07 Oct 2016

2016 LEAP Business Utilities Conference: A Look Back on a Productive Day in Houston

Did you miss our Business Utilities Conference on September 13, 2016??

Maybe you can join us next year!!! To see what you missed view the 2016 Agenda and the 2016 Speaker Bios.

What did you miss?

Your oil industry peers in commercial management, scheduling, middle- and back-office management, and project and process management positions participated in a series of presentations, discussions, and case studies focusing on the use of ‘Business Utilities’ available throughout the oil trading and logistics industry. They learned how oil trading companies are using cutting edge technology and processes to collaborate with each other, their vendors, and with upstream suppliers and downstream customers in order to reduce risk, increase efficiency, and drive down costs in this era of cost containment and market uncertainty.

Heard around the conference:

  • We heard from senior executives within Chevron about their increased focus on reducing internal inefficiencies while focusing on external opportunities and risks introduced by a world in which crude and LNG can be exported out of the US, the Panama Canal has been expanded, international markets have been liberalized and opened, and new market entrants have taken the place of banks and bankrupt producers.
  • We were provided a glimpse of Statoil’s vision of “Shaping the Future of Energy”, including the focus on continuous improvement through the use of the LEAN methodology throughout their value chain from well to rack.
  • We discovered that Transport4 is very close to expanding their industry-leading service beyond their current list of pipelines to add a major player in the US downstream pipeline and terminal market.
  • We also learned from Transport4 that the process of calculating and conveying Pipeline Allocations varies greatly from company to company and even pipeline to pipeline within the same company, and that EVERYONE seems to have the opinion that the cards are stacked against them!
  • We discovered that a company called Marcura has quietly but successfully built a services business to support the full life cycle of a cargo voyage from pre-fixture to the settlement of demurrage. Now they are setting their sights on eliminating the manual paper-based process of Charterparty Management with a data-fed, system-driven, internet-based service for both the Owner and the Charterer to use.
  • We MAY have learned that Canadians are just much nicer than Americans. No? Well at least we learned that the Canadian Crude Pipeline industry, with the assistance of Petrotranz, has been widely successful in eliminating the paper-based inefficiencies around nominating, scheduling, and settling pipeline transactions among pipelines and their shipper customers.
  • We heard that the inefficiencies (and cost) of booking ocean freight for your oil cargo are going be improved in the next year. Freixchange is one of several services targeting the opaque, costly, and personnel-dependent vessel chartering business, but to our knowledge is the only service focusing on the needs of the oil charterer and tanker owner.
  • We found out that the industry has a need for a repository of Business Utilities when we showed the audience a very simple overview of the ‘life of an oil deal’ that showed all the EXISTING Business Utilities that already exist in the market! (Maybe you would like to help us make that list more complete?)
  • We found that the oil trading industry has a curiosity around Blockchain and Distributed Ledger functionality for their trades, scheduling procedures, and settlements, but that nobody expects their company to be the pioneers in that area.
  • We sensed a growing interest in standardizing and modernizing the process of calculating, sending, and settling a demurrage claim. Standardized timesheets? Common websites for sending and receiving claims and backing documentation? Standard charterparty language?
  • We heard at least two different companies clamoring for an extension of the current Platts eWindow ‘concept’ to other markets for physical oil, but with clearly defined GTCs.

Are any of these topics interesting to you? Would you like to learn more about any of the presentations or discussions? Would you like to participate in a LEAP working group on any of these topics? Reach out to us to let us know—info@energyleap.org.

Thank you to the following sponsors that helped make our event a success!