Business Strategy for Oil & Gas Companies

Upcoming Course

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Past Course

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        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 
        Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D. 
PST0098  05 Jun 2011  09 Jun 2011  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  SGD 3995  David Ford 
PST0098-201401  17 Sep 2014  19 Sep 2014  Singapore  SGD 3995  David Ford 
PST0098-201801  22 Jan 2018  24 Jan 2018  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  USD 2895  David Ford 

Every oil and gas industry player competes for finite resources in hydrocarbon reserves, market access, technology innovation, customer relationships, and human talent. Most companies are committed to accelerating the transformation of economic growth mode, improving the self-innovation capacity, establishing long-efficient mechanism of safety, environmental protection and energy conservation and creating a harmonious enterprise, in order to transform themselves to be international, national or independent energy company with strong competitiveness. Companies can position themselves either as a cost- and efficiency-driven company, or as a technology-driven company-or both provided they have different organizations managing the two distinct options. The industry needs new performance metrics to reflect company performance vis a vis the variety of energy industry challenges.


This highly interactive 3 day course looks at the strategies of a total of 12 International, National and Independent oil and gas companies. Delegates are required compare and contrast the strategies for the three different groups before de-constructing the strategies looking for consistent themes and topics.


The course aim is to develop a good understanding of the broader industry strategies in the current landscape and to use this understanding to be in a position to make recommendations on the areas the company should be operating in, in order to meet its aims and objectives.

Day One 

Session 1: Current Industry Structure

  • What influences demand growth?
  • Who are the main players?
  • Reserves
  • Supply and demand
  • Exploration and production techniques
  • Oil and gas taxation
  • World oil and gas markets
  • Refining

Session 2: Challenges

  • Declining fields
  • Access to reserves
  • Management of technology

Day 1 Workshops:

  • Porters five forces
  • Comparison of tax and production sharing agreements
  • Comparison of spot and term trading arrangements
  • Peak oil theory vs real life


Day Two 

Session 3: How do Oil and Gas Companies Define Themselves?

  • You and your company
  • IOC’s, NOC’s, Independents
  • Themes
  • What do they not mention?

Session 4: Key Industry Strategies

  • Differentiating and non-differentiating
  • 4 differentiating strategies
  • 4 non-differentiating strategies

Day 2 Workshops

  • Delegates will be split in to three groups, IOC, NOC, independents, to analyze, compare and contrast different strategies
  • What differentiates IOC’s, NOC’s and Independents?


Day Three 

Session 5: Measuring Performance

  • Reserve replacement ratio
  • Exploration spend vs NPV
  • Value added vs income

Session 6: Strategies to Remain Competitive

  • Total life cycle management
  • Management of technology

Session 7: Your 90 day plan

  • Matching strategy to your situation

Day 3 workshops

  • What is performance measurement?
  • Stock market price performance
  • Building a balanced score card
  • IDENTIFY the current main challenges for the oil and gas industry
  • UNDERSTAND how oil and gas companies define themselves
  • ANALYZE the strategies of key oil and gas companies
  • REVIEW the key reporting performance metrics
  • LEARN to identify generic strategic similarities
  • KNOWLEDGE on how to identify strategic differentiation
  • LEVERAGE on future positioning strategies

The course dissects and analyses the corporate strategy from a total of 12 different oil and gas companies and is designed for those involved in either a planning or strategy role or for general managers requiring an overview of the company direction and strategy options such as:

  • Portfolio & Planning Managers
  • Risk Consultants, Risk Managers
  • Financial, Business & Commercial Analysts
  • Budgeting/Forecasting Executives or Managers
  • Corporate Finance
  • Finance Managers & Financial Control
  • Oil & Gas Financial Consultants/Advisors
  • General Managers
  • Project Investment Executive/Manager

Aaron A. Zick, Ph.D.

Founder and President


President, Zick Technologies (Since 10/93).

Petroleum engineering consulting and software development, specializing in the area of reservoir fluid phase behavior modeling. References available on request. Key achievements:

-Developed numerous equation-of-state and black-oil fluid characterizations for various major oil companies and as a sub-contractor for Pera A/S.

-Recommended phase behavior experimentation and modeling guidelines for several major oil companies.

-Wrote PhazeComp, a new, state-of-the-art program from Zick Technologies for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Wrote Streamz, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for translating, manipulating, and managing vast quantities of fluid stream information.

-Designed and helped write Pipe-It, unique Petrostreamz A/S software for managing and manipulating petroleum resources, processes, and projects.

-Taught numerous industry courses on phase behavior, equations of state, reservoir fluid characterization, and miscible gas injection processes.

-Designed and helped implement a new set of equation-of-state routines for the in-house reservoir simulator of a major oil company.

-Advised the architects of a major commercial reservoir simulator on ways to significantly improve their equation-of-state routines.


Director of Research, Reservoir Simulation Research Corporation (6/91–10/93).

Responsible for the research and development of more efficient, accurate, and reliable techniques for modeling reservoir fluid phase behavior within MORE® (a fully-compositional, equation-of-state reservoir simulator). Also responsible for improving three-dimensional visualization of reservoir simulator output, and for occasional consulting work. Key achievements:

-Designed and implemented new equation-of-state solution algorithms for MORE®, improving both efficiency and robustness while using less memory.

-Developed a powerful and flexible interface between MORE® and TECPLOT™ (three-dimensional surface contouring software from AMTEC Engineering).


Senior Principal Research Engineer, ARCO Oil and Gas Company (9/83–5/91).

Developed expertise in reservoir fluid phase behavior, phase behavior modeling, compositional reservoir simulation, and relative permeability modeling.  Designed and analyzed PVT experiments. Created equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterizations. Developed ARCO’s phase behavior modeling software and relative permeability modeling software. Helped develop several of ARCO’s compositional and limited compositional reservoir simulators. Key achievements:

-Discovered the true, condensing/vaporizing mechanism of oil displace­ment by enriched hydrocarbon gases.

-Represented ARCO on the Prudhoe Bay co-owners’ Enhanced Oil Recovery Task Force for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Designed and analyzed most of the PVT and slim-tube experiments for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Created the equation-of-state reservoir fluid characterization adopted by the operating companies for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed the miscibility pressure correlations used by the facility operators for the Prudhoe Bay Miscible Gas Project.

-Developed EOSPHASE, a then state-of-the-art program for equation-of-state phase behavior modeling, reservoir fluid characterization, and the robust, efficient calculation of minimum miscibility conditions.

-Developed SLIMTUBE, a special-purpose, equation-of-state simulator for slim-tube displacements.

-Developed new, compositionally-consistent, three-phase relative perme­ability models for ARCO’s compositional simulators and wrote data-fitting software for those models.

-Developed the phase behavior and relative permeability routines for a new, limited compositional reservoir simulator and assisted on other aspects of it.

-Continually added improvements to various in-house reservoir simulators.

-Regularly taught in-house courses on the phase behavior of miscible gas displacement processes.



A. A. Zick, “A Combined Condensing/Vaporizing Mechanism in the Displacement of Oil by Enriched Gases,” presented at the 61st Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, New Orleans, LA (October, 1986).

D. E. Tang and A. A. Zick, “A New Limited Compositional Reservoir Simulator,” presented at the 12th SPE Symposium on Reservoir Simulation, New Orleans, LA (March, 1993).