The Sharing Economy Grows In Oil & Gas Logistics

By definition, the Sharing Economy is a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources.  It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. It is no longer a fad or phenomenon but a reality in life and in business, especially in the RESOURCE sectors globally.

Here, in trendy Vancouver, British Columbia, I have a bike sharing membership with MOBI and I recently returned from a Toronto business trip using AIR BNB.  Globally, we see Car2Go services in just about every major city and Uber type services too. This life change in purchasing and travel planning has crossed over to our business lives and this strategy in procurement will likely grow.

We have seen for years the sharing of assets and services in various resource sectors.  However, when the financial conditions improve, we often retreat to old supply-chain procurement habits for the ease, or perhaps the luxury of dedicated assets and services.

I suggest we may not go back this time as in many previous downturn cycles. We have finally proven that the various sharing experiences such as Helicopters to Fixed Wing workforce logistics, open camps, shared infrastructure and shared management to highlight but a few, may be a better way, perhaps even a new best practice in supply chain procurements for the future.

Here in British Columbia the media notes that Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, is considering to foot the bill to construct the marine terminal in exchange for gaining access to Shell Canada Ltd.’s development rights on Ridley Island.  While they are competitors, the cost savings and collaboration is the right thing to do for the environment and the balance sheet too.

HESS, in their applications of lean sharing, a key strategy includes the pooling of marine resources rather than maintaining dedicated assets and they announce saving up to 30%.  The E&P is also well versed in sharing of various helicopters used in the GOM to Africa. Internal to external sharing with partners using a harmonized approach and common safety guidelines has proven a success.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, indicate oil and gas companies are selling off aviation assets and developing long-term relationships with aviation providers for cost benefits.  This new procurement strategy includes a combination of scheduled services and specialty charter such as the WestJet and Suncor model in Calgary, Alberta, now sharing at an airline level.

My favorite is the growing Remote Camp innovations from the open camp, which is fundamentally a remote hotel to only partial camp commitments   Major resource companies are less inclined to engage a full camp on a long-term basis so this option, like other sharing concepts, is appealing.    Fact or fiction, it is my opinion that the sharing economy is the new business model that some suppliers and purchasers have really employed on many projects already.