Survey Reveals Top Downstream Employers Amid Transition
How can downstream companies defend their core business in an environment where electric vehicles (EVs) grow in popularity and demand for gasoline decreases? Broaden their product offerings and use their considerable retailing, innovation and collaborative know-how, according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Like BCG, which has investigated whether oil companies are ready to adapt to an evolving energy landscape, Rigzone has gauged some key changes underway in oil and gas via its 2018 Ideal Employer Survey.
“Oil companies generally have a point of view on supply and demand trends,” said Clint Follette, Houston-based partner and managing director with BCG and an author of his firm’s recent study outlining how downstream companies can defend their core business. “Less often, they have a robust set of scenarios to really test the more disruptive trends. With so much change and uncertainty, companies can benefit from a robust process for strategic planning under uncertainty.”
The report outlines five steps that downstream companies can take to defend their core businesses in this environment. BCG’s specific recommendations, which the report gears toward oil and gas companies in the United States but can be applied elsewhere, include:
- Companies can use their size and large research and development budgets to shape future market developments.
- They can leverage their well-known brands to build stronger customer relationships.
- Firms can re-deploy their retail networks to support renewable and clean energy infrastructure.
- Given their extensive risk management expertise, companies are well-equipped to handle the uncertainties of energy transitions.
- They can use their experience in joint ventures to forge effective partnerships with smaller and more agile innovators.
In terms of modifying their retail networks, some companies are already testing various approaches, noted Follette. He acknowledged, however, that the popularity of EV charging infrastructure at fuel stations remains unclear.
“We are already seeing some EV charging stations integrated into traditional retail outlets,” Follette said. “It’s yet to be seen how often customers will opt for a rapid charge at a fuel station instead of charging at home or at work.”
Moreover, Follette pointed out that oil and gas companies often have the wherewithal to embrace new technologies that fall outside their traditional scope – and increasingly beyond the realm of large companies and universities.
“Most oil and gas companies have venturing arms where they look to invest in players that bring innovative technologies, especially on topics outside of the core internal research and development focus areas,” said Follette. “Those companies benefit from working with oil companies, not only as a source of funding but as a mechanism to deploy new technologies and products on a large scale with an established customer base.”
Ideal Downstream Employers
A number of downstream companies stand at the forefront in another important respect: desirability as employers. Participants in Rigzone’s 2018 Ideal Employer Survey – 6,621 participants representing 2,990 companies in more than 100 countries – have determined what they consider the 10 top downstream employers. Rigzone conducted the survey from June to November 2017 using the Sawtooth Software online survey tool, posing a variety of market condition-related questions to participants.
Accompanying the list below of the 10 highest-scoring downstream companies are brief descriptions of each firm. Note that all figures reflect the most recent publicly accessible information from sources such as company websites and annual reports.
10. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC)
Already a significant downstream player with 922,000 barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity, ADNOC wants to elevate its downstream profile. The state-owned company, established in 1971, has adopted a downstream growth strategy that aims to create the world’s largest integrated refining and chemicals site at Ruwais, UAE by 2025.
To be sure, the downstream is not ADNOC’s sole focus. The company produces approximately 3 million barrels of oil per day and more than 9.8 billion cubic feet of raw gas per day. In all, the NOC’s holdings encompass 18 different companies and subsidiaries. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber serves as ADNOC’s chief executive.
Though it works on projects and provides technologies, systems and services across the oil and gas value chain subsea, offshore and onshore, TechnipFMC boasts considerable expertise in the downstream space. Some of the UK-registered company’s specialties include refining and hydrogen, petrochemicals and fertilizers and liquefied natural gas (both onshore and offshore). The company, which employs more than 37,000 people, operates in 48 countries and maintains headquarters in London, Houston and Paris. TechnipFMC’s chief executive is Douglas Pferdehirt.
Widely known as an oilfield services giant, Schlumberger also offers products and service for downstream and midstream clients. For instance, it provides oil, water, gas and solids processing and separation services. Headed by chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard, Schlumberger employs approximately 100,000 individuals and maintains principal offices in Paris, Houston, London and The Hague.
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