Updated: Sep 7
A drag race or Formula 1?
To the untrained eye, the oil & gas industry might seem a bit like a drag race. The most successful players are the ones with the best engines – that is good, solid business models.
In reality, the industry is more complex, like Formula 1. The engine is still important for sure, but winning needs something a bit more sophisticated than firepower. Finishing the race depends on the decisions you make and having the foresight to know what’s coming on the road ahead.
Pre-2014, with oil at more than $100 a barrel and the industry buoyant, maybe the drag racers were more successful, but six years and two downturns later things have changed. Having the strongest car doesn’t always mean you cross the line first. Without “something extra” an F1 car risks spinning off at the first corner.
Market intelligence helps you steer clear of danger
For the subsea industry, that ‘something extra’ comes from market intelligence.
Companies need to know the trends that are shaping their market. What’s driving the industry and how their competitors are positioned. Who will you be competing against for your next project and what are the advantages that you can offer?
In the last few years market intelligence has really come into its own, as operators, suppliers and service companies try to navigate the complexities of the oil & gas industry, they need that insight which will allow them to manage the curves in the road up ahead.
Going really in depth
In a modern F1 race, teams analyse their car’s performance as it goes around every corner, they map every gear change and every change in tyre pressure – they even monitor the driver’s heart rate.
The strength of your intelligence lives and dies on the data you receive and what we’re finding is there’s an increasing appetite for insight to a really granular level.
Alongside the macro details, such as oil price movements, or the rig count. Companies want to know about the fine print. They’re looking for information on vessel demand for the year ahead, which projects they should be targeting for potential bids and which firms are working together.
As the industry moves into the next decade, companies are also asking questions about the future of energy and the transition that’s happening right now, with the rapid advancement of offshore wind technology (maybe before long we can make comparisons with Formula E instead of Formula 1).
The main question we need to ask ourselves is which one’s the car in front? Almost certainly it’s the best informed.
Ross Macdonald, is the General Manager for market intelligence at Archer Knight.
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