Cost Insights
by PowerAdvocate

Intelligence for energy companies seeking a data-driven approach to cost management

Section 301 Tariffs: US-China Trade War Worsens

June 6, 2019 at 9:51 AM / by Amrit Naresh posted in Industry Insights, Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities

Summary

  • The US raised tariffs on $200 billion of imports from China from 10% to 25% in early May. China responded with retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of imports from the US, effective June 1.
  • This is the third round of US tariffs on imports from China, which now affect $250 billion of imports. The US has threatened a fourth round of tariffs on $300 billion of imports, or nearly all remaining trade with China.
  • The new tariffs cover 1,200 chemical and 500 metal products. They are also the first to include consumer products, which raises the prospect of accelerating price increases for US consumers. Neither List 3 nor List 4 includes rare earth minerals.
  • Trade negotiations between Beijing and Washington remain underway. Slowing economic growth in either country would add pressure to advance the negotiations, but supply chain teams must prepare for potential price risks.
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Highlights from the 2019 Oil & Gas Executive Forum

May 31, 2019 at 2:28 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Oil & Gas

We’re thrilled to share that over sixty industry executives across more than forty firms attended the 4th Annual Oil & Gas Executive Forum on May 22nd at the Petroleum Club of Downtown Houston for our best event yet.

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What Are The Recent Economic Changes In China That Can Impact Oil & Gas Supply Chains?

March 22, 2019 at 5:03 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights

Summary
  • As China’s economic expansion matures and its GDP growth rate slowly declines, global supply chains will shift as they restructure around new economic realities in China
  • A major contributing factor to declining GDP growth rates in China is a slowdown in manufacturing, which constitutes nearly 30% of the country’s GDP
  • Increasing costs of production, which include rising labor wages, are making manufacturing in China costlier and thereby exports more expensive to global markets
  • The current US-China trade war, in which up to $250B of imports from China are subject to tariffs by the current administration, is adding additional pressure to global trade
  • It is imperative that Oil & Gas firms leverage better market data to stay abreast of global macroeconomic developments that can potentially impact their supply chains

 

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Higher Oilfield Costs to Continue in 2019

February 1, 2019 at 8:31 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Oil & Gas

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. 

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Utility Update: 5 Things to Watch in 2019

January 10, 2019 at 3:45 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

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.

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Wood Mackenzie Upstream Digitalization Report

November 20, 2018 at 4:29 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Oil & Gas

WoodMac Report Hubspot Image

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.

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New Section 301 Tariffs Put Energy Supply Chains at Risk

November 7, 2018 at 4:10 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights

Global trade continues to keep energy companies on their toes. With 60-80% of business line costs coming from supplier activities, owners and operators need data and insights to better understand supply risk. With that in mind, our analysts have built out a comprehensive report summarizing the latest impacts of the 301 trade case.

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Potential Tariffs on European Automakers Create Savings Opportunity in Refining Catalysts

July 17, 2018 at 11:56 AM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Oil & Gas

Platinum, a key input to critical refining catalysts, has already faced steep multi-year price declines and has recently hit a long-term low. However, recent hints at a price rebound point to substantial possible cost risks for downstream firms.

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Solar Tariffs Expected to Impact Costs for Solar Projects: How to Mitigate, Plan, and Prepare 

February 26, 2018 at 2:49 PM / by Samantha Walter & Justin Steimle posted in Project Estimation, Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Power & Utilities

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.

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Section 232 Threatens Steel and Aluminum

February 23, 2018 at 4:49 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Industry Insights, Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities

UPDATE: In a surprising move, President Trump announced on March 1 that he intends to impose sweeping 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% tariffs on aluminum -- the most severe of the potential trade remedies recommended by the Department of Commerce. Details of the plan are still unknown, but the announcement has already driven dramatic steel and aluminum price increases and spooked equipment manufacturers. Register for our March 13 webinar for the latest updates on Section 232.  

Read on for our initial analysis of the Department of Commerce's recommendations.

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