As the new year begins and E&Ps continue to face pressure to focus on returns, operators remain on the lookout for incisive market data and forecasts that provide greater visibility into potential risks and opportunities.
Utilities are in the thick of an industry transformation driven by technological and competitive forces. 2019 shows no signs of slowing down. We have highlighted 5 key trends to stay ahead of in the coming year, so utilities can continue to position themselves for success.
With cost volatility and a need to continue adapting to an evolving industry, Oil & Gas firms have increasingly turned to innovations such as "digitalizaton" as solutions, with many industry leaders citing it as a top of mind focus in 2018 and beyond. But what is digitalization, and how can firms think about leveraging it effectively to drive greater cost competitiveness and overall higher EBITDA?
To help answer these questions, PowerAdvocate's sister company Wood Mackenzie recently published a report outlining the digitalization landscape in Oil & Gas, including a case study of how one operator drove >$1B in savings and a 25% reduction in third party costs through digitalization and big data from PowerAdvocate.
Higher prices are on the horizon for utility-scale solar projects due to tariffs and quotas recently approved by President Trump. This new legislation could seriously impact financial plans for solar projects, but expertise in capital projects, specifically renewable projects, can help utilities, EPCs, and developers mitigate these costs and prepare for future changes.
Why are the rules changing?
In September, the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that U.S. solar manufactures experienced significant injury due to imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) solar cells and modules. This investigation stems from the United States’ Global Safeguard law, where an industry representative may petition the ITC to determine if imports are causing “serious injury” and recommend remedies. The petition was filed by the recently bankrupted Suniva and later joined by SolarWorld.
On January 22, the Trump Administration followed through with the recommendations from the ITC and imposed a four-year solar import tariff that will start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent. This tariff will apply to all CSPV solar cells and modules that are imported into the U.S. There is a quota specifically for solar panel cells which excludes the first 2.5 GW of cells imported into the U.S. each year, but the details on how the quota will apply remain undetermined. Like the tariff, the quota will last four years. All countries are included except for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary countries, which account for less than three percent of total imports.
More likely than not, your utility is already or soon will be procuring battery energy storage as part of its grid modernization strategy. In fact, according to BCC Research, the global market for grid-scale battery storage technologies is projected to reach nearly $4.0 billion in 2025, up from $716 million in 2015. Battery costs have fallen dramatically over the past decade. However, events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are putting the brakes on further cost reductions. Here’s a look at what’s happening and how you can approach your battery procurement planning in light of these events.
As the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast recovers from Hurricane Harvey, Supply Chain organizations face the challenge of navigating its effects, from chemicals to logistics to labor.
- Since last fall, a surge in drilling and completions activity in the Permian Basin has led to a dramatic increase in sand demand and, in turn, substantial sand price inflation.
- In response, sand mining companies have begun investing in a slew of new mines in the area.
- While new sand mines will deepen the market’s oversupply, prevailing logistical bottlenecks will likely prevent significant sand price deflation from occurring.
Sand Demand and Sand Price Inflation Since Last Fall
Demand for sand used in oil field operations plummeted after the oil-price crash in mid-2014 and the subsequent sharp drop-off in well completions activity. This trend, however, has recently reversed. Since late 2016, a surge in drilling activity in the Permian, coupled with the activation of drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs), has led to a massive increase in sand demand in the basin (Figure 1). During the first half of 2017, total US sand proppant demand was 63 million tons per year, a 75% increase over 2016 levels.
Figure 1: Permian Basin Sand Demand
Sources: United States Energy Information Administration, Baker Hughes, PowerAdvocate
Over the last five years, the United States has significantly increased its production of oil and natural gas, a phenomenon referred to as the Shale Revolution. US crude oil production has increased substantially, especially in the inland parts of the Gulf Coast and Midwestern states (Figure 1). This shift has impacted the economics of downstream operators; however, the benefits for specific refineries have varied depending on location and refinery crude slate.
Buckeye Partners presents a webinar in our Q&A with the Experts series.
In this webinar recording, Buckeye Shares:
- How they've used data to achieve >$10M in cost reduction through improved supplier negotiations and bids
- Specific strategies they've used across CapEx and OpEx categories
- How they've prioritized and executed on specific cost reduction opportunities
- And lots more...
We’re thrilled to share that more than 60 Oil & Gas executives attended our Annual Oil & Gas Executive Forum on June 22, for our best event yet.
The 2017 Executive Forum provided a platform for sharing and discussing new cost-cutting strategies
Each Executive Forum is designed to enable operators to exchange innovative approaches to cost reduction with one another. This year’s event featured:
- A keynote speech by the Vice President of Global Supply Chain at Hess Corporation
- Spotlight presentations on pressing Supply Chain concerns led by 7 industry leaders:
A New Mindset for a New Market. Former CEO of Maersk Oil Houston discussed the importance of cost control in Oil & Gas and provided a new perspective on the market
Cost Reduction in Practice. Director of Strategic Sourcing at DCP Operating Company, Sr. Commercial Manager at Motiva Enterprises, and Head of Procurement at Jonah Energy shared how supply market insight and data were used to decrease their operating costs
Cost Reduction Outside the Box. Vice President of E&P Services at WPX Energy and Head of Procurement at Statoil explained how rising costs were averted by their companies
Elevating Costs. Director of Supply Chain at Southwestern Energy spoke about the factors that drive business unit engagement and their effects on category management success
- Networking opportunities that brought together over 67 executives across 38 firms
A keynote speech on current economics of Oil & Gas and how to envision Supply Chains of the future
We want to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all who attended the Forum and shared their perspectives on the Oil & Gas market. If you would like more information about any of the presentation topics, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.