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.