Energy and Commodities

  • 1184

    AGRICULTURE: an industry ripe for disruption

    The growing demand for agricultural products is increasing the complexity of production, trading and risk management amid continued price volatility that is being driven by a variety of macroeconomic and environmental factors. As the agricultural industry enters an era of digital agriculture, firms today are making the transition from “price takers” to “price optimizers” while facing ever-increasing risk as they strive to gain more from their existing assets and optimize their supply chains. Jake Riley and Pranjal Srivastava explain how innovative firms are taking advantage of technology to leverage the disruption in agriculture by essentially creating a new class of [...]
  • 962

    Silicon Valley Meets Houston: the emergence of collaboration in energy markets

    Business utilities, a new breed of company in the energy market, are poised to tackle severe inefficiencies that have plagued the sector for decades. Energy players that recognize the potential of these emerging models can, and will, wield a competitive edge. But are large energy companies standing in their own way? In this article, Rashed Haq highlights how the energy markets can take inspiration from Silicon Valley to establish collaborative business models that unlock unimaginable opportunities. Download the PDF In today’s energy marketplace, businesses are feeling intense economic and regulatory pressure on many fronts. There is pressure in terms of [...]
  • 250

    SHIPPING ANALYTICS: improving business growth, competitive advantage and risk mitigation

    Data analytics is driving incremental value for ship owners and charterers by influencing decisions across the various business functions of the marine business—such as voyage management, vessel operations and manning, as well as chartering and third-party risk assessment. As information collection and integration throughout the shipping value chain continues to evolve, shipping companies are beginning to harness data to make a range of decisions, from managing routine activities to improving operations and driving strategic decisions focused on transforming the business. In this article, Kunal Bahl presents analytics use cases that show how charterers and ship owners can utilize the power [...]
  • 198

    ENERGY INTELLIGENCE: the key to competitive advantage in the volatile LNG market

    Today’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry faces extreme price volatility and uncertainty in supply and demand. The recent oil price bust, continued growth of LNG spot trades over the last decade, and an increase in the number of LNG exporters and importers across the globe have added more complexity to the process of identifying the right market (for maximum profit) in which to trade LNG. As a result, firms that are interested in remaining competitive and protecting profits have begun to critically evaluate their business processes and the technology that enables them. Many are exploring ways to become more efficient, [...]
  • 467

    CHOOSING AN APPROACH TO ANALYTICS: is a single technology platform the right investment?

    There is virtually no debate about the business value of analytics. Effective analytics provide insights into what happened, why it happened and what is likely to happen in the future, as well as the factors that could help shape different outcomes. But when it comes to the “how” of analytics—including which technology platform(s) will be used to support them—there is far less clarity. In this article, Abhishek Bhattacharya explores some of the fundamental challenges of building an analytics capability, including the pros and cons of investing in an all-encompassing technology platform. THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF SUCCESSFUL ANALYTICS Although technology platforms [...]
  • 451

    STOCHASTIC ANALYTICS: increasing confidence in business decisions

    With the increasing complexity of the energy supply chain and markets, it is becoming imperative for businesses to make decisions faster and with more confidence, in the face of increasing uncertainty. In this article, Tomas Simovic and Rashed Haq discuss how today’s technology and advanced models are enabling firms to do more than simply improve decision-making, but rather to reengineer it entirely. They also explain how by solving the right problem, using the right tools, approximating business problems and leveraging visualization, companies can impart valuable insights to their business users. INTRODUCTION Whether in financial markets or commodity trading, decision makers [...]
  • 416

    FUEL MARKETING OPTIMIZATION: providing an advantage in an increasingly complex and competitive market

    Fuel marketing companies are faced with a volatile commodity market and an increasingly stringent regulatory environment. Better decision support systems are required to provide insights to grow margins and effectively utilize assets. In this article, Pooja Malhotra, Rathin Gupta and Rajiv Gupta discuss how recent advances in computing make a strong case for fuel marketing companies to evaluate and invest in optimization tools. They also explain how users can leverage these tools to more efficiently and effectively evaluate multiple scenarios, uncover opportunities and make better business decisions. For decades, fuel marketing companies have been connecting customers to refiners, giving refiners [...]
  • 867

    WIND DERIVATIVES: has their time come?

    The Internal Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that wind will generate 18% of the world’s power by 2050—equating to approximately 2800 gigawatts (GW) as compared to current generation of about 300 GW.1 This growth in wind power will have a significant impact on the grid infrastructure, power systems, policies and electricity markets. Kevin Casey, Shailesh Joshi and Shahid Intekhab discuss the need for wind-related products/derivatives to manage risk across all aspects of the wind economy, including generation, trading, distribution and project financing. How Renewable Power is Changing Electricity Markets On Sunday, October 4, 2009, at approximately 3:00 AM, the German Power [...]
  • 844

    MAXIMIZING FLEET UTILIZATION: a critical strategy for today’s crude shipping market

    The traditional method of transporting crude is via pipe, but crude by rail has boomed over the past several years and more firms continue to join the crude by rail shippers list. In this article, Carolyn Barless and Karen Lukacs discuss the impacts of increased production, crude by rail volumes, and upcoming tank car safety regulations on traditional fleet management. All are leading to increased costs, tank car supply shortages, and more complex utilization decisions. As energy firms face tighter profitability, they will need to take a deeper look at more in-depth analysis and reporting tools for the management and [...]
  • 739

    INFORMATION INDUSTRIALIZATION: digitizing business relationships for energy companies

    Large-scale uncertainty, regulation and shifts in the competitive landscape are placing enormous pressure on energy firms’ existing operating models. In this article, Rashed Haq discusses an approach for “information industrialization” to help energy companies more effectively compete and thrive: harnessing modern information technology and adopting lean operating principles to create integrated, inter-company workflows across the energy value chain. The energy markets have experienced large-scale uncertainty over the last five years, driven by the dichotomy of a dramatic increase in supply from shale and renewables, and declining demand. Unprecedented midstream investments have created infrastructure changes, and the competitive landscape is shifting for [...]