Aucerna & KPMG reveal insights into the world of E&P planning

Aucerna & KPMG reveal insights into the world of E&P planning

New Research from Aucerna and KPMG Reveals Insights into the World of E&P Planning

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An upstream oil and gas industry survey, conducted by Aucerna and KPMG Strategy, has revealed that while most upstream operators believe their planning functions drive significant value, few of these companies have been able to differentiate their own planning performance from that of their peers.

The inaugural Upstream Planning Survey was conducted from August 2017 through December 2017 and targeted individuals at leading E&Ps who participated significantly in their organization’s planning process.

Respondents included senior executives, management, engineers and other planning stakeholders from operators whose production ranged from approximately 25,000 boe/d to over 3 million boe/d and who had material operations within North America. Topic areas of the survey included questions related to planning focus, value, cycles and timelines, information flow, technology, and outlooks into the future of E&P planning.

Along with numerous insights into the current state of upstream oil and gas planning, the survey revealed a number of key findings:

  • Volatility in commodity prices was identified as the top challenge facing upstream planning organizations today (68 percent of respondents), followed closely by meeting internal demands for information (59 percent) and unique challenges specific to the dynamic nature of the unconventional asset class (43 percent).
  • A majority of respondents (61 percent) are spending the most planning time on low value tasks such as data capture and preparation of reports as opposed to high value add tasks such as analysis (14 percent) and informed discussion (9 percent).
  • Reducing staff burnout was identified by more than 80% of respondents as the largest area of potential improvement for upstream planning systems

Significant forces are reshaping the upstream oil and gas sector, exposing the limitations of traditional planning practices. Exploration and production companies (E&Ps) are searching for a better way to manage their business in light of the shift to unconventionals, the downturn and volatility of commodity prices, intensifying investor focus on returns, and continuing innovations in the field.


“We believe that the recent boom of production from unconventional assets has fundamentally challenged E&P planning capabilities, and increasingly operators are beginning to take notice and adjust,”– Tom Hiddemen, Managing Director at KPMG

To better understand the impact of these challenges on planning and to begin identifying best practices, KPMG and 3esi-Enersight targeted a broad cross-section of E&Ps for the survey. The results highlighted a clear divide between the stated importance of planning and the reality of its execution. It also identified emerging best practices for this “new normal” operating environment.

“Our perspective is that operators are beginning to develop systems and processes that are adapted to this new operating environment,” said Wayne Sim, CEO of 3esi-Enersight. “Cultivating these best practices can turn planning into a source of sustained competitive advantage for early adopters and fast followers.”

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