Energy and utilities

Key trends


The upstream oil and gas sector in the Middle East is dominated by national oil companies (NOCs) in partnership with international oil companies (IOCs). These partners collaborate through strategic alliances, joint ventures in operating companies, and sometimes service agreements. Specialized niche players and private investors are now engaged in midstream and downstream activities. Today’s environment of high oil prices has led to industry expansion; however, this growth has been somewhat constrained by limited capabilities and resources.


The chemicals industry in the Middle East is experiencing tremendous growth—in fact, the region has become one of the key suppliers for chemical products worldwide. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran are making the most of their low-cost raw materials (feedstock) to build flourishing petrochemical industries. In this industry, as European and North American margins erode, the Middle East enjoys high profitability and growth.


Across the region, the power and water sectors are still largely controlled by governments, but they are gradually transitioning to open markets. The shift to a more competitive environment puts pressure on traditional national utility companies to restructure themselves and become more efficient. This change is occurring in a period of unprecedented regional growth; large investments are required to fund utilities’ fast-moving expansion plans.

How we help our clients

Since the late 1990s, Strategy& has played an active role in helping leading energy, chemicals, and utilities clients in the Middle East improve their performance and adopt new operating models. We bring our clients an unparalleled understanding of the global and regional markets, thanks to a diverse team combining strategic experience, industry expertise, and local knowledge.

Our approach focuses on turning strategy into action and ensuring that our recommendations maximize value for our clients. We help our clients through all stages of their transformation and growth programs, from strategy development to detailed design to execution management.

Strategy&’s energy, chemicals, and utilities practice provides consulting services for the following industries

  • Oil and gas: Upstream and downstream industries, such as refining, fractionation, transportation, shipping, storage, trading, and retail
  • Chemicals and process industries
  • Power: Electricity generation, transmission, and distribution
  • Water and wastewater: Desalination, storage, transmission, distribution, sewerage, and wastewater treatment
  • Investments and infrastructure

The practice helps clients in the following areas:

  • Business strategy
  • Regulatory strategy
  • Operating model and organizational change
  • Operational improvements
  • Privatization and public–private partnerships

Strategy&’s energy, chemicals, and utilities practice has served almost every country in the Middle East.