Building growth strategies on shifting sands, part of PwC’s 22nd CEO Survey trends series
Although the oil and gas industry has always been volatile, there was nonetheless a comfortable predictability to the boom and bust pendulum. Those days, however, appear to be over, at least for now. A combination of erratic and sometimes inscrutable commodity price fluctuations, ambiguity about the future of fossil fuels and increasingly contentious trade negotiations around the world are upending traditional supply and demand fundamentals, bringing a host of new challenges with no clear answers. It could be said that this year, oil and gas executives are essentially trying to set a growth course for their companies on shifting sands.
"Oil and gas companies are confronting a turning point, one that requires strong decisions about their strategies for surviving and thriving in uncertain times."
Oil and gas companies must make strategic decisions about their role and identity in the evolving energy landscape.
Big or small? There is a difference
In choosing one of the pathways, oil and gas companies are not on equal footing. The big companies have a distinct advantage because they have lots of cash and should be able to pivot quickly as industry condition morph.
Smaller, independent oil and gas companies have less room for error in determining the best pathway for long term success. In the immediate period, it is probably best for these companies to focus on their traditional strengths, while emphasizing more prudent and disciplined management of their cost curve.
In light of the growing impact of the energy transition, is it inevitable that major oil companies will own utilities or other non-traditional businesses such as electric vehicle charging stations — and if so, are they well placed to succeed?
Global Leader, Oil and Gas, Partner, PwC United States
Oil & Gas Tax Leader, PwC United States
Tel: +1 713 356 5323