Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Downstream – Supertramp (1977)

The following is courtesy of Richard Prince, Faculty, The Oxford Princeton Programme and Course Director for the forthcoming course in Downstream Oil Products Marketing to take place 15-19 June 2009 in Oxford.
Will Low Oil Prices Give New Life to Marketing?

As the price of crude oil rose, year after year, to last summer's peak of $145, Downstream oil product marketers found themselves squeezed by ever higher costs and Upstream seemed to get all the capital investment. Hardly surprising as the best investment returns by far were in upstream while oil prices were high.

Now things look very different. In this new environment of relatively low crude prices, Downstream marketing businesses should make a much greater relative contribution to the performance of many integrated oil companies. Falling cost of product has given marketers a chance to restore margins that had been pressured when costs were much higher and enables them to make a much better case for new investment compared to last year.

But we are also in a global recession and demand for oil products has dropped. So we can expect much more competition for customers and hence new pressure on prices. Businesses with good customer relationships will expect to have more secure volumes – a critical factor in maintaining capacity utilisation from wellhead, through refinery to market. And some companies may be thinking about entering new markets or making acquisitions of weaker players.

Although there are real opportunities for marketing to capture more attention and grow profit in this new environment, only those who are really good at understanding their markets will do well.

Our "Downstream Oil Products Marketing" course (code DSP) could be just what you need to create a competitive advantage for your business. This course provides an overview of downstream oil products marketing, with a strong emphasis on understanding the demand side of the market and customer and end user expectations. It will enable you to create a marketing strategy that is right for your business in your markets. It also will give you practical tools and ideas to implement your strategy and to build profitable business in a wide range of refined oil product markets (transportation fuels, commercial fuels, lubricants and bitumen).

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