April 19, 2023

“Where Would You Put $100 In The Energy And Energy Transition Space?” Featuring Saul Kavonic, Credit Suisse Australia

Today we had the pleasure of hosting Saul Kavonic, Head of Integrated Energy, Resources and Carbon Research at Credit Suisse Australia. Saul is very well-regarded in the Australian and Asian energy community and joined us from Melbourne (on his Wednesday morning!). He was formerly the Head of Oil, Gas, LNG and Energy at Wood McKenzie and is a chemical engineer by training. We had an excellent and sweeping discussion with Saul and it was fascinating to hear his perspective from Down Under.

Saul first provides context on today’s Australian energy scene, the country’s geopolitical relationships with other Asian countries including Japan, and the influence the current (and relatively new) government is exerting on energy investment. Australia greatly impacts Japan’s LNG supply and has a unique vantage point of being interdependent with Asia but aligned culturally and from a security standpoint with the West. We discuss long-term contracts and issues around them, supply chain in "old" and "new" energy both, investor attitudes, and the types of companies Saul focuses on in his research. Saul shared he enjoys meeting energy executives and investors throughout the region and frequently asks them "where would you put $100 in the energy and energy transition space?" He provides a number of interesting potential answers. We also mention the potential for resource-driven conflict in an increasingly tense world and hear the sentiment from the region. We ended with a quick around the horn summary of where Saul, Arjun and Mike would invest their $100. Their answers were interesting!

Mike Bradley kicked us off with a market update and reported that markets have been relatively quiet for the past 4-5 days with bonds and commodities trading sideways. He flagged earnings beginning this week for oil service companies and that he expects the focus to be on pricing trends. Mike also noted copper prices are not at all-time highs, although there has been consolidation, and that LME stock levels are 50-55% lower than last year and 65-70% lower than the 5, 7, or 10-year averages. He wrapped by suggesting oil and copper prices could increase significantly if there is no recession this year. Arjun Murti also joined today’s session and shared his takeaways from last week’s CGEP events in New York, observing refreshing realism and pragmatism from policy makers including a recognition that Europe’s gas crisis is nowhere close to being over. Arjun also voiced his concern about optimism in Europe that a range of new technologies will ramp quickly and how that can feed a reluctance to fully embrace proven, reliable resources such as natural gas. He wrapped by flagging that coal consumption was likely to grow for the foreseeable future now that it is almost exclusively a developing market fuel source.

We greatly enjoyed our conversation with Saul and thank him for sharing his morning with us for the first SOBW - "Start Of Business Wednesday."

G’day mates! Our best to you all!

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April 13, 2022

“In ESG, the E is for Emissions and the S and G are Silent” Featuring Adam Waterous, Waterous Energy Fund

Today we welcomed an old friend, Adam Waterous, to COBT and had a sweeping energy conversation reflective of his 30+ years in energy transactions, financings, investing, and strategy.

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