A revolution is transforming the global oil and gas landscape. Energy markets are evolving due to changing technologies and consumption patterns. Energy companies face a world of new opportunities and risks as they strive to increase shareholder value. One integrated energy company, founded nearly 100 years ago, is adapting to changing market dynamics by exploring new strategies for growth. This industry giant operates on almost every continent and is engaged in all stages of the oil and gas value chain – including petroleum and natural gas exploration and production, refining, the transport and sale of crude oil derivatives, petrochemicals, gas and electricity. With more than 10,000 employees worldwide, it has long been one of the largest industrial groups in its home country.
Today, the company's leadership is charting a course for even greater success by using an innovative information platform called IHS Markit Connect to quickly gain insights for business strategy development and decision-making.
The director of the company's research center is responsible for staying continuously abreast of the latest industry news and reports to help set the company's strategic direction. His team needs immediate access to a vast swath of current data and expert analysis in order to ascertain the potential impact of recent trends on various markets and the company.
For years, when the research director was in a different job, he had focused primarily on downstream issues and relied on CERA by IHS Markit as his primary source of market insights. When he transitioned into a more strategic role, he was required to track and analyze a far broader range of information related to both upstream and downstream operations.
His research team continued to depend on IHS Markit, periodically receiving an email or logging onto the CERA system to access static HTML pages – with limited functionality – that linked to PDFs or spreadsheets. They would download large volumes of data and then spend hours or even days filtering and manipulating it in other tools in order to find the specific information they needed and put it into formats that are easier to understand so they could identify critical trends and communicate their findings across the organization.
Using New Interface, Gaining New Insights
In early 2013, the energy company's research team adopted IHS Markit Connect as their primary source of industry information and insight across all areas of interest. The new online interface offers ready access to a wealth of best-in-class IHS Markit insights that cover energy markets including oil, gas, coal and soon renewables as well as company valuations, mergers and acquisitions, country risk and economics. Equally important, researchers could now find, filter and share relevant information more quickly and easily than ever.
From a research perspective, IHS Markit Connect helps me see where the industry is moving and stay ahead of it, so we make smarter decisions. I primarily use it because it [provides] the most relevant information and merges so many sources in one place.
With IHS Markit Connect, the energy company's researchers and strategic planning team used flexible filters to instantly search mountains of industry data – sorting by material type, geographic location or other parameters – to find relevant information. Researchers were able to make sense of disparate data points because IHS Markit Connect provides "dynamic visualization" capabilities. The system's intuitive interface made it easy for users to generate charts and reports, with the ability to instantly drill into underlying data, and provide insights into wide-ranging topics such as:
- Upstream mergers/acquisitions based on price and segment
- Downstream research on refineries by location.
- Consumption forecasts by country or region.
Accelerating Workflows, Driving Better Decisions
The platform's intuitive interface and dynamic charts enabled researchers to collect and format market information in minutes, rather than the hours or days previously required to analyze large spreadsheets with numerous data paths.
While dramatic time savings undoubtedly translated into cost savings, the team achieved greater strategic impact by investing additional time into higher level analysis instead of piecemeal data collection and laborious development of charts from static sources. Researchers were now providing the company's senior leadership with dynamic visualizations and reports so they can make critical business decisions with deeper understanding and higher confidence.
"From a research perspective," said the director of the company's research center, "IHS Markit Connect helps me see where the industry is moving and stay ahead of it, so we make smarter decisions… I primarily use it because it [provides] the most relevant information and merges so many sources in one place."
Focusing on Oil Market Trade Flows
When company executives want to know how global markets will be impacted by new energy resources coming online and the rise of a new middle class in emerging markets, researchers can quickly provide answers. They can use IHS Markit Connect to instantly access crude oil market data and show the latest trends in global flow, imports, exports, buying, selling,and more. Dynamic charts show at a glance how trade flows are being diverted from North America, where new drilling technologies are opening up vast new fields, to Asia-Pacific countries where demand for energy continues to surge. Analysts can immediately see, for example, that CERA recently issued an authoritative assessment of tight oil prospects in North America and estimates that tight oil will add more than 40 billion barrels to recoverable supply - and the global prospects could be almost 500 billion barrels. 1
Accessing Knowledge Anywhere/Anytime
The energy company's research director accesses IHS Markit Connect on a daily basis – from the office, at home and/or on the road -- often connecting from his iPad. From the platform's homepage, the "latest" feature immediately calls his attention to new research findings. As he reviews that dynamic page, he can see either a quick snapshot or drill down into a full report to review the data and reports behind it. He can leverage the full functionality of the platform's tools while continuing to receive additional information and insights from IHS Markit.
Looking ahead, his research team can expect to achieve even greater time savings and enable smart decisions more easily by saving their customized data filters. New functionality will automatically push new energy market forecasts into those evergreen files so users can simply log into IHS Markit Connect and find the latest insights waiting in the format that is most useful to their company – now and in the future.
1 Source: CERA North America Tight Oil Multi-client Study