A year ago the forecasts of crude oil prices dwelt steadily above 100 dollars a barrel (USD/bbl). If price hashalved since, its value has not–at least not everywhere. Several countries, more or less known, offer better than ever opportunities for Italian companies in the industry, including SMEs. We have divided them into three groups, indicating risks and opportunities of each.
Leading producers' group includes the USA and Saudi Arabia: the richest, developed, voracious markets. The Saudis have not yielded on OPEC quotas, while private U.S. firms have shown resilience in production despite the decreased number of wells. While the former is seeking to extend its leadership in petroleum products, the latter is looking with interest at new fields to become self-sufficient. We see opportunities in highly specialized segments along the entire chain: upstream, plastics, alternative energy sources.
Those taking the plunge to break away from competition and become major players: Angola, Azerbaijan, Iran, Mexico and Oman. These countries are at a crossroads and will be among the most interesting destinations for both upstream and downstream in coming years; they possess important reserves for Italy too. We recommend them for valves and fittings, refining and enhanced oil recovery equipment.
Dicey countries, i.e. old acquaintances and new frontiers for the industry that express a high degree of risk but that might attract the attention of companies in coming years, with particular elements of opportunity that should be considered now, such as a local presence.
A year ago the winning strategy to maximize profits was to increase production; now it is to produce efficiently. The role of SACE to provide credit insurance and a competitive financial offering is more essential than ever.
For the full study download the pdf