With upstream business under such pressure from weak oil prices, many companies are taking lessons from their long term downstream restructuring and cost cutting as well as continuing to rationalize the downstream business. Companies can look to improve downstream performance using ongoing advances in technology and digital to run plants even more cost effectively and efficiently.
Introducing Julie Adams, Accenture’s Energy Industry Research lead and key contributor to the Energy Trends Podcast Series.
Firstly, why oil and gas?
I kind of fell into the oil and gas industry—with a background in history it was not perhaps an obvious career choice, but I have come across quite a few historians in the energy industry! I have been working in the industry for over 20 years now and I still love it—not only the fact that the sector is interesting and engaging (the oil and gas industry is still fundamental to most economies around the world), but it has provided me with a wealth of opportunities for global travel and challenges to solve.
What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in the industry right now?
I think the industry has changed more in the past five years than at any other time in my career. This is largely due to huge changes on the supply side with the Americas and parts of Africa driving production growth in ways which were largely unforeseen. Natural gas too has become much more important—when I first started working at one of the major oil companies in the late 1990s I remember going to a lot of meetings that were focused on whether they should set up a UK gas trading group and where was the value in gas! That said, the industry also remains very cyclical, and you tend to start remembering the decades in terms of the oil price highs and lows!
What do you like to do when you’re not busy researching the latest oil and gas trends?
When I am not engrossed in oil and gas trends, another industry I like is the film industry. I belong to a film club where we watch and debate films and hear talks from directors and production companies – that is another industry with volatile economics though they are a bit less concerned about the price of oil!
Explore the Accenture Energy Trends Podcast Series.