As tensions heat up over oil and gas, it’s more important now than ever for companies in the oil industry to plan for the future. Wordometers states that there are only ~44 years left of oil. Similarly, there are ~160 years till the end of natural gas, and ~400 until the end of coal if used at current rates. While that might seem like a long time, it’s not for two big reasons. The first is the rate at which we are using these products is rising each year. Second is that there are 24 companies in Japan alone that were founded before 1300 AD. Why is this relevant?
Those companies have been around for at least 720 years. In that time, they have learned that the most important thing is to plan for the future. Many traditional Japanese companies still have a 500-year plan. These same companies also have a 100-year plan as well. These plans help to ensure they are on track to stay in business. Looking at the oil and gas industry in that way shows just how relevant those numbers are.
Though it may seem a long way away, now is the time to plan for what will happen when oil and gas are all gone. Think about that 500-year plan many companies in Japan have. That plan covers at least a century after the end of oil and gas. If you as an oil company aren’t thinking about how you will safeguard your business for the far future, you might be a sitting duck for the end of oil.
In the coming years, oil companies should see continued success mixed with lots of planning within the oil industry. Especially over the next ten to twenty years, you won’t see much change. However, that’s where it starts to look different. In general, we are looking at the end of easy oil and the beginning of unpredictable demand. There is still plenty of difficult/dirty oil around the world. However, it’s marred with politics and costs. To combat this, we will see the oil and gas industry continue to R&D new technologies and new sources of profit.
However, due to the increase in concern for the Earth as well as new technologies for sustainable power, the future of the industry is getting murkier with each new law and invention. Oil companies should be looking at how they will say in the power supply business rather than the oil business.
Take the ever-popular Marketing Myopia as an example of this. In this paper, the author talks about why the train business is gone. He says it’s not because the trains weren’t needed anymore, but because the train company didn’t view themselves as a transportation company.
Looking back at that 500-year plan, the leading thing oil companies need to see in the coming years is what they are. While oil is still good money, it might be time to look into expanding as creators of energy rather than obtainers in the oil industry. With the increase in new technology from connecting employees and management to new energy collection options, nothing is stopping an innovative company looking to get the lead on everyone else.
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