CASE STUDY: Finding an Upstream Leader for an Oil & Gas Multinational
In 2018, 6 Group was asked by an Oil & Gas multinational to find them a new leader to deliver on the organisation’s strategic promises.
In oil and gas executive search, companies need to identify and engage individuals who view these obstacles as challenges to be overcome.
A Sector Facing Increased Demand
Historically, the resources sector followed a dig-and-deliver model, where success was determined by the size and quality of assets. In line with an increasingly challenging economy, the demand for resources kept growing, forcing a change in the game of the world’s leading producers of major commodities such as oil, coal, iron ore, natural gas, and copper.
The Oil, Gas & Resources market has only recently started to emerge from the upheaval and is now attempting to recover its status as the biggest sector in the world (in terms of employability and financial value). The lifting of the crude oil export ban in January 2016 was broadly welcomed but no one initially knew the level of impact it would have. The industry crossed a significant milestone in late 2017 when exports of crude, as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and refined products, continued to rise.
High debt levels have fallen as major mining companies sold assets and raised capital. In addition, miners have now moved to return capital to shareholders, a trend which is likely to accelerate. Furthermore, factors such as the consolidation of mines and supply restrictions in China, have started to boost many mineral commodity prices, even as we begin to see signs of asynchronous recovery in global growth.
Predictions are that the Oil, Gas & Resources market will continue its slow recovery as upstream companies worldwide increase production, helping the midstream and services businesses as well. To support that growth, any oil and gas executive search will need to focus on driving efficiencies and navigating complex international regulations.
Improving Operational Efficiencies
As always, energy companies will be looking to keep costs within budget as production increases. To do this, there will be a clear focus on efficiency of operations right across the supply chain. During your oil and gas executive search, you should note those applicants who demonstrate an ability to both see the large picture and drill down into each section to identify where improvements can be made.
Inevitably, thoughts will turn to new technologies and the potential role of automation, collectively known as Industry 4.0. Digital advancements in virtual reality, monitoring and analytics mean that key machinery can self-diagnose any weaknesses within its systems. Furthermore, technical teams can test their hypotheses on virtual models compiled from real-time data, rather than expensively adjust equipment far out to sea. Candidates for an oil and gas executive search should have a strong awareness of these capabilities whilst also being mindful of the associated cybersecurity risks.
Clearing the Path to Future Growth
With the future in mind, any successful oil and gas executive search candidate should be committed to addressing the sector’s sustainability problem. The rise of renewable energy technologies is disrupting the industry and increasing attention is being drawn to the environmental impact of resource extraction. Executives need to both manage the company’s reputation and explore potential areas of future growth for the business, wherever they may be.
Growth within the sector is intrinsically linked to executives’ ability to navigate complex regulatory environments worldwide, particularly those around deepwater sites. Knowledge of geopolitical affairs should form part of the criteria for your oil and gas executive search, and you should assess their awareness of where present and future risk lies.
Finally, your oil and gas executive search candidate should be capable of collaborating closely with others. As the sector embarks on larger projects, companies are increasingly choosing to work together in order to minimise the risk.
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