Oil and gas

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.

This sector is experiencing a period of rapid change. Global refining capacity continues to grow, driven mainly by non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, and in particular, Asia. However, excess refining capacity is putting significant downward pressure on global refining margins. European refineries have been adversely impacted as they go through significant restructuring, dealing with the twin pressures of margin erosion and a suboptimal refinery configuration (too much gasoline production and not enough diesel). Across the Atlantic, there is a different story. The shale gas revolution in the U.S. has also reshaped the refining market. Increased tight oil production, combined with a regulatory ban on crude exports, has resulted in a booming refining sector. This in turn has resulted in more refined product (especially gasoline) being exported and competing with European exports, to their detriment.

Drawing on a deep understanding of industry dynamics, extensive cross-sector experience and broad functional capabilities, PwC’s strategy consulting team Strategy& delivers essential advantage to organisations in the downstream oil and gas, refining, supply and trading, and fuels marketing sectors.

How we help our clients

  • We help clients develop and implement sector-level, regional, and business unit strategies 
  • We support clients in reviewing and improving their day-to-day business, operational integrity and safety, and operational efficiency 
  • We work with clients to develop new and innovative customer offers to meet the intensifying competitive environment
  • We assist clients to better measure and monitor performance and develop innovative solutions to achieve desired corporate results