The IP week, one of the most important events in the global oil and gas calendar, took place last week in London.
The event gathers global leaders from the industry and banks creating a unique opportunity to take the pulse and share a multitude of perspectives on current issues.
BNP Paribas “IP Cocktail”: echoes of relief
As one of the leaders in the financing of the oil and gas industry, BNP Paribas has been hosting its own “IP event” for many years and 2017 was no exception.
Rounding up several hundreds global corporates active on the oil & gas supply chain, including producers, refiners, merchants, wholesalers, distributors, the event echoed a wide diversity of views on the current state of affairs, opportunities and challenges facing the industry.
One word from participants echoed however louder than others across the cozy rooms of the Aqua: relief. With an industry facing numerous technological, geopolitical, regulatory and market uncertainties, global players are looking for poles of stability. And the event was a good opportunity to convey loudly that BNP Paribas, proud to its market reach, sectorial know how, strong historical backing towards the industry and its highly dedicated team of professionals, renewed a strategy of commitment towards the energy sector as a whole including oil & gas.
The buzzes of the days were many, but main talking points twisted around some of the most pressing short term and long term issues:
Where lays price balance in a context of global oversupply, OPEC cuts, high global stocks, uncertain demand outlook and a resurgent US shale industry? While a year ago prevailing views could be summarized as “lower for longer”, the mood this year was rather expressed as a “we shall see”.
With falling costs of renewables, how will long term demand for fossil fuels evolve in a more complimentary energy mix?
What could be the geopolitical jolts of 2017?
What will be the banking sector’s appetite towards the industry in the uncertain context that some European lenders are facing?
How can energy companies unlock consumer flexibility to benefit from the value of demand-side management? How can new technologies change operational set ups and for what gains in profitability?
As we can see, key questions were plenty, and while many opinions were expressed and much could be said about them, consensual conclusion on most topics was, as Pline the Elder was saying, “in these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain”.
A cautiously optimistic mood
The event gave us the opportunity this year to forcefully convey that we stand ready to accompany energy corporates which, no matter their size, positioning on the supply chain and which segment of the energy sector they occupy, are flexible and strong enough on their niche to adapt quickly to the volatile realities of today’s industry.
Written by André Hutzli – Sector Head Energy – BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA