Oil-market slump slows energy consulting

Consulting in the US energy and resources industries grew by 5.3% in 2015, almost half the rate of 2014, according to a study by Source Global Research, London and Dubai.

Companies in those industries spent $7.33 billion on consulting in 2015, the study said.

Source Global Research based its study on interviews of senior-level staff members of consulting-firm clients and surveys of 622 senior clients of midsize and large consulting firms.

Turmoil in the oil market has forced some operating companies into bankruptcy and made other companies cautious.

“This has resulted in a mix of experiences for consulting firms,” the research firm said in a press release. “Those that have worked on the smaller number of larger projects have seen the market hold up well, but for others, 2015 was an extremely poor year.”

Much consulting in progress now compensates for layoffs or focuses on cost control and operational improvement, noted Source Global Research Senior Editor B.J. Richards.

“Investments in analytics capability have proven to be a smart choice for energy companies aiming to strengthen their decision-making capability,” Richards said.

This year, Richards said, consulting for utilities will remain strong but won’t offset problems in the oil industry, “which we expect to suffer a further decline as cost-containment work dries up and budgets reduce further.” 

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