The oil and gas industry is undergoing a giant transformation with upstream players swiftly shifting development towards deeper waters and unconventionals. Regions deemed as marginal or promising – but only in the distant future – are rising to become leading producing basins, shifting the balance of global oil and gas. Meanwhile, midstream and downstream players are strengthening their strategic positioning to reach growing consumption markets.

Players across the industry chain are launching major investment projects and ramping up production, such as: offshore and unconventional development in upstream; liquefied natural gas (LNG) logistics in midstream and expansion in oil-refining capacity in downstream. Oil and gas players face mounting pressure on operating costs and production efficiency, rising capital needs and increased technical complexity, among other challenges.

PIP’s thorough understanding and proven capabilities help oil and gas clients deal with these challenges. With an expertise spanning the entire industry chain, we help our oil and gas clients optimise their development projects, reduce capital requirements, improve their design and ensure timely execution of construction. We also assist our clients improve their operations, increasing production and reducing costs. PIP also helps in optimising critical support functions, such as supply chain.

Our experience in the oil and gas industry shows the measurable operational and financial impact we have helped our clients achieve. Our consultants also assist our clients to measure and track efficient delivery of capital projects and operational performance, while ensuring sustainability of results and continuous improvement by implementing consistent and streamlined management processes.

Examples of what we’ve helped our clients achieve:

Upstream – exploration, development and production in conventional and unconventional domains:

  • Improved operations at a seismic service provider: $200m in annual earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by improving operational efficiency, internal processes and bundling/pricing of services.
  • Reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) requirement in natural gas production/LNG project: $1.6bn in CAPEX reduction (28% of original requirement) by changing design and approach to construction.
  • Accelerated well construction in unconventional fields: 20% production increase by accelerating well delivery.
  • Increased production and reduced costs at an offshore player: $590m in annual cash flow by capturing operational efficiencies and reduced spend in well construction.
  • Increased production and optimised operating cost at a conventional onshore player: $0.8bn in annual cash flow generated by streamlining operations, reducing downtime and inefficiencies and optimising lifting cost.
  • Increased production in unconventional gas field: 27% volume increase over a four-month period, by streamlining various sub-surface activities and debottlenecking surface facilities. Improved prioritisation of tasks and accountability across sites.

Midstream – logistics and transport:

  • Cut CAPEX in gas-gathering network: $220m in CAPEX reduction (15% of planned) improving scope and labour costs.
  • Improved well head and midstream facilities design: $108m in CAPEX reduction by improving well head design and applying alternatives to metering and gathering facilities design.

Downstream – oil refining:

  • Improved operational performance at a refinery: +2-3 percentage points in return on capital employed (ROCE) by increasing hydrocracker availability, optimising maintenance labour and material usage and reducing energy costs.
  • Increased ethane production at a major refinery: $23m in annualised EBIT by improving Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and management practices, building capabilities and engaging leadership.
  • Redesigned procedures for oil supply at a large refinery: $20m reduction in inventories.

Critical support functions – procurement:

  • Redesigned the supply-chain function at a major offshore player: Helped improve supply chain structure, accountabilities and performance review processes to support a $20bn annual CAPEX programme.
  • Reduced cost of critical supplies at an oil producer: $200m savings in cost of supplies including: rotating equipment, oil country tubular goods (OCTG), chemicals, turnaround maintenance, engineering, procurement and constructions (EPCs), light vehicles, electricity, drilling services, seismic services, drill bits and other heavy works equipment.

[PIP] was engaged to assist the Australia Pacific [Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)] joint venture prepar[ations] for Final Investment Decision. Project costs for the first five years had risen to more than $11bn, much higher than initial estimates, and threatening the viability of the project. PIP worked closely with our engineers to help them identify extensive savings opportunities recorded as nearly 200 individual ideas. Using the PIP methodology, these were systematically recorded, prioritised and assessed for feasibility. Ideas accepted into the design at this stage have yielded $2.3bn in cost savings with the potential for another $0.7bn identified. Key aspects of [PIP's Rapid Optimisation of Capital Expenditure] (ROCx) process are that it is fast, very disciplined, effectively involves the project team at every stage, winning support across the board, and helped us take out at least $2.3bn in unnecessary cost.

Geoff Ellison