher (41:19):
Yeah. And I think that the only thing, so the only thing I'll add to that and this is going to be, it's not boring, but I think there's just a company line is that our team actually puts out a global upstream spend report. So if anyone out there is interested, I'm going to ask my manager for forgiveness, not permission, but if you get in touch with me I'll send you an extract of our data so you can actually see what the fact-based is and it'll give you the full breakdown. So...
Reed Olmstead (41:44):
And then we don't have to wait until next year for me to be wrong.
David Vaucher (41:47):
Yeah. To be fair, I never said Reed was wrong, I just said for the current IHS Markit view because we got to make sure we're satisfying all the stakeholders here. Just get in touch with me and I'll send you that. Oh, the one thing I did want to add actually, sorry. So Reed, you had mentioned oil's not going anywhere. So in Jim Burkhart's paper, believe it or not because I was even shocked by this and I hope I'm not wrong quoting this, but from 1990 to 2020, 80% of share of energy share I think was oil. And I say oil it's either oil or hydrocarbons, but I believe it was oil. So 80%. And what Jim also said was, even if you talk like a move from 80 to 75, that's actually gigantic in terms of the whole system and that takes years if not decades to get done.
David Vaucher (42:36):
So I think that really points to the two parts, that story, which is that oil is hugely important and oil is not going anywhere anytime soon, just that the system and the quantities are just too large for that to happen.
Breanne Dougherty (42:51):
Regardless of how much money you move into the other sectors-
David Vaucher (42:54):
Yeah. I mean [crosstalk 00:42:55]
Breanne Dougherty (42:55):
... And that's what's so important.
David Vaucher (42:58):
I think it's a good flip side to the question earlier about bringing on capacity or bringing on barrels. I mean, at the end of the day, I'm very strongly personally, I'm very much a demand side person and so if there's no demand for your oil, then that's going to do something to the price. But at the same time, if companies go bankrupt and the demand is still there, that has the dynamic and the opposite side as well. So I think that demand really is the driver here.
Breanne Dougherty (43:27):
Switching off of oil for a second, we're going to ask you a US gas specific question actually on the next one. So would you rather, knowing that natural gas it has had some structural changes on the back of the soil shift, have exposure to Haynesville or Eagle Ford.
Reed Olmstead (43:51):
Wow. That, whew!
Hill Vaden (43:55):
Reed Olmstead (43:56):
You're really going after. I'm trying to think we're pretty bullish on the Haynes... You're talking on the gas side like Eagle Ford gas-
Breanne Dougherty (44:06):
On the gas side, yeah.
Reed Olmstead (44:07):
... Or Haynesville gas?
Breanne Dougherty (44:07):
Yeah. Because that's the thing we have become quite on the strategic advantages of Haynesville, there's some interesting dynamics there. So I'm going to pose a question to you, where would you like to be exposed?
Reed Olmstead (44:22):
Interesting question in the world of coronavirus, where do you want to be exposed? I would take Haynesville and I would take it because I think that, so this is going to be a peculiar answer I'm sure. Look, everybody in there is private, so there's a good chance to get bought out. So yeah, I would take some East Texas Haynesville, get some of that liquid rich stuff and just hang out the 'for sale' sign and hope I got bought. I think that there's a lot of opportunity there, much more so than in the Eagle Ford, I think the economics are better. But just from a longevity sense, man, I think that there's a good chance of getting picked up for the consolidation aspect of that.
Breanne Dougherty (45:08):
That's a good angle.
David Vaucher (45:09):
So I'm going to make Reed and Hill happy here and just for the sake of it, I'm going to take the other side. Make the case for the Eagle Ford. So I think look, lower cost wells, just less and lower costs because it's less technically challenging, right? So, I mean, I think the Haynesville, I'm sure everyone's probably got a beat on it more or less, but still like if you're looking at both, I think you could make the case that lower costs because it's less technically challenging. Also, I mean, I don't want to offend anyone by saying like more production history or experience, but I think, that area is pretty concentrated in terms of best practices and expertise and things like that.
David Vaucher (45:45):
And also, it's clearly not like right next to Midland, but if you wanted to SOP up some of that excess capacity, I think you'd be in a good position to do that as well. So I guess Reed's taking the exit side to make his case, I'll take more of the operational side if someone were to stick with gas. But I think for those three reasons, I'll take the Eagle Ford side.
Breanne Dougherty (46:07):
I like it. I like this. This gives us something to check back on next year.
Hill Vaden (46:11):
Yeah. All right. So, again, looking at 2020. So tonight, it is December 10th for those of you listening on your Peloton next week in the future. But tonight at midnight, Taylor Swift is dropping her second pandemic release. The first one being I think, Folklore back in June or July, which was the first and maybe only album to hit a million sales this year. The other big album to drop this year, I say others, if there are only two, but Megan Thee Stallion, a Houston native on Thanksgiving released Good News. Which album is the better release of 2020 and why?
David Vaucher (47:02):
Here's what I'll say is I think you know that you're getting old when you turn on the radio and you're like, I can't listen to this, what are the kids? That's just the general comment, because you're asking me a question like, I'll remind everyone of last year's podcasts, John Mayer pretty much all the way I think that's my, and he hasn't been on the radio and who knows long. But I won't say-
Breanne Dougherty (47:22):
He did not release an album in 2020 as far as I know.
David Vaucher (47:24):
And again, I don't want to offend anyone because I know we have outside interests. I believe and I'm not a rap connoisseur, but I've listened to a certain amount of it and I think like rap prior to 2000 is way better than what's coming out now. So Reed, oh, I'm sorry, Hill you mentioned Beastie Boys, all us into that over anyone today. So I think just from that, I'll disqualify Megan Thee Stallion. And I think Taylor Swift like people have their opinions about her, but I think her music is fun, it's easy to listen to and she made a good song with John Mayer, Half My Heart on-
Hill Vaden (47:59):
[crosstalk 00:47:59] There he goes.
David Vaucher (48:00):
I'll bring it back to John Mayer and I'll go with Taylor Swift to answer your question.
Hill Vaden (48:06):
All right. Reed?
Reed Olmstead (48:07):
So as an aside, I got a new radio in my truck and apparently I can listen to HD stations now, which is like [crosstalk 00:48:16] the world. Yeah. Because normally I listen to podcasts, but I found one that plays nineties country, so I'm outside my world here. My 10-year old daughter has made multiple unending references to Taylor Swift and I'd never heard of Megan. So I'm going to have to go with Taylor Swift, but I'm really going to go with Robert Earl Keen and Cory Morrow.
Hill Vaden (48:49):
Did they release songs this year?
Reed Olmstead (48:52):
They don't have to, man. Their stuff is gold.
Breanne Dougherty (48:55):
He's stuck in the nineties. He's listened to his nineties country. He's good to go. Who else? Nineties country, what else do we have? But I feel like-
Reed Olmstead (49:01):
You could do some Cross Canadian Ragweed, you could do some Charlie Robinson, you could do, I mean everybody's favorite is Pat Green. You could do, I mean, Willie came out with quality stuff for his entire career. You can't love country, I'm talking good old boy country without having some David Allen Co. But Zac Brown has come out with some good stuff too lately. I liked his older stuff better but you got Zac Brown, you got Chris [inaudible 00:49:39]. So, there's a variety there. I don't know if any of them as your term it Hill, dropped albums this year, but they are still producing and recording. Yes.
Breanne Dougherty (49:51):
Well, I'm going to go on limb and guess that it might be a good thing that you don't know, Megan's alias name because I'm going to guess you wouldn't want your ten-year-old daughter listening to the album. Hill you've-
Reed Olmstead (50:02):
I have heard of Cardi B.
Hill Vaden (50:05):
Not at age 10. So I think Megan Thee Stallion's new album is fantastic. And David, I think it is better hip hop than it's coming from just about anybody than Kendrick Lamar. And if you like nineties hip hop I would recommend Megan Thee Stallion that she's I think worth the listen and I think it is really interesting from a dad of a daughter perspective. I'm not going to rush out and let my ten-year old listened to it. I just let her listen to one of the songs. I think it's like the 10th song on the album or something. But at some point she should listen to it, my daughter. [inaudible 00:50:49]
David Vaucher (50:49):
So I will say too, I think these are fun questions to bring it back to a work process because it's going to be weak, but it's there. I think that what we're all saying is, the songwriting is clearly a big deal right now and I think that when I was thinking on the rap question, like Beastie Boys or any one of these other rappers in John Mayer honestly, like the songwriting is key and I think when I'm writing my papers, some of the things that they have talked about in interviews about how they write songs and how they look at things and just being exposed to that, I think if you like rap and you like the stuff that we're talking about it's because you the wordplay and the fun with words.
David Vaucher (51:26):
And I think when you're looking at developing a style to write with, that's what I think about. I'm like, oh, they're having fun with words and I'm writing about oil and gas, which to some people might be really dry. But you can still have fun with it and put your own turns of phrase and I think that is what attracts me to those particular artists. Is the ones that clearly are good, it's because they love the words and I think that's something that I try and work into my process when I'm at my desk or putting one of these papers together.
Hill Vaden (51:52):
So to everybody, let's see, press pause on the podcast and Google Kool Moe Dee, Busy Bee rap battle and listen to it. In terms of wordplay and this was a pickup from that Beastie Boys book and I think it was either Adam or Bike that recommends it. And it was an audio book. It said, stop listening to this audio book, listen to this YouTube video. So the wordplay, Dave, that you subscribe checkup, Kool Moe Dee, Busy Bee rap battle.
Reed Olmstead (52:19):
You're going to link that in the description?
Breanne Dougherty (52:23):
Maybe somehow we're working into the title.
Hill Vaden (52:26):
There you go. So you get a free upstream spend report and a rap battle, all of this podcast.
Breanne Dougherty (52:34):
As your reward for listening through the entire podcast, I guess, is you're getting all of these little added perks, these holiday givings.
Hill Vaden (52:42):
Yes. And so with that, I think we are at our last question, Breanne.
Breanne Dougherty (52:47):
I think so. Yeah.
Hill Vaden (52:49):
So, the last question, hopefully well, I imagine we'll get consensus on this. Better year, 2020 or 2021?
David Vaucher (52:58):
Okay. So yeah, I was thinking about this because I thought you might ask this question and I'm going to say something that's grim and it's not meant to be grim, I think it just put things in perspective. I follow a lot of Reddit and I think the internet can be a bit of a cesspool, but if you choose your sources, it can also be super insightful. And Reddit it's fun because if you pick the communities and you read, you get a lot of these different insights and one person said, given how things are going, the need to address the energy mix, the need to consume less, what if 2020 is actually the best year of the decade, right? And that made me think, I mean, what would that mean? What would that mean for everyone?
David Vaucher (53:37):
But at the same time, you can take the flip side and say that, well, hopefully we've learned from this and think that 2021 is going to be the better year. And I would hope again, going back to my thoughts on being part of a collective that people would look at this and say, yeah, I definitely need to change how I behave, how I treat others, and hopefully everyone else is thinking the same thing and so it reflects back on us. I think 2021, to be honest with you, it's still going to be rough. We're not going to get out of this. That's my personal view. We are not out of the woods in 2021 but relatively speaking, is it going to be better? Yeah, I hope so because if you think about what worst means, that's a really bad place to be in. So I'll go with 2021 being better and I hope I'm not wrong for next year's iteration.
Reed Olmstead (54:24):
Yeah. So for me, 2020 was supposed to be the summer of George, but the summer of Reed for the old Seinfeld reference, it was supposed to be great. I was supposed to have a lot of fun and I actually did. I think it's all in your perspective. I got to spend seven weeks in Colorado this year, I got to spend more time with my family. So I think that from an external perspective, yeah, it's been horrible, but from my personal life I really enjoyed the shift. So, I think 2021 will be better but that's because it's going to be better for people and getting down to what they really think is important.
Reed Olmstead (55:09):
I spent more time throwing a baseball with my kids, teaching my daughter multiplication tables, helping my youngest son learn to study. I taught kids how to ride bikes, I got to climb mountains. I never thought I would. And so I think it's all on what you go out and rep. And so I think 2021 will be better because people... I don't know that it's going to be better in oil and gas markets, I don't know if the quarantine is going to be better, but I think that as we learn how to make the most of what's in front of us, it can only be better.
Reed Olmstead (55:45):
Even if oil does collapse again or whatever happens in the markets and with all the uncertainty, all the waves in the ocean right now, we're learning how to deal with it. And so I don't think that there's a way it couldn't be better.
Breanne Dougherty (56:02):
I think that's interesting though. I think it's nice to look at 2020 as a important formative year. I think what you're describing it there and the importance that 2020 played and will forever play because of that. But yeah, I mean, let's hope it's one thing to talk and again, I think David mentioned at the start that we're privileged being able to work from home and there's a lot of different people in different circumstances.
Breanne Dougherty (56:30):
So I'm going to go out and say, I hope for 2021 to be better, but I think you both raise a really valid point that I think as we look back at 2020, there are some important things about 2020 that should stick with us forever. So yeah, I think I stand on the same on the same side as both of you. Hill? I hope you're not... I'm just going to say I hope you also agree because I hope it's not that you think that 2021 is going to be...
Reed Olmstead (57:02):
The worst is yet to come, right Hill?
Hill Vaden (57:04):
No, yeah. It's got to be 2021, right. We always have to believe that the next year is better than this year otherwise that there's no point going ahead, I suppose that's horribly fatalistic way to look at things. But yes, 2021 will be better and yes, there were some bright spots in 2020 that we will all learn from.
Breanne Dougherty (57:27):
And the other important thing is as always having people such as Reed and David join us on this podcast, we're just getting better and better as well. So it means that 2021 is also just going to continue to deliver to you listeners better and better EnergyCents podcasts. So, you can always eagerly anticipate the next one.
David Vaucher (57:49):
Well, we will be back if you guys want us. So hopefully this goes over well and happy to join for the next iteration and talk next time.
Breanne Dougherty (58:00):
And we'll be back to see whether or not Reed is up to it from 50 to maybe 75 or a hundred pushups a day.
Reed Olmstead (58:05):
Don't, I'm going to embarrass [inaudible 00:58:06].
Hill Vaden (58:11):
All right. And David, so I guess you got to get to sleep and Reed's got some pushups to do. So this is probably a good place to wrap up. So thank you all and we look forward to recounting the tally next year. There was remarkable consensus, so it might be a tie when we come back next year.
David Vaucher (58:31):
Thank you all for having us. Thank you.
Breanne Dougherty (58:32):
And we wish you both a happy holiday season.
Reed Olmstead (58:35):
[crosstalk 00:58:35] Same to you.
David Vaucher (58:36):
Reed Olmstead (58:36):