In retrospect, 2016 is likely to have seen the low point of the recent oil price downturn. However, the severity of that downturn with crude hitting US$30 a barrel was a major shock to the system for the oil and gas sector.
OPEC’s actions in the fourth quarter signalled a firm move of prices above US$50 a barrel and established a greater consensus around a medium-term pricing outlook, which released pent-up demand and drove a surge in M&A activity which has carried through into 2017.
The oil and gas industry continues to reconfigure its business model to help it sustain and grow in a lower oil price environment. In conjunction with standardization and cost cutting, they are increasingly adopting digitalization to redesign and simplify their businesses and improve performance.