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.
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.
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.
Summary: What Happened?
In late March China launched its first oil futures contract that may fully appeal to non-Chinese risk managers. Since oil field service (OFS) providers and other companies often peg contract pricing to oil benchmarks such as WTI and Brent, this introduces a new option for contracts. However, O&G supply chain teams should beware the new option: rather than entertaining the new Chinese oil futures, teams should consider less risky and more established alternatives to mitigate risk and avoid unnecessary costs.
Why Have I Not Heard of Chinese Futures Before Now?
Despite surging activity on China’s three main commodity exchanges (the Dalian Commodity Exchange, the Shanghai Futures Exchange, and the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange), until recently, several factors have precluded Chinese commodity futures markets from emerging as commonly referenced international price benchmarks:
- Lack of cross border access: Foreigners have seldom been permitted to access and utilize Chinese commodity futures. Only a limited number of Chinese state-controlled enterprises have been granted licenses by the Chinese government to transact in commodity derivatives outside China.
- Non-convertibility of the RMB: The Chinese government limits the convertibility of its currency, the RMB. This can make exchange rate transactions costlier to execute than those with other currencies. Market participants have expressed concerns that profits earned on Chinese commodity futures contracts may potentially be difficult to move out of China.
Both factors have contributed to large divergences between Chinese and foreign benchmark pricing across many commodities. These divergences make Chinese contracts unsuitable to hedge commodity exposure incurred outside of China and arguably make Chinese commodity derivative prices less reflective of global market conditions than their foreign equivalents. Traders and supply chain managers have thus been reluctant to use them.
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.
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.