Significance of operational excellence on securing the future of downstream operations

Since June 2014 when world crude oil prices began their inexorable
slide towards $50 per barrel both international oil companies (IOCs) and
national oil companies (NOCs) have been in engaged in a desperate battle
to keep their heads above water.
Furthermore, in an attempt to save their bottom line, many have redirected their focus towards downstream.
However, this – at best – has provided only a temporary respite. Indeed, the latest indications are that a number of factors in the second half of this
year point to tougher times ahead for the refined products sector. These
include a rash of announced new downstream projects in the Middle East
and a downturn in the Chinese economy that was capped by a surprise
devaluation of the Chinese Renminbi currency in August.

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