Oil & Gas UK I N D E X. December 2009

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1 Oil & Gas UK I N D E X December 09

2 THE OIL & GAS UK INDEX 1 Summary The Oil & Gas UK Index The Oil & Gas UK Index is a new quarterly index which measures changes in activity and business confidence across the UK offshore oil and gas industry. It canvasses the views of 1750 companies in oil and gas exploration and production as well as those providing services and equipment in the supply chain. Nine economic indicators are used to compile sub indices, covering investment, revenues/ sales, operation/ running costs, manpower and day rates, expenditure in research and development, employment and training as well as general business confidence and activity. These indices are aggregated to provide an overall measure of industry confidence, with a higher rating indicating a positive outlook and a lower rating giving a more negative standpoint (the index is on a 100 point scale with 50 being neutral). Oil & Gas UK carried out its surveys at the end of each of the first three quarters in 09 and the results are now considered sufficiently mature to launch the index externally. The surveys will continue to be published on a quarterly basis and over time it is hoped the index will become a useful forecasting tool for the sector. Conclusions The Oil & Gas UK Index for Q3 09 measured 50; up four points from Q1 09. This indicates a marginal improvement in business confidence across the year as the oil price lifted from $33 per barrel in January to the current price of around $70 per barrel and as access to financial markets eased. However, the overall ranking of 50 points at the end of Q3 suggests that business confidence in the upstream sector is still to recover to that seen some two to three years ago. Despite higher oil prices, wholesale gas prices are still depressed and coupled with continued uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, the industry remains cautious in its overall business outlook. On average, confidence amongst exploration and production (E&P) companies appears to be more positive than businesses in the supply chain. Confidence in the E&P sector gained 10 basis points across the year to reach 63 in Q3 09, while across the supply chain it rose from 41 to 47. Within the E&P sector, it would seem that the independent production companies are more optimistic than the major, integrated companies, with the former reporting more positive outlooks on overall business confidence, investment, activity growth and business revenues. These first signs of revival in the business confidence felt by E&P companies are yet to work their way through to the offshore oil and gas supply chain which is still largely experiencing weak or even declining activity. There is uncertainty on the investment outlook which Oil & Gas UK observes may yet improve as we go into 10 but this will depend on a range of factors including broader movement of costs, outlook for commodity prices and the general business environment. 1

3 The drilling and well services and marine and subsea services sectors appear to have been hit hardest by the prevailing economic climate. Business confidence in these segments of the industry was on average 11 basis points below the industry average throughout the year. By Q3, the drilling and well services index was 12 points below the index average and the marine and subsea index was 13 points below. On employment, it would appear that many supply chain companies are still feeling the impact of reduced activity and postponement of investment. However, we believe the whole industry is intent on retaining its skilled workforce and is apparently only resorting to job cuts where no other solution is possible. Overall, the pressure to reduce costs and raise competitiveness is still working its way through the province. E&P companies acted early in response to the changes in the oil price and are now gaining confidence on the delivery of the programmes put in place. Drilling and well services, marine and subsea services are still working to drive their costs down in their businesses to restore competitiveness. 2 Introduction In these challenged economic times it is important that the UK focuses on the health of the key sectors of its economy which can act as a barometer for recovery. To aide this, Oil & Gas UK, the representative organisation for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, has developed a quarterly index to gain a better insight into the health of the offshore oil and gas sector and to track how each of its diverse segments of activity is performing. The Oil & Gas UK Index is compiled from the results of surveys which are distributed to 1750 companies across the UK at the end of each quarter. The response rate was good with 350 companies replying which represents close to % of the annual turnover of the entire sector. Respondents are asked to comment on their anticipated activity in each of nine economic indicators: investment, revenues/ sales, operation/ running costs, manpower and day rates, expenditure in research and development, employment and training and to provide feedback on general business confidence and activity levels. These indices are aggregated to provide an overall measure of industry confidence, with higher index rankings (above 50, which is neutral on the 100 point scale) indicating a positive outlook and lower rankings (below 50) giving a more negative standpoint. 2.1 Industry Overview and Segmentation For the purposes of the Oil & Gas UK Index, the UK s upstream oil and gas industry has been segmented into its various constituent parts: Exploration and production (E&P) companies, split by size: (i) Majors (large, integrated oil and gas companies) (ii) Independents (large, medium and small E&P companies, utilities, and exploration companies) 2

4 Oil and gas supply chain split by business segment, focusing in on the following: (i) Drilling and well services refers to the drilling operation and completions. It employs personnel in the design of the drilling campaigns and on offshore rigs undertaking the drilling, evaluation and completion processes. (ii) Facilities engineering, operations and maintenance relates to platforms/topside design, fabrication, construction, maintenance and operations, plant design and manufacture. (iii) Marine and subsea this sector includes floating production facilities, SURF (Subsea Production Systems, Umbilicals, Riser, Flow lines) together with pipeline and marine contractors. (iv) General support services this sector covers a wide range of companies including logistic and transportation, the supply of HSE equipment and consultancy, training across all areas of the oil and gas industry, specialist finance, insurance and legal and catering services. 2.2 Survey Questions The Oil & Gas UK Index is created from the results of a survey which is sent out to senior supply chain managers or senior purchasing personnel in 1750 companies across the UK. These companies represent all the segments of the UK upstream oil and gas business, as defined in Section 2.1. Respondents are asked to answer nine key questions focusing on their UK business and consider for each question whether their expectations will be lower, the same or higher in the following quarter compared to the current quarter. The nine questions address: (i) Business confidence and optimism (ii) Business activity and levels (volume of work) (iii) Business revenue/sales (iv) Investment (v) Operating and running costs (vi) Manpower and day rates (vii) R&D spend (viii) Employment (ix) Training 2.3 Ranking Methodology Each question is ranked 1 3. The rank given to the question depends on the influence it is considered to have on business growth and confidence. The response to the question, whether it is a negative, neutral or positive outlook for the next quarter is then rated 0, 1, or 2. Firstly, an index for each survey response is calculated. This is done by multiplying the rank for each question by the rating for the response given. Then all nine calculations (one for each question) are added up. Finally, to give a value between 0 and 100, the sum is multiplied by a constant. 3

5 To calculate the overall indices, the companies that have responded are given a ranking of 1 5 depending on company turnover. The company index is then multiplied by the company rank. The sum of these calculations is then divided by the sum of the company ranks. The indices are therefore weighted averages. 3 Business Environment The global recession coupled with the freeze in financial markets as the banking crisis deepened in 08 and early 09 dealt the UK offshore oil and gas industry a double blow. Oil prices fell dramatically in the latter half of 08 from almost $150 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to just over $30boe (figure 1), while access to debt and equity financing on reasonable terms dried up. Exploration activity on the UK continental shelf dropped 57 per cent in January to September 09, compared with the same period in 08. Development projects were put on hold as E&P companies reappraised their business models and looked for cost savings in light of the lower commodity prices and increasing competition for investment funds from overseas. The Government introduced a field allowance in its April 09 Budget, targeting a limited number of new field developments (small fields, heavy oil and high pressure high temperature (HPHT) projects). While this was a step in the right direction, its impact on new investment was minimal. Brent Spot Price ($/bbl) Brent Oil Price vs UK Gas Price Brent Oil UK Gas Day Ahead NBP Gas Price ($/boe) 4 Oil & Gas UK Index Indicators Figure 1: Daily Brent Oil Price and Daily UK Gas Price The following section provides an overview of the index and responses by quarter and industry segmentation. Oil & Gas UK Index Quarter E&P Companies Supply Chain Industry Companies Q Q Q Figure 2: Oil & Gas UK Index 4

6 Industry E&P Supply Chain Companies 70 Index Q1 Q2 Q3 Figure 3: Oil & Gas UK index over the three quarters Oil & Gas UK Index by Segment Q1 Q2 Q3 E&P Companies Majors Independents Supply Chain Companies Drilling & Well Services Facilities Engineering, Operations & Maintenance Marine & Subsea Support Services Figure 4: Oil & Gas UK Index by Segment Majors Independents 70 Index Q1 Q2 Q3 Figure 5: Oil & Gas UK E&P Company Index over the three quarters 5

7 Wells Marine & Subsea Facilities Support Services 70 Index Q1 Q2 Q3 Figure 6: Oil & Gas UK Supply Chain Company Index over the three quarters Companies were asked to state whether they felt the business outlook for the next quarter would be better, worse or the same as the current quarter for a range of economic indicators. Their responses were used to compile sub indices which were then aggregated to provide the overall measure of industry confidence seen in the above figures. The following table summarises the general direction of the individual indicator responses, where the plus sign signifies a positive outlook, a minus sign indicates a negative outlook and the equal sign means no change. 6

8 Swing in sentiment by sector Indicator 09 Q1 Q2 Q3 Business Confidence Activity Levels Business Revenue Investment Operation and Running Costs Manpower and Day Rates R&D Spend Employment Spend on Training Overall - + E&P SC - - Overall - E&P Overall - E&P E&P E&P E&P E&P Overall - - E&P - + E&P key: - Lower Neutral + Higher E&P E&P Companies SC Supply Chain Figure 7: Swing in sentiment by sector 7

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