Benchmarking Categories Discussed by Andrew Gould

  • Upstream Oil & Gas Benchmarking
  • Competitive Benchmarking
  • Corporate Benchmarking
  • Leadership & Organisation Benchmarking
  • Cost Benchmarking
  • Performance Benchmarking
  • Value Chain & Functional Benchmarking
  • Supply Chain Benchmarking
  • Service Company Benchmarking
  • IOC / NOC Benchmarking
  1. What qualifies a non-engineer to lead some of the largest engineering companies in the world?
  2. Spectacular turnaround of Schlumberger’s fortunes: buoyant market conditions vs. Andrew Gould’s personal leadership.
  3. Why Schlumberger outperformed Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Weatherford.
  4. Are leaders born or made?
  5. CEO succession planning at Schlumberger.
  6. Biggest mistakes Andrew Gould made.
  7. Why has Andrew Gould been courted vigorously by the Russians and Saudis?
  8. The real reasons why supermajors lost favour with NOC’s and why power (and profits) shifted to the service companies.
  9. Peak oil demand.
  10. Outlook for renewables / energy mix.
  11. Innovation in the energy sector.

Andrew Gould

  • Board Member Saudi Aramco
  • Board Member Letter1 Energy
  • Former Chairman BG Group
  • Former Chairman & CEO Schlumberger

Andrew Gould is a member of the Boards of Saudi Aramco and Letter1 Energy.

He was Chairman of BG Group PLC, from May 2012 until its sale to Royal Dutch Shell in February 2016.

Prior to this, Mr. Gould was Chairman of Schlumberger from August 2011 until April 2012 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schlumberger Limited from February 2003 to July 2011. In previous assignments he was President and Chief Operating Officer, Schlumberger Limited, Executive Vice President Oilfield Services, President of Schlumberger Wireline and Testing, and President of Sedco Forex. He previously held a series of positions in finance and management in Asia, Europe and the United States.

Mr. Gould was a member of the Board of Directors of BG Group PLC from June 2011 to 2016 and Schlumberger Limited from 2002 to 2012. He sat on the Boards of Rio Tinto PLC and Rio Tinto Limited until May 2012 where he was Senior Independent Director and Chairman of the remuneration committee.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

He served on the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology from 2004 to 2007. He was Vice Chairman Technology for the United States National Petroleum Councils’ 2007 report “Facing the Hard Truths about Energy”.

Gould joined Schlumberger in 1975 in Paris, after working for Ernst & Young.  He received his degree in economic history from the University of Wales at Cardiff and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He holds an honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and is an honorary Fellow of Cardiff University.

Fulcrium selected to deliver Upstream Oil & Gas Benchmarking Skills Training in Doha, Qatar

For Qatar Petroleum, Fulcrium delivered upstream oil and gas benchmarking training to instil benchmarking excellence.

The Client

Qatar Petroleum, the integrated state owned petroleum company of Qatar, is the custodian of Qatar’s oil and gas reserves, both onshore and offshore. Its principal activities include exploration, production, sale of crude oil, natural gas and gas liquids, refined products, synthetic fuels, petrochemicals, fuel additives and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

As of 2018 Qatar Petroleum was the third largest oil company in the world by oil and gas reserves and revenues from oil and natural gas combined amounted to over 60% of the country’s GDP.

Oil Price chart


The State of Qatar is an 11,586 sq. km peninsula bordering the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia, with a population just below 2.75 million. The country has the world’s highest per capita income level, and enviable levels of state spending on public entitlements.

Vast crude oil and natural gas reserves (of 25.24 billion bbl and 24.07 trillion cu m respectively as of 1st January 2018) are its main revenue source, making the country highly vulnerable to global oil market fluctuations. This became evident during the exceptional volatility in crude oil prices between the peaks of 2011 to 2013, and the sharp fall in 2015.

Causes are complex, but include:

  • The annexation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation in early 2014. Subsequent political fall-out led to increasing oil supply onto world markets.
  • The dollar being at a 12-year high against the euro, leading to appreciation in the U.S. dollar index and a reduction in prices for commodities.
  • Declining demand for oil due to weakening economies in Europe and developing countries, including China.
  • Increased efficiency in vehicle design, reducing fuel demand.
  • Increased shale and oil sands output in North America.
  • An increase in oil stockpiling leading to the late September 2015 decline in Crude futures.
  • Major members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf allies – refusing to “prop up” the oil markets.
  • Iran, a dissenting OPEC member, increasing its supply of oil following the July 2015 Nuclear Deal with China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the USA.

Similar troubles beset the LPG market, with increased supply from United States and Australian reserves.

Nationally, the Qatari government – in common with countries across the Middle East – was faced with an urgent need for fiscal tightening to reduce the budget deficit (not a simple matter given Qatar’s obligation to deliver the 2022 World Cup).

The result was widespread redundancies in central government, public administrations and state-owned enterprises including Qatar Petroleum.

Appreciating that the years of double-digit economic growth may be over, the Qatari government aims to reduce economic reliance on oil and natural gas. It has significantly diversified into non-oil sectors (notably manufacturing, construction, financial services, tourism and leisure) which now account for just over half of GDP.

Qatar Petroleum
Qatar Gas

Upstream Benchmarking Skills Training.

Fulcrium’s upstream oil and gas benchmarking training project arose directly from these volatile market conditions. For the first time in generations, Qatar Petroleum was experiencing austerity. By deploying international strategic consultancy firms, it had cut overheads and headcount (30% of upstream staff including senior management) and made a number of process efficiencies. In common with the other top international petroleum companies, it had continued to purchase consortium-provider template benchmarking reports, but it was increasingly obvious that these did not provide the means to translate data into measurable value.

Invitations to tender were issued to a number of international strategy consultancies, to consortium benchmarking providers, to oil and gas industry specialist training course providers – and to Fulcrium.

It was clear from the start of the tender process that the highly sophisticated and astute senior team at Qatar Petroleum were looking for an entirely new approach. They had moved well beyond needing incremental improvements in efficiency and cost reduction. And they certainly did not want training to be an end in itself. They had already established an Upstream Benchmarking Centre of Excellence, but wanted to ensure that this translated to identifying value.

They therefore wanted a methodology that would equip their own staff and the staff of their joint venture partners to build benchmarking excellence into every aspect of the business. They explicitly wanted to acquire – and subsequently implement – the levers that would drive exceptional value and create value excellence.

Only Fulcrium was able to meet the requirements. Despite having no prior history with Qatar Petroleum, or prior training engagements with any national oil company in the Gulf, Fulcrium was successful because of its:

  • Independence from the oil and gas industry.
  • Core benchmarking specialisation.
  • Unique proprietary database and benchmarking methodology.
  • A-list clients in international oil and gas benchmarking.
  • Deep industry knowledge and expertise.
  • Reputation for delivering step changes to enhance value.
  • Ability to meet a very tight deadline for course delivery.

Following the awarding of the engagement, Fulcrium spent four weeks developing a customised training course.

The requirements were for an in-depth, granular course for one hundred delegates from Qatar Petroleum; and for higher-level methodology insights for one hundred delegates from joint venture partners QatarGas, RasGas, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Total, GE Oil & Gas, and ConocoPhillips. This was delivered over four days in Doha.

Delegates were from many ethnicities and both genders, and were drawn from across the businesses including: drilling and completions, reservoirs and wells, maintenance and reliability, subsea losses, geology/seismic, projects and engineering, operations, logistics, assets, finance, legal, HSSE, and Technology.

Although its primary focus was on Upstream Benchmarking, the course also drew in other aspects of Fulcrium’s total benchmarking services, including Performance Benchmarking for Value Excellence.

Outcomes and Benefits.

Qatar Petroleum delegates were amongst the most enthusiastic, bright and professional people to whom Fulcrium has ever delivered training. The company overall was immensely impressive and progressive, clearly committed to radical improvements in its culture and performance to fully equip it for the 21st Century. It certainly lives up to its reputation as the “jewel of Qatar”.

Since the training was delivered the company has developed its own benchmarking methodologies, and Qatar Petroleum is more than happy with what the training course empowered:

The client’s verdict:

Fulcrium’s training achieved all its objectives. First and foremost, we wanted to learn the best upstream benchmarking methodology in the world. We are committed to our human capital and wanted comprehensive benchmarking up skilling for our in-house and joint venture partners’ staff.

Through the training course, delegates were able to identify, evaluate and select the most appropriate data sources for benchmarking, and then create a performance framework on which to base our own upstream benchmarking capabilities.

Fulcrium gave us totally independent principles from its own external perspective, untainted by vested interests – exactly what we wanted. We don’t just talk about or pay lip service to value excellence: it is intrinsic to everything we are and what we aim to be. If we are to achieve our vision of becoming “one of the best national oil companies in the world, with roots in Qatar and a strong international presence,” it will be because we partner with exceptional companies like Fulcrium.

If you want expert customised oil & gas benchmarking training that leads to breakthrough performance improvements and value excellence, contact us today.

Saudi Aramco to become global top 3 oil trader

Saudi Aramco has vowed to transform itself into a “top three” oil trader, setting its sights on challenging established players such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Vitol.

Amin Nasser, chief executive of the Saudi state giant, said that it planned to be among the biggest traders by 2022 as part of a broader strategy to build a more robust energy company that can withstand market downturns.

Read the full story at:
Dere Ogbe – Competitive Intelligence Manager at Shell talks to Fulcrium, explaining how benchmarking is used in a “purpose-driven” way to compare performance in the oil & gas industry.
Julio Dal Poz – Upstream Strategy Manager at Equinor – Statoil talks to Fulcrium, explaining how benchmarking is used to make Equinor – Statoil a leader in the upstream oil & gas industry.

BP Vice President – Group Strategy,  Dr Dominic Emery talks to Fulcrium about benchmarking-driven performance improvements in:

  1. Mega-Projects
  2. “Through the Cycle” Investment
  3. Supply Chain

Paul Beijer – Vice President Strategy, Planning & Assurance at Shell talks to Fulcrium, explaining how Oil & Gas benchmarking is used to make Shell a leader in the industry.

Giorgio Delpiano, General Manager, Shell B2B business for Western Europe is accountable for the Sales, Marketing and Operations activities of >200,000 B2B customers with a yearly turnover greater than $10bn and a team of 250 staff.

During his career at Shell, Giorgio has built a formidable track record in strategy development and delivery with a strong focus on customers and sales: four consecutive years of double digit growth in the most mature B2B environment in the world.

Not all customers have the same value to an organisation. Some customers spend big and some spend small. As such, understanding how much value is required per customer segment is vital to developing a customer experience strategy that makes sense.

Giorgio talks to Raju Patel of Fulcrium about how frontline observation is critical for strategy formulation in Shell and why senior leaders need to roll-up their sleeves and experience how it feels to work on the frontline with employees and customers.

Ann-Christin Andersen – Director, TechnipFMC talks to Fulcrium about how collaboration between operators and service companies can achieve 30% supply chain savings.

Covers Pricing, Standardisation, Technology Innovation and Operating Model adjustments in response to an ultra-low oil price environment.

Fulcrium moderates Energy Security Panel at LBS Global Energy Summit 27 November 2014.

The LBS GES Energy Security panel addressed geo-political issues and challenges decision-makers face in the pursuit of European energy supply security in the wake of the Ukraine Crisis.  Bottom line:  The EU will remain dependent on Russian natural gas for decades to come irrespective of sanctions, source of supply diversification, and renewables agendas !  Likewise Moscow is dependent on the EU for 60% of Gazprom’s revenues.  Like it or not, the EU and Russia are highly co-dependent as far as Russian natural gas is concerned.

Days after this debate took place, Russian President Vladimir Putin shelved the $40bn South Stream project designed to bypass Ukraine as the key transit state for Russian gas to Europe.  And in a further twist, on 16 December 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Bulgaria to enter into dialogue with Moscow to revive the South Stream project.  Perhaps this is a signal of a softening EU stance in order to rebuild economic ties with Russia, more out of a necessity to safeguard Germany’s and Bulgaria’s interests.  Other countries which stood to gain from South Stream, including Serbia and Hungary, also want to rescue the project. Russia supplies about 25 percent of EU gas needs; half of that flows via Ukrainian transit pipelines.  The EU’s most powerful economy, Germany, is still highly dependent on Russian natural gas, importing 30% of it’s annual gas consumption from Russia.

Panel Chair: Raju Patel, Chief Executive, Fulcrium


Vladimir Drebentsov, Vice President, BP Russia / Head of Russia & CIS Economics, BP Plc

Dr Tatiana Mitrova, Head of Oil and Gas Department in the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ERI RAS), Board Director – E.ON Russia

Andrew Risk, Senior Associate – Political Risk, GPW + Co

David Buchan, Senior Research Fellow, The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies


European Third Energy Package, N1 Standard, Gazprom, South Stream, BP plc, E.ON, Geo-politics, Ukraine, Russia, Moscow, London, Energy Security, Southern Corridor, Russian Sanctions, Transit Pipeline, LNG, LNG Import Terminal, Oil Price, Bulgaria, Hungary, European Commision, Germany, Lithuania LNG, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, Energy Diversification, Source of Supply, Foreign Policy, Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas, Energy Policy Dilemma, Energy Trilemma, Algeria, North Africa Gas, Qatar, Statoil, Libya Gas, Egypt LNG, Reliable Transit, Reverse Gas Flows / Gazprom Destination Clauses