Energy and utilities

Energy, chemicals and utilities

PwC’s strategy consulting team Strategy& provides comprehensive advice and support to clients across a range of issues in the upstream oil and gas, downstream oil and gas, chemicals, alternative energy and chemicals sectors.

How we help our clients

Upstream oil and gas

The upstream sector covers the exploration and production of oil and gas, and the related service sectors, including oil-field services, logistics, and construction/development.

Against a backdrop of volatile oil and gas prices, high and rising development costs, the increasing heterogeneity of project portfolios, rising geopolitical tensions, and an ever more competitive landscape, industry investors are looking for the next level of performance.

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Downstream oil and gas

The downstream sector is broad in scope, extending from crude supply, trading, and refining through to product distribution, marketing, and retail (oil products and convenience goods). It includes conventional fuels such as gasoline and diesel as well as low-carbon fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel.

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Alternative energy

Including wind, solar, geothermal, tidal, biomass, hydrogen fuel cells, waste coal, and municipal solid waste, these resources can provide clean energy and transportation fuels that emit minimal to zero atmospheric pollutants.

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The chemicals industry covers a number of sectors, from petrochemicals through toand specialities. The sector is undergoing rapid change, with accelerating globalisation and recent high raw material and oil and gas prices.

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The utilities sector encompasses electricity, water and the downstream natural gas industries. Sub-sectors include electricity generation, wholesale trading, transmission, local distribution and retail; water distribution, waste water treatment and water retail activities; and gas transportation, treatment, storage, trading and retail.

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watch the video about opportunities in adversity
Alison Baker, Head of UK Oil and Gas at PwC, and Viren Doshi, Head of Oil and Gas at Strategy&, look at the lessons that should be learned from previous price dips and the opportunities now open to firms as they navigate the volatile road ahead.

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Roiled by global economic turmoil, untamed competition, and mind-numbing price swings, energy companies must be bold about transforming their business models.

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Strategy& senior partner Viren Doshi discusses the challenges facing oil and gas players in the current landscape of geopolitical uncertainty where there is less clarity around pricing and where supply exceeds demand. Looking ahead what should oil and gas companies expect.

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Chemicals companies can no longer afford to be passive about restructuring their business models or technological transformations.

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Companies in the utility sector should consider how to restructure financially, while navigating new regulations, distributed generation, and the evolving customer interface.

Our thought leadership

From reactors to resistors
As the power industry navigates an era of unprecedented change, companies that supply utilities must adapt by rethinking their product and service portfolios, expanding their geographic reach, and improving their efficiency.
A Strategist’s Guide to Power Industry Transformation
The way we create, use, and manage electricity is finally changing, and the implications go far beyond the utility sector.
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This year, the dramatic collapse of oil prices and the need for oil and gas producers to sharply curtail their capital budgets have revealed fundamental shortcomings and weaknesses in the OFS sector.
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Oil and gas companies need a dynamic strategy that is flexible enough to adapt to changes in the operating environment. Differentiating capabilities set the broad direction of travel, but companies will be able to adapt, as sailors do, in response to changes in the prevailing wind.
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Oil and gas companies face rising development costs and greater complexity in building new projects. A diagnostic framework can help them improve their performance, by upgrading the way they design, plan, and execute these projects. As a result, they will be better equipped to deliver projects on time and within budget. 
From compliance to commitment
Leading upstream oil and gas companies are focusing on operational excellence (OE) as a way to manage rising costs and safety risks. But though most companies already have OE frameworks in place, their plans often don’t meet expectations.
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As local governments demand more than a share of royalties from oil and gas projects within their borders, companies need to develop collaborative, comprehensive local content programs that spread economic benefits more widely in the countries where they operate.
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The energy industry’s performance has plateaued recently, but a new approach can help. Instead of limiting the accountability for safety and environmental factors to an isolated function, this model shifts the responsibility to front-line workers.
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In recent years, small independent oil and gas companies have made an increasing proportion of new exploration discoveries.
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The old and tested approaches to government relations aren’t sufficient for the new challenges that international oil companies face today.

Client examples

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