Oil & gas

PwC provides a full range of assurance, tax, and advisory services, with team members who understand the industry and issues that energy companies face.

How PwC can help

With over  6,000 oil and gas professionals across our network,  we serve more than 2,500 oil and gas clients, from every segment of their businesses.   Wherever you operate, our professionals are ready to assist with many of today's most critical issues affecting the oil and gas sector.

 

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Unleashing the Power of Digital, The Next Generation of Oil & Gas (Strategy&, a part of the PwC network)

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Drilling for Data – digitising upstream oil and gas

In the not too distant future, the image of oil workers manipulating drill pipe on platforms could be replaced by something dramatically different. Drilling, performance monitoring, and production optimization could become highly automated. Decision making could be transformed, as the use of augmented reality and digital twins would underpin the simulation of “first oil” — the initial amount of oil that emerges from a field that’s being commercially drilled — before final investment decisions are made. Operational excellence, with assets operated much more efficiently, could be achieved through the use of predictive maintenance and drone technology. Digital technologies could affect all elements of the value chain in a future E&P company.

PwC’s Strategy& Viewpoint considers five guiding principles for developing an upstream digital strategy along with benefits and risks of digital innovation covering data analytics, the industrial IoT and the application of digital twin technology for the O&G sector.

How we can help

Digital in energy

Much has been written about the transformative impact of digitising operations in Oil and Gas. Oil and gas companies which have long been technology intensive at the well-head, are now beginning to extend their technological capabilities, especially digital capabilities, to the rest of their operations.  

We conservatively estimate the use of digital technologies in the upstream sector could result in cumulative savings in capital expenditures and operating expenditures of US$100 billions by 2025. For instance, savings can be realized in operational excellence (more effective maintenance and better operation of assets); in the supply chain; and in the use of integrated platforms (connecting the organization with external partners).

We believe there are some important guiding principles to consider when developing a digital business models:

  • The solution needs to be a business-led exercise, identifying the greatest business challenges and assessing how digital can help.  
  • The digital transformation of a company needs to be holistic and address all the elements of the operating model.
  • Building a digital organisation needs to encompass stakeholders beyond the company itself.
  • There is no one successful digital template to follow.
  • Getting the right weighting between technical and technology capabilities is critical.

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Enhanced profit recovery

When oil prices fell in 2014, oil and gas producers worked frantically to lower their costs to adapt to what many assumed would be a short-term drop. Four years later, prices are still a long way from their previous highs, but with the oil price returning to more than USD$60 a barrel, most companies have a bit more breathing room. However, the pressure isn’t off.

Investor impatience with unprofitable barrels, the uncertain impact of the new tax law on investment and capital structures, and still-fresh memories of the recent price collapse are all helping to keep the industry alert.

Now that the price of oil has started to rebound, producers need to start thinking about how to deploy this cash sensibly back into the business. Companies should continue to focus on reducing operational costs to improve profitability and be well-positioned for future market swings.

A recent paper 'A playbook for oil & gas in 2018 and beyond' considers a number of strategies that can lower production costs for O&G companies such as capital expenditure discipline, lease operating expense, use of digital innovation in production to decrease costs and lift production rates.

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Energy Deals

PwC works with oil & gas companies throughout the hydrocarbon value chain from reservoir to consumer including exploration, production and service companies. We help our clients undertake deals that optimise value and minimise risk.

Our experienced M&A specialists assist clients on a range of transactions from smaller and mid-sized deals to the most complex transactions. We integrate our deep industry knowledge and expertise into the point of view we bring to our clients, delivering strategy through execution. Our goal is to optimize your deals.

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Oil & Gas trends

As supply increases and oil prices rise, volatility will continue to shape strategy.

PwC’s Strategy& recent report highlights the possibility of a supply crunch for the Oil & Gas industry. This may seem hard to imagine, given the ramping up of U.S. oil production and the burgeoning sense of optimism that is sweeping the sector. In general, the industry feels much healthier than it did 12 months ago: The price of oil has rebounded. The industry is thus recovering from the brutal last few years of weak prices, enforced capital discipline, portfolio realignments, and productivity efficiencies.

At the same time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has been flagging the possibility of a supply crunch since 2016. With oil demand growing, and investment in many major projects having been deferred during the downturn, there is less potential supply available. Oil companies will need to boost their production, and there is a risk that some may struggle to keep up.

The fundamental challenge, of course, is the intrinsic volatility in the sector. Producers need time to address the vagaries of an over- or under-supplied market. They also need to grapple with the pace and magnitude of the transition to energy from non-fossil fuel sources. Facing these uncertainties, oil and gas companies must develop a resilient strategy to mitigate these risks.

In short, while the supply glut may have ended, its aftereffects will continue. In the short term, companies must maintain capital discipline and the focus on productivity improvements and applying new technology. In the long term, they need to make their portfolios profitable against low break-even prices. Moreover, they’ll need to figure out how to future-proof their overall portfolio, and make it secure amid the transition to a lower carbon world.

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Strategy shaped by volatility – PwC’s Strategy& Oil and Gas trends 2018

After several years of oversupply, the O&G industry could be moving into a supply crunch.  Responding to the vagaries of an over or under supplied market is an ongoing challenge. In the short term, capital discipline, productivity and technology are important.  Longer term, portfolios need to be profitable against low break-even prices and overall portfolios need to be secured amid the transition to a low carbon future.

To read more about Oil & Gas trends

 

Insights

Petroleum Economist’s latest Global Energy Elite Report

Petroleum Economist’s latest Global Energy Elite Report

Niloufar Molavi, our Global O&G Leader, has been profiled as one of the top 10 professionals in the Legal & Consultancy category in the September 2018 edition of the Petroleum Economist’s Global Energy Elite report. This report is a special report celebrating the 100 most influential professionals working across the global energy industry across 10 categories.

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Driving operational efficiencies begins with improving the Maintenance function

Driving operational efficiencies begins with improving the Maintenance function

Improving asset maintenance is one of the best opportunities for Operators seeking to reduce operating costs and achieve higher margins. Operators often find themselves in a reactive maintenance cycle; field technicians are too busy responding to emergency equipment failures to perform preventative maintenance.

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A playbook for oil and gas in 2018 and beyond

A playbook for oil and gas in 2018 and beyond

When oil prices fell four years ago, oil and gas producers worked frantically to lower their costs to cope with what many assumed would be a short-term drop. Four years later, prices are still a long way off their highs, but with oil back up to $60 a barrel, most firms have a bit more breathing room.

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Contact us

Reid Morrison
Oil & Gas Advisory Leader, PwC United States
Tel: +1 (713) 356 4132
Email

Niloufar Molavi
Global Leader, Oil and Gas, PwC United States
Tel: +1 (713) 356 6002
Email

Kenny Hawsey
Oil & Gas Tax Leader, PwC United States
Tel: +1 713 356 5323
Email

Olesya Hatop
Global EU&R Clients & Markets Industry Executive, PwC Germany
Tel: +49 211 981 4602
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