By Gerard Kreeft
All- For-One; One-For-All
Musketeer 1 Oilfield Services
Musketeer 2 New Energy Service Companies
Musketeer 3 Energy Service Companies Africa
There is growing evidence of a new convergence between Musketeer 1 Oilfield Services and Musketeer 2 New Energy Service Companies.
Perhaps not so much convergence but cross-overs and falling by the wayside of others and in the process creating new alliances.
Little attention has been paid to Musketeer 3- Energy Service Companies Africa- perhaps viewed as the junior musketeer, but nonetheless playing a significant role.
Their- All- For-One; One-For-All requires further explanation.
Peak Oil and What to Anticipate From the Majors
Rystad Energy is a preminent independent energy research and business intelligence company, headquartered in Oslo, Norway.
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to the company, has accelerated the global peak demand for oil to 2028, instead of 2030 and cut peak oil demand to 102Million Barrels Per Day. This corresponds with BP’s peak oil analysis of 2025 and demand of 100MMBOPD.
Nonetheless, Rystad calculated that oil demand, in 2020, declined to 89.3MMBOPD, compared with 99.6MMBOPD in 2019. This is now termed “COVID-19 induced demand destruction”. It is only in 2023 that demand will recover to pre-Covid-19 levels and jump back to 100.1MMBOPD.
There is also little evidence from the oil and gas majors to indicate that there will be a quick recovery. In 2021 the sector’s growth in Africa will be halting and slow:
ExxonMobil: Deepwater Offshore Guyana, Rovuma LNG Mozambique are the company’s key challenges. Expect little else and no plans on renewables.
Chevron: Only $1.5Billion dedicated to possibly Angola, Equitorial Guinea and Nigeria. Attention is focused on Tengiz, Kazakhstan which is receiving 75% of Chevron’s budget outside the USA. Only fossil-based investments.
Equinor: Attention is largely being devoted to expanding its offshore windpark capacity, all outside Africa.
ENI: With its large African footprint in Angola, Nigeria and Egypt the company is in prime position to expand its African operations. Green energy plans are being made.
Shell: reducing its oil and gas assets to 9 key hubs which includes Nigeria. Green shoots on the horizon.
TOTAL: its Brulpadda and Liuperd (Leopard) prospects in South Africa, together with its Mozambique LNG project will be the focal points in 2021. Little room for further plans. Green plans play a strategic role.
BP: intends to reduce its oil production by 40% .How will this affect the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim development in Mauritania and Senegal, its Algerian, Angolan and Egyptian assets? The first green plans are being unveiled.
Musketeer 1 : Oilfield Services
Global demand for oilfield services (OFS), measured in the total value of exploration and production (E&P) company spending, has in 2020 dropped a massive 25% as a result of the Covid-19 caused oil demand destruction, According to Rystad.
Spending in 2020 is at year’s end expected to be $481Billion and take the first step to recovery will take place in 2021.
“The recovery will accelerate further in 2022 and 2023, with OFS spending by E&Ps reaching some $552Billion and $620Billion, respectively. Despite the boost, purchases will not return to the pre-COVID-19 levels of $639Billion achieved in 2019.”
Audun Martinsen, Rystad Energy’s Head of Energy Research, argues that the comeback will not be visible across all OFS segments. Well services and the pressure pumping market will be the first to see a boost, while other markets will need to get further depressed before recovering.
“Despite the recovery in oil prices, it will take many quarters before all segments of the supply chain see their revenues deliver consistent growth. In case of an upturn, operators would prefer flexible budget items with production increments and high-return investments with short pay-back times. Therefore, we expect well service segments to be the first to recover, while long-lead segments will pick up much later.“
- Maintenance and operations: is poised for consecutive yearly rises in the next three years after slumping to $167Billion this year from $202Billion in 2019.
- Well services and commodities: is set for a similar recovery, but only after slumping to $152Billion in 2020 from $231Billion in 2019 – the biggest decline among segments in absolute numbers.
- Drilling contractors: falling to $46Billion in 2020 from $62Billion in 2019, and then rising to $57Billion in 2023.
- Subsea segment: will fall from $25Billion in 2019 to $22Billion in 2021 – before starting to rebound to $24Billion in 2022 and to $29Billion in 2023.
- EPCI: fell to $81Billion in 2020 from $105Billion in 2019, sliding further to $74Billion in 2021, before rising back to $81Billion in 2022 and growing to $106Billion a year later.
- Seismic: declined to $12Billion in 2020 from $15Billion in 2019, dropping to $10Billion in 2021, before rebounding to $11Billion in 2022 and to $13Billion a year later.
The Players- BakerHughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger
Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger, the traditional giants of the service providers, have experienced a long trek through the wilderness. Is relief on the way? A mixed bag.
Their stock prices have tanked: in December 2016 Baker Hughes’s share price was $65, now December 2020, it was $21; Schlumberger in December 2016 was $85, December 2020 it had dropped to $21; Halliburton in December 2016 was $55; in December 2020 it was $19.
81,000 jobs have been lost since November 2019, to go by the report of the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association (PESA). In a recent forum PESA President Leslie Beyer stated: “The majors are making carbon reduction and setting net zero goals. Then they’re turning to their OFS sector partners and saying, ‘How are you going to help us get there?’”. How indeed!
The strategies of both Halliburton and Schlumberger are defensive and show little reason for optimism:
Halliburton on its website talks about further digalization of its services, lower capital intensity and being committed to provide technologies that reduce emissions/environmental footprint.
Olivier Le Peuch, Schlumberger’s CEO, recently announced a major strategic restructuring creating four new divisions- Digital & Integration, Production Systems, Well Construction, Reservoir Performance.
Within the confines of the E&P bubble both major service companies continue on with what they anticipate what the IOCs (International Oil Companies) are dictating: belt tightening, a reduced head count, with the hope for a better tomorrow. Simply re-shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The one exception is Baker Hughes who has recently unveiled a forward looking strategy focused on CCS (Carbon Capture Storage), Hydrogen, and Energy Storage. Key themes for the Energy Transition.
Hans Hagelberg, Bassoe Offshore, has estimated that in the last 12 months the offshore rig fleet has lost almost 42%, or $30Billion of its total value. A large portion of the global fleet is now cold stacked. Of the 103 cold stacked, 94 have been stacked for 12 months or longer.
West Africa has been one of the hardest hit areas in 2020, according to IHS Markit: the region saw 11 contract cancellations from March to July 2020, the most of any area. Most of those cancellations were associated with jackups.
Jackup utilization in West Africa fell from 71% in September 2019 to 29% in September 2020, while drillship utilization fell from 48% to an abysmal 19% in the same time frame, according to Bassoe.
Dayrates for drillships in West Africa are currently between $150,000 and $200,000 per day, while jackups currently sit between $70,000 and $90,000. Looking to 2021, Teresa Wilkie, Offshore Rig Market Analyst, Bassoe, rig utilization in West Africa is likely to stay flat, unless there is a marked increase in oil demand. With rig oversupply set to continue in the region, she expects dayrates to remain at the same level in 2021; further reductions are unlikely as the current rates are around operating cost level.
Marine Contractors- Two key players- TechnipFMC & Heerema
Marine contractors have not been sitting idle. They are demonstrating adaptation and innovation.
The 2017 merger of Technip and FMC featured distinct market segments: subsea, onshore and offshore and surface projects. Now Technip Energies- entailing LNG, sustainable chemistry and decarbonization- is being spun off, creating new innovative options.
Arnaud Pieton, President and CEO of Technip Energies, says that the company is well placed to produce green hydrogen, given that some 270 plants worldwide have their origin with TechnipFMC. A strategic alliance with McPhy, a builder of electrolyzers, is expected to help enhance the production of green hydrogen.
Heerema, which had its own enormous fabrication yard in Angola, recently announced that it shut down operations citing poor market conditions and sustained low oil price. Instead the company is investing in the Offshore Wind Sector.
Heerema Marine Contractors recently signed a contract to support the construction of the Changhua Windfarm Phase 1 project, Offshore Taiwan. Heerema will take on the installation of 21 jacket foundations (4 legged) for the Changhua project.
Musketeer 2 New Energy Service Companies
Siemens Energy has operations in 90 countries offering a full project cycle of services: generation, transmission and storage from conventional to renewable energy. Two examples:
- Service center and a training academy in Egypt. The service center is the first of its kind in the region, combining a repair center, a tooling center and a spare-parts warehouse under one roof; and
- Siemens Energy will supply six SGT-800 industrial gas turbines to the Mozambique LNG Project that will be used for low-emissions onsite power generation.
Cummins operates in 51 countries in Africa and market leader in fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies. Cummins began developing its fuel cell capabilities more than 20 years ago.
In 2019 Cummins purchased Hydrogenics, a leader in hydrogen technology. This accelerated Cummins’ ability to further innovate and scale hydrogen fuel cell technologies across a range of commercial markets.
Two examples of Cummins’s presence in Africa:
- Cummins Angola operations, which is a joint venture partnership with Angolan ProjectNet. Cummins Angola currently occupies 1,000-square meters of office and parts outlet space, as well as 1,750-square meters of rehousing. Cummins is working closely with the Angolan government to maximize the Private Public Partnership Framework to invest in the energy sector.
- Cummins has supplied a power solution based around four of its 630 kVA generator sets to Standard Chartered Bank in Ghana. The system will provide the bank’s head office in Accra with standby power whenever interruptions to the grid supply require it.
ITM Power Plc designs and manufactures products which generate hydrogen gas, based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology. This technology only uses electricity (renewable) and tap water to generate hydrogen gas on-site and can be scaled up to 100MW+ in size.
- The REFHYNE project to be installed and operated at the world’s largest hydrogen electrolyser at the Shell Rhineland Refinery in Wesseling, Germany.The PEM electrolyser, built by ITM Power, will be the largest of its kind to be deployed on a large industrial scale.
- HyDeploy the £6.8Million project, funded by Ofgem and led by Cadent and Northern Gas Networks, UK, is an energy trial to establish the potential for blending up to 20% hydrogen into the normal gas supply to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. HyDeploy will run a year-long live trial of blended gas on part of the University of Keele gas network to determine the level of hydrogen which could be used by gas consumers safely and with no changes to their behaviour or existing domestic appliances. ITM Power is supplying the electrolyser system.
Musketeer 3: Energy Service Companies Africa
Musketeer 3 has huge challenges if Africa is to be lit up by 2025. The African Development Bank envisages:
- 160 GW of new capacity for On-grid generation;
- 130Million new connections for On-grid transmission and grid connections;
- 75Million connections for Off-grid generation, an increase 29 times more than what Africa generates today;
- Access to clean cooking energy for 130Million households.
There is a strong need to enhance the capability of Musketeer 3- Energy Service Companies Africa- to build coalitions across the sector and the region, including the oil and gas and the renewable sector.
- Clean Energy Corridor which aims to support integration of cost-effective renewable power options to national systems, promote its cross-border trade and support creation of regional markets for renewable energy. The Clean Energy Corridor initiative has two African components: (1.) African Clean Energy Corridor(ACEC) for the member countries of Eastern and Southern African power pools. (2.) West African Clean Energy Corridor(WACEC) within the Economic Community of West African States.
- Partners should also include National Governments and their National Power Companies, including companies from Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.
- Finally this should include the oil and gas sector accustomed to carrying out large -scale projects. Providing them an opportunity to participate and be a partner in renewable energy.
The increased speed of the Energy Transition is not necessarily good news for Africa. The greening of Europe by the majors could mean reducing oil and gas activities in Africa.
Why? Simply because the oil and gas majors are choosing low carbon prospects and natural gas projects on a massive scale leaving many potential prospects in doubt. Other smaller oil and gas projects will not be treated so kindly.
How will oil and gas prospects in Africa be judged? Do the various governments have the management skills to properly assess their energy scenarios?
Do they have the technical knowledge, capability and expertise to manage and implement oil and gas projects?
Then there is the matter of developing national service companies which have the technical capacity and knowledge to implement projects.
- Musketeer 1- Oilfield Services is in the sunset of his youth. Oilfield Services will continue but in a diminished marketplace. With the majors cutting back their oil and gas investments there is little room for optimism. Halliburton and Schlumberger must seriously re-examine their energy scenarios. Baker Hughes is showing investors that they have a Plan B. Also the marine contractors- both TechnipFMC and Heerema- are making bold energy transition moves.
- Musketeer 2- New Energy Service Companies are defining the energy transition. Siemens Energy, Cummins and ITM Power are examples of new companies delivering energy systems for a renewable world.
- Musketeer 3- Energy Service Companies Africa could well become an alliance of national oil and gas companies, power companies and service companies in order to meet the requirements of the energy transition. They could well receive assistance from Musketeer 2-New Energy Service Companies.
Gerard Kreeft, BA (Calvin University, Grand Rapids, USA) and MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), Energy Transition Adviser, was founder and owner of EnergyWise. He has managed and implemented energy conferences, seminars and university master classes in Alaska, Angola, Brazil, Canada, India, Libya, Kazakhstan, Russia and throughout Europe. Kreeft has Dutch and Canadian citizenship and resides in the Netherlands. He writes on a regular basis for Africa Oil+ Gas Report.