250,000 jobs lost in Oil & Gas industry, says consultancy

24 November 2015 Consultancy.uk

The low price of crude oil is forcing many oil & gas industry players to rethink their mid-term strategy. So far more than 1,000 oil rigs have suspended operations, while more than $100 billion has been slashed from expenses. As a result, more than 250,000 professionals have lost their job since the oil price started to fall last year, a trend which is expected to continue as the price remains around the $40 a barrel level.

Since 2014 the oil price has more than halved, a development that has forced companies in the oil & gas to take a range of painful measures. The downturn has seen more than $100 billion in spending slashed – so far the industry has put more than 1,000 rigs on idle, with only around 500 of the more than 1,600 active before the recent dip in oil price hit, still operational. According to a recent study from Graves & Co. a boutique US-based consultancy focused on the oil & gas sector*, the austerity measures have had a massive knock-on effect on the labour market, with so far more than 250,000 jobs lost in the industry’s value chain.

Jobs in Oil and Gas

Graves, who founded the advisory firm in 1996, says he is surprised that it has gotten to this point already, stating that personnel losses at oil services, drilling and supply companies account for 79% of the layoffs.

The news for oil & gas sector workers is however not becoming brighter, with a further 10 rigs in the idled last week. The number of active rigs has now reached a 5-year low. While the downturn hasn’t reached the levels of the 1980’s oil crisis, when Texas alone saw 240,000 jobs cut, the long term outlook remains relatively subdued, says Graves. "It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

An analysis by Aon earlier this year revealed that the low oil price is also bad news for businesses in oil producing countries. Such countries run larger risks of running into financial problems, which increases the probability of political meddling in the economy and problems with payments. For industries outside oil & gas, however, sustained lower oil price can in fact benefit economic productivity. According to a recent analysis from PwC, oil prices of around $50 per barrel could boost the UK’s GDP by 1% by 2020, adding 91,000 jobs. 

* Houston-based Graves & Co provides transaction advisory and operational support to the upstream oil & gas industry. The firm focuses predominantly on buy-side advisory, advising on among others due diligence, acquisitions of production properties, negotiations and documentation for joint venture. In recent years the firm’s services have expanded to include oilfield service sector research and analysis.

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Accenture to work alongside WPP-owned agency on Shell CRM contract

27 November 2018 Consultancy.uk

As the firm vies for a share of the design and marketing industry, Accenture Interactive has won a preferred supplier status on Shell's customer relationship management (CRM) roster. The firm will work closely alongside the brand's lead digital agency Wunderman to deploy campaigns for the international energy giant.

Accenture Interactive has grown substantially in the past year, and is presently ranked as the world’s largest digital agency by the Ad Age Agency Report. While this is something hotly disputed by design market incumbents such as WPP, further acquisitions in 2018, coupled with a growing client portfolio, have led the digital design wing of the international consultancy to increasingly eat into the market share of long-standing advertising companies.

Now, a new deal has made for some interesting bed-fellows, as Accenture Interactive works alongside WPP-owned agency Wunderman with a remit to provide "overall global strategic planning and creative direction for Shell’s CRM programmes globally." According to reports first circulated by news site The Drum, Accenture was tapped by oil and energy firm Shell to boost its marketing efforts around eight months ago, but the appointment was kept under lock and key until now.

Accenture to work alongside WPP-owned agency on Shell CRM contract

While Wunderman remains Shell's lead digital agency, having led the CRM account since 2013 when its loyalty budget was estimated to be worth £30 million. Accenture's customer experience arm will meanwhile work to support the deployment of CRM campaigns across Shell’s digital channels. The work is understood to be focused on boosting "one-to-one customer relationships" using Adobe software, as a managed service.

The news comes at the end of 12 months of change for Shell's agency roster for its retail and lubricants arms. The company has been working to reposition itself in a market moving away from heavy dependence on fossil fuels. This has seen the British-Dutch hybrid energy giant move toward renewables and backing electric travel schemes. As it enters into these new markets, CRM – a strategy for managing an organisation's relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers – has become increasingly important.

Regarding the change in its CRM set-up, Shell told The Drum it is looking to "drive deeper and more meaningful connections with customers across every touch point." The Accenture Interactive role comes with a brief including building a robust digital network for global and local campaigns.

Remarking on this remit, Joy Bhattacharya, Accenture Interactive lead for UK and Ireland, said that through "the consolidation of systems and services, we aim to drive efficiencies and scale personalised marketing campaigns, creating greater experiences for Shell customers.”