Natural resources

Andy Aston Global Head of Natural Resources
It has been a strong and positive year for natural resources. The growth we saw at the end of 2016–2017 continued and our revenue for 2017–2018 increased by 8 percent. With new projects coming on stream and investment growing, the outlook remains very encouraging for the year ahead.

The continued rise in oil price gave oil and gas operators renewed optimism, driving confidence in investment decisions and higher capital expenditure. The mining sector also strengthened, with selective commodities rising in price on the back of stable demand and decreasing inventories. Mining companies progressed with measured spend on early feasibility studies, brownfield expansions and revisited older greenfield projects that were previously
on hold.

Over the last two years, we actively diversified our revenue stream to work on both upstream and downstream greenfield projects, decommissioning activities and supporting our mining clients with their existing facilities. Adapting to wider clients needs contributed to our improved performance throughout the downturn and our continued growth in 2017–2018.

  • £57m Full year natural resources
    revenue
  • 8% Natural resources
    revenue growth

Widespread opportunity

We continued to strengthen our position in all regions, with a further diversification of our service model, giving clients the opportunity to engage with our wider digital and management solutions. Despite challenges in Asia and UK businesses, each region has largely delivered against expectations and we see this trend continuing.

In oil and gas, North America was the most buoyant market, with shale gas continuing to buck the trend on the cost of production. Advanced technology is allowing producers to unlock new resources more cost effectively and strengthen the USA as the largest global producer, a position likely to remain in the coming year.

In mining, late cycle commodity demand helped our Latin American and South African practices perform well. The resurgence of the Australian market enabled significant growth from our Brisbane and Perth offices.

Widening our impact

This year, our strength has been our ability to support new and existing clients in setting projects up for success, providing intelligence through data to support investment decisions and driving project performance.

Our UK team supported the development of decommissioning strategies by assessing alternative environmental management approaches and analysing costs versus environmental and commercial benefits. Through our procurement strategies we helped strengthen the use of local supply chains and labour. In our African business, this involved designing systems for large companies to engage with small, micro and medium-sized enterprises.

We continued to lead and drive forward the growth of the Performance Forum, a joint industry project sponsored by upstream oil and gas operators which benchmarks project data. The focus this year was collaboration and maximising learnings shared between operators to drive efficiency improvements. Through the Forum we are helping the industry understand the importance of capturing the right project data in real time to enable faster and more detailed project comparisons to shape future strategy on lower cost and more efficient project delivery.

Looking ahead

As market pricing conditions improve and energy demand increases, major oil and gas companies continue to review their asset portfolio and progress with greater investment in projects that protect their long-term sustainability. Mining clients continue to position themselves for the ever-changing commodity price environment, spending capital on sustaining their existing portfolio to maximise
returns.

As such, we will continue to shape our services to support industry changes, supporting clients in an advisory role, setting projects up for success and helping to address their short and long-term challenges.


This content is part of the Annual Review 2017/2018

Go to the main Annual Review page 2017/2018