How the energy sector protects us from supply outages in uncertain times

When there is something as dramatic as a pandemic, it is right to feel concerned about the security of the infrastructure. Although energy sector workers are considered key to our day to day lives, we might worry that supply outages are a possibility with people becoming ill and continued maintenance a challenge. Yet, there has been no problem with energy supply in these uncertain times. Indeed, the National Grid announced that coal-powered power stations had not contributed to electricity supplies for two months, from the beginning of April through to June. It is right to question how the UK’s powerRead more

The impact of supply growth by non-OPEC producers

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a cartel of 14 major oil-exporting countries. There are 12 oil barons who are said to control the world’s energy supply, with Ali bin Ibrahim- al-Naimi from Saudi Arabia said to have the most powerful voice. By regulating the supply of oil, OPEC attempts to manipulate the price of oil on the world market. The way the oil world used to work Researchers have identified the period between 1973 and 1997 as being the age of OPEC. There was dominance over oil production that meant OPEC held significant, direct influence over globalRead more

Is there a lack of technical talent entering the sector?

The simple answer to the question posed in the title is “yes”. Yes, there is a skills crisis in the oil and gas sector. More than half of those working in the industry believe that the skills shortage is the biggest challenge facing the industry now and into the future. Retirement of older talent The first factor causing a skills crisis is “The Great Crew Change”. Older workers are leaving, reaching retirement age, and taking the skills, expertise and knowledge along with them. This loss of institutional memory is worsened by a lack of focus on talent acquisition in recentRead more

The impact of regulatory uncertainty

Investopedia lists regulatory uncertainty as one of five significant risk factors for the oil and gas sector. Along with variable prices and political upheaval, the possibility of regulation changes severely impacts confidence in the industry. Predicting trends Companies are having to exhibit courage in their convictions when ploughing ahead with compliance and risk initiatives. Despite the continued threat that lawmakers and regulators could shift the ground beneath them, companies are compelled to keep driving forward with schemes addressing effectiveness and efficiency. The potential that the programs they initiate might fall foul of new laws, regulations and supervisory expectations are justRead more

The impact of Coronavirus on the Oil and Gas Sector

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted all areas of our lives. It is no surprise, therefore, that it has and will continue to have a significant impact on the oil and gas sector. The situation we face The BBC (19th March 2020) reported that the North Sea oil and gas sector is in a “paper-thin position”. A substantial crisis was caused by the drop in the oil price to below $30 a barrel. There is also the continued pressure on cashflow that began with the downturn in 2016, as well as difficulties with the supply chain. In short, we are in aRead more

Managing HR Succession in oil and gas

The wealth of knowledge and experience held in the highest leadership positions in oil and gas is an asset. There is no doubt that industry leaders in the sector demand the highest reward and bonuses for the talent they bring. Before we talk about succession planning, we must acknowledge the benefits of having this bank of leadership in place. However, to rely on a generation of leaders is a short-term perspective for an industry that needs a far-sighted vision. Visionary leaders understand that they will at some point retire and seek other challenges. It is at this point that theRead more

Petrochemicals and growth

The petrochemical sector continues to expand in size and importance. Developing nations’ demands for petrochemical products continue to increase and will likely continue to do so beyond 2025. The most significant demand comes from the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and the US. It is in these three regions that there is noted growth. Asia-Pacific As well as the development in the supply chain, the Asian-Pacific region has also increased construction of petrochemical sites. Although these are capital intensive investments, with the integration of refining and petrochemical facilities, it is thought to increase efficiency and value. China accounts for almostRead more

Potentials for upstream investments 2020

With the new year closing in, we are all interested in predicting the direction of travel for the oil and gas sector, and where best to inject our funds. As with all facets of oil and gas production, upstream priorities are fast-moving. Here are some potential areas that could interest investors in 2020. Industry 4.0 continues The expected spend on Industry 4.0 is expected to be $907 billion per year, and this is likely to continue into 2020. If you have yet to catch up with the developments in Industry 4.0, it is a term used to refer to theRead more

How to make improvements in EOR and remediation

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), also known as tertiary production, can be expensive but can also significantly increase the yield of an oil field. Secondary methods of extraction, such as water and gas injection could leave 75% of oil in the ground. Therefore, successful strategies in this tertiary stage of oil recovery could be profitable if the right techniques and technology are applied. Then, in this final stage of the life of the oil field, there must be a consideration of remediation strategies. Removing contaminants from the groundwater and the soil is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. This isRead more

Oil and Gas Global Impact Series: The Impact of the Middle East

It is far too simple to suggest that all the geopolitical tensions within the Middle East are a result of oil and gas. There are tribal and religious tensions that pre-date any discovery of energy fields. However, the millions and millions of barrels of oil that sit beneath the Middle East are a significant influence on regional tensions and the reason the wider international community pay attention. Whether the influence of the Middle East is as vital as it was is now questioned. However, a review of conflicts in recent history can illustrate the influence of events in this region.Read more