January 2015 marks the 25th year since the founding of Douglas-Westwood and over the years we have seen major changes in the global energy industries.
The oil price has fluctuated wildly. At US$21.20 on January 2, 1990, it near doubled during our first year before collapsing again to US$17.75 in 1991 and the cycle has since repeated itself several times since – today’s oil price situation is not new. There is speculation that the upwards price correction will begin mid-2015, however, it will take some time to return to earlier levels and in the interim high cost producers will be hit. The UK North Sea for example, now requires a major tax cut for economic viability.
Looking back over the years, there is one recurring theme, the lack of preparedness of nations – both producers and consumers alike – for the major changes in the availability and price of energy. Dependence of importer economies on few sources of supply is often coupled with economically disastrous energy polices, Germany currently being a case in point. Likewise, in many cases the major producers have also failed to diversify their economies from almost total dependence on a single product – hydrocarbons.
Furthermore, that many developed countries still rely on old creaking power generation and transmission systems and lack cross-border interconnections is also of great concern. Nations need safe, sustainable, secure – and most importantly – affordable, supplies of energy; but to achieve energy security demands leaders with the political courage to take a long-term view. Despite what headlines might suggest, this is not a short-term game.
Finally a personal thank-you to you, our friends and colleagues, for your great support over the past 25 years. You have enabled us to grow from modest beginnings in my spare bedroom in 1990, to offices across three continents, completing over 1000 consulting projects in more than 200 sectors of the energy business. We are honoured by a client list that has grown to include all of the world’s top-10 Oil & Gas Companies, Oilfield Services Companies, Private Equity Firms and Investment Banks.
We have great plans for the future and I am sure that over the next 25 years the energy industries will be just as exciting.
John Westwood, Douglas-Westwood London
Adapted from a press release by David Bizley