The energy industry contends with a great amount of uncertainty and risk, and yet companies have to focus on the future to ensure financial and operational success. At PwC, we study industry trends and issues closely, so that we can better understand the challenges that our clients face, and how we can best help them to achieve success.
Instability continues to be a major concern around the world. Industry safety and workforce security factor into new and ongoing operations for the oil and gas industry. Despite so much uncertainty, the industry cannot stand still and wait for better times ahead. The energy industry requires long lead times for new projects, and even though the current global economy is struggling, the world’s population continues to grow. With this growth, energy demand will increase.
To manage projects and operations in slower times, oil and gas companies must control costs. Weighing the risks versus benefits of new projects, new products and how much capital to invest, energy companies also have to consider regulatory, safety and environmental concerns. Balancing the need to supply the world with hydrocarbons, companies are also looking at investments in alternative energy sources, including unconventional sources, biofuels, renewable energy sources, and ways to improve energy efficiency.
Emerging countries are the focus of much of the future demand for energy. South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East hold 78% of the world’s oil and 56% of the world’s natural gas proven reserves. These emerging markets consume 46% of the world’s oil and 26% of the world’s natural gas. Many energy companies already have operations in the regions, while others are looking for the best points of entry. At the same time national oil companies from these regions are expanding outside of their home territories to gain access to the skills and technologies that will help them provide sustainable energy supply at home.
Technology plays a fundamental role in providing an efficient way to produce hydrocarbons. Breakthroughs such as 4-D seismic imaging, horizontal drilling techniques, and enhanced oil recovery are some of the recent advances that have helped the industry find new reserves and exploit mature fields. Research and development investments are critical to helping oil and gas companies grow and compete.
The industry also is dealing with social and behavioural changes. Urbanization, the growth of digital communication and social media, talent shifts and a host of other factors need to be addressed by the industry in terms of where and how they do business. The oil and gas industry wants to improve its public image and reduce scepticism, and monitoring social and behavioural changes will be an important step in this process.
PwC is a leading advisor to the global energy industry, working with every segment of the business—from upstream to midstream to downstream—to provide business solutions tailored to meet your needs. For more than 100 years, we have helped energy companies succeed. We look forward to the opportunity to work with your company. For more than 100 years, we have helped energy companies succeed. To learn more about our services for oil and gas companies, please download our Statement of Capabilities.