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Top players in Oil & Gas ?

#1 Top players in Oil & Gas ?
14/03/2007 20:40



I have 9 yrs of oil and gas experience (project evaluation and New Business Development) with a supermajor. I have a background in Engineering and recently completed an MBA at a Top 10 European school. I am currently exploring opportunities with MCs in Oil & Gas. Would welcome any thoughts (pay, culture, lifestyle, strengths, project type, etc.) on the following MCs:

Tier 1: McK, BAH

Others: PA, Deloitte

Boutique:ADL(who are apparently rebuilding their oil practice), CRA International (...who bought ADL's oil practice in 2002)

Specialists: Schlumberger, IndigoPool, Woodmackenzie

I would like to keep on working on core oil & gas activities like new business/strategy development, A&D. Any views on whether I would actually benefit from a move to MC (or rather end up diluting my experience) and on what would be the career paths available after a stint in MC ? Appreciate I am asking for a thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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#2 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
16/03/2007 06:56

Islander to Islander (#1)

Any views out there on Oil & Gas practices ?

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#3 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
03/04/2007 22:56

Oiler to Islander (#1)

I'm currently a research analyst for Wood Mackenzie and would thoroughly recommend it as long as you enjoy the type of work we do. Our consultancy jobs are generally highly content-rich and not as process-rich as the other MCs you mention. If you enjoy being the guru in a certain field instead of the usual consultancy arm-waving stuff, then its the place for you.

On the culture front, its still very much small-firm and everyone knows & helps everyone. The salary will probably be less than the other firms but you will not work as long hours. The key strength of Woodmac is you'll learn loads working with the best colleagues & clients. The negatives are probably a lack of structured training courses & they can be quite tight on the pay front. Our consultancy jobs are the ususal strategy stuff e.g. M&A, asset disposals, market analysis & always v.content-rich.

Hope this helps.

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#4 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/04/2007 23:05

?*? to Oiler (#3)

Oiler - are you based in Edinburgh or London, what work is carried out in each of the offices?

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#5 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/04/2007 23:23

Oiler to ?*? (#4)

I'm based in Edinburgh which is where most of the research analysts are. The London office is more consultants and salespeople because they have more face-to-face client interaction than us research analysts.

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#6 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
03/05/2007 09:03

Islander to Oiler (#3)


Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me a bit more about the Management Consulting arm ? What are the types of project they work on and what are the typical clients ? Are all the Management consultants based out of London. Is the MC group split in speciality sectors e.g Upstream, Downstream etc ? What's the career path like ? Is the culture similar to other big MCs i.e. up or out ? What kind of salary can someone with a BEng, MBA and 9 yrs of experience (including 6 with a supermajor) expect ? I know I am asking a lot so many thanks for taking the time.



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#7 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
03/05/2007 20:13

Anon to Islander (#6)

Just to let you know Capgemini have a strong EUC sector team and the new head of Capgemini Consulting is ex oil major and is pushing this hard. They are not doing just big SAP stuff either like ACN but interesting strategy pieces at the oil majors. it may be worth a call to find out more?

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#8 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
03/05/2007 21:01

Oil major to Anon (#7)

It is not the full story though. Capgemini may have lofty aspiration in the energy sector (hence recruitment from oil major), but the simple fact is that they have a good reason to have aspiration because they are seen as weak also-runs. I work for an oil major and we see Accenture winning with a strong offer time after time. They are the firm favourite. PA have a good presence in the process type work.

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#9 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/05/2007 11:33

Anon to Oil major (#8)

This may be true but if you look at the latest Gartner report then you will see that Accenture is not growing as fast as Capgemini in EUC sector. It depends on choice obviously but there is a buzz at Capgemini about where they are going (in all sectors not just EUC) and their double digit growth versus ACN's 4-5% is promising. If you want to be part of an ambitious up and coming firm with the right people in the right place then Capgemini is positioned perfectly. Also - if you look at the type of work ACN have got at certain oil companies it's boring SAP implementation stuff. Capgemini has got several very exciting strategic projects in the major oil players.

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#10 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/05/2007 13:46

Oil major to Anon (#9)

Yawn. Save this talk for your graduate recruitment round. You are not at your stand here. Just shows your desperation, really. Capgemini HR trawling for candidates.

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#11 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/05/2007 14:00

Anon to Oil major (#10)

What an intelligent response! Looks like I win.

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#12 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
04/05/2007 14:30

Oil major to Anon (#11)

Not so fast. Wait till I speak to Grant W in Capgemini HR about your antics on this site. You won’t know what hit you. Or is it you Grant old chap?

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#13 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
06/05/2007 11:52

Anon to Oil major (#12)

Oooooh scared!

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#14 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
21/05/2007 23:11

Oiler to Islander (#6)

Islander - the management consultancy arm of Woodmac is industry-knowledge focused primarily & strategy-focused secondary. Typical projects are Woodmac-office based on potential M&A's, disposals, market entry etc. Most clients are the smaller energy firms as the large ones think they know this in-house.

Most of the consultants are equally divided between London/Houston/Edinburgh & are divided between upstream/Gas&Power/Downstream. Definitely not up or out at the moment because its so hard to get qualified staff. Not really sure on salary but could be around £70K + bonus. Career path could be quite fast because there is too much work for not enough people at the moment.

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#15 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
22/05/2007 15:38

Islander to Oiler (#14)


Many thanks for this. Are they recruiting roght now and if so for which office. Grateful for your views on work/life balance and office culture.

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#16 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
27/05/2007 10:51

Oiler to Islander (#15)

No probs Islander. You'll work less hours than the other top tier consultancies but you'll also earn less. Less travelling as well because a lot of our work does not have to be on client site because its so focused on independent knowledge of the industry than the client cannot help too much with. For current vacanies check out the careers section of our website - good luck with it.

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#17 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
29/05/2007 11:45

Acn strats to Oiler (#16)

Accenture will bite your arm off, and you will be in good company - the strats group in resources has lots of top flight ex-XOM, RDS, BP etc. types who are a right nice bunch to work with.

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#18 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
29/05/2007 12:23

explo to Islander (#1)

Woodmac used to be pretty good but a lot of key staff left a few years back due to pay being very poor and company not being aggressive enough with its business plan. A lot of 9 to 5pm'ers there and local recruited from Scotland not necessarily with oil industry qualifications. If you are after that, then they are great but you won't get up the ladder fast and they have struggled over the last ten years to get the consulting practice up and running. Woodmac are more journalistic and most who want to progress have used them as a training ground to then hit investment banks, strat consultants or oil companies in London or international. They are also very clickey and Scottish focused. Good company for retiring at though or lazing around when oil industry is going well. No where near as professional as the top tiers though. London office more professional with more top people and more of a business environment. ADL recently rebuilt oil practice. Some good guys there but again pay not the best but better than Woodmac and stragetic consulting rather than small 'homework' projects for the little guys.

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#19 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
30/05/2007 12:18

Islander to explo (#18)


I started thinking of MC as a good way to get experience leading teams, get a broader exposure to the commercial side of the oil business and to build a srtong portfolio of oil projects. Depending on how much I like it, I could go back to industry in 3-4 yrs. Is there a big difference between the quality of projects, the exposure you get, the work life balance between say McK, Accenture and ADL ? I am more concerned about the quality of projects rather than the brand of the MC I am with.Any insights on CRA (ex Charles Rivers Associates). Thanks

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#20 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
30/05/2007 13:00

explo to Islander (#19)

Accenture: Very IT orientated. They have the strategic side but this is less boutique and part of a huge company and I decided against these guys due to less of a pure focus on 'oil industry' knowledge and practice and more just process style consulting where you may not even know the names of many employees.

Woodmac: Very weak on the strategic front (old director was left due to non-take off and now just rely on knowledge-based journalistic consulting that companies use as an initial screening before they use the likes of Bain, ADL or MK for instance if they want to progress to a strategy based project. Investment banks love the research though as a first port of call. Fantastic for a graduate for 2 years but not for someone with 9 years experience. Woodmac is great for number crunching/report writing though. Many employees may not even have a qualification or experience in oil however and have just been plucked from the local Scottish market/uni and enjoy an easy ride getting out of bed at 0830 to walk to work in Edinburgh! Great for info/data though - hence lots of research analysts and fantastic first port of call for data to use for a strat project. Unfortunately most people are paid pittance in Edinburgh in comparison with London where you could double salary overnight with another firm. Many did in 2003-2004 when employee numbers slumped. Also half the firm are shareholders who got in early and hence if you joined now, you may be working alongside some 30 year old with £1 million in bank and who would not care much about team building/working together. A lot of arrogance too which is odd considering 2/3rds of the guys there would not even get a look in at MK, Bain or ADL.

MK - will always be pedigree with some of the brightest minds and 2 years with them makes your CV. However, not so many people (% wise) with direct oil experience as ADL perhaps and they tend to like there MK process flows and diagrams and apply them to every industry etc. which can be kind of boring!! Would imagine a lot of client-time is involved and projects could be long and international which could reduce variety.

ADL - great if you like a small, traditional (very blue in the UK!) firm with collegiate atmosphere but lacks support back up (they still use Lotus Notes and have no 24 hour IT support - just 9 to 5pm - trouble when abroad!). No 2 days are the same and organisation is a mish-mash since they are rebuilding the bricks and international offices don’t work in tandem together so internal issues on cross-country projects can be annoying. However new CEO (French influence though due to Altran which is a big shame but may reduce your hours!!) may try and pull it together. There are some great guys there though in UK with direct relevant oil industry experience. Projects have tended to be smaller and pure strategy focused (non IT focused) which gives great diverse experience but they are also trying to grow performance improvement so could also be stuck on a long-term project anywhere in world. Depends what the pipe looks like. Pay not brilliant though but you can be very independent and when the work is done, you go home. No unnecessary face-time required in UK (unless on client site/international which can be frustating).

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#21 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/05/2007 02:37

kunbol to explo (#20)

Hey Oiler and explo...what about Schlumberger consulting?

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#22 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/05/2007 10:21

explo to kunbol (#21)

SLB is based near Canary Wharf in an old building. Pay offers have been fantastic to build the practice (prob would get 100k+30% bonus) but it is very up and out if you don't perform. Also a lot of international work where you are away for long periods of time on a rotation schedule. Prob Nigeria - hence it is an oil exploration job dressed up to be commercial. Great if you do not have a family or don't like them much! Less strategic too (no market entry etc.) - more operational to utilise strengths of the group.

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#23 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/05/2007 13:56

kunbol to explo (#22)

thanks explo

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#24 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/05/2007 17:37

oil retailer to kunbol (#23)

Hi Islander,

I have about five years experience in consulting in downstream oil in all parts of Europe. From my experience the main players are as follows:

McK seems to be very strong and present in almost all OilCos (big and small ones), with all kinds of projects – however lots of the work I have seen is of surprising bad quality, but as OilCos are usually the largest companies in a country and McK is usually the largest consultancy his seems to be a natural match ;-)

In ATK oil is just a part of the "process industries" practice, however they do some business there – mainly with operations projects and more in refining than marketing. Lost a lot of good people during the EDS-times

BAH seems focused on the larger OilCos – I have never seen them in any of the smaller ones and usually less industry specific issues

BCG is currently building and Oil team – haven't seen anything so far (except for some really bad proposals)

RB seems to be strong in the smaller companies (mainly marketing/strategy projects), but lacks presence in the larger ones (probably due to their weak position in the UK)

Accenture have to be mentioned as well, as they do work for most of the big guys and – at least partly – on relatively strategic issues

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#25 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/05/2007 23:45

**** to oil retailer (#24)


Any views on how strong Deloitte Consulting are are in the oil and gas space?

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#26 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
01/06/2007 09:30

Islander to explo (#22)

Agree with Explo there. SLB is very ops oriented e.g ops efficiency programs, debottlenecking etc

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#27 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
13/05/2008 16:27

anon to Islander (#26)

Its nearly a year since this post was written so i was hoping for an update on the oil/gas consulting market. i am an oiler with 5yrs experience across the oil/lng sector and wanted to move across to consulting.

what are the firms actively looking? i would prefer companies who work on strategy aspect of the business rather than a company who states they do strategy but main aim is to get IT business.

I know capgemini has an upstream division? has it grown and what work would they be doing? any guidance would be appreciated.


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#28 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
13/05/2008 16:39

O&G consulting to anon (#27)

Check out

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#29 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
26/05/2008 10:05

Dreamer to anon (#27)

Krauthammer Consulting (see my other posts).

Working with Shell, Total, Heerema etc in strategy execution (helping them do it, not just writing the report - depends what you want...)

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#30 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
26/05/2008 18:16

Little Britain to Dreamer (#29)

What about PA Oil & Gas?

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#31 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
26/05/2008 20:02

anon to Little Britain (#30) is a good laugh...

One client: BP, the stuff they do is all IT.

BP decided to cut back on consultants, so most of the IT lot are now working in local government types jobs. One partner left another helpless cos he don't know anything about oil & gas.

A great practice

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#32 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
26/05/2008 21:43

anon to anon (#31)


Who would be the best firms for doing more strategic work in the o&g space aside from the MBBB?

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#33 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
27/01/2010 14:05

Anon 2 to anon (#32)

Does anyone have any more recent updates to add to this thread?

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#34 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
27/01/2010 23:39

Melissa to Anon 2 (#33)

I came across a very on topic blog today for this subject.

<a href="">The Oil Drum Blog</a>

Not sure how to link here, but you can always copy and paste. :)

Hope this helps ya!

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#35 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
28/01/2010 05:11

Texan to deleted (#0)

Steer well clear of PA's Energy practice - it has been a complete flop. Still doing a few things at BP, but ACN have taken most of that away from them now.

Try Schlumberger - they are hiring and pay good money. Expect to work outside the UK 90% of the time though

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#36 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
28/01/2010 10:32

billum to Texan (#35)

I'd second Schlumberger. Only thing I'd say is that they have a very different feel to the average ACN/Deloitte type 'generic' consultancy - they are very much content over form. They have people who really know their material to the nth degree, and have the proverbial oil under the fingernails, but can come across as rather unpolished, even naive, in client meetings. That may however be an opportunity for you. Deloitte and ACN are still doing well in the mainstream, back office type work. BP culled its IT consultants, including strategy, down to a handful in the ADAM project a year or so ago, and this hit some of the big IT players, such as Cap.

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#37 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
28/01/2010 11:21

Anon to billum (#36)

Bain is pushing hard to build its O&G practise. It has pinched a number of high level BAH people (partners/directors), won a number of contracts recently with prestigious clients (sorry cannot mention names) and I think it is actively looking to recruit good people with O&G knowledge/contacts.

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#38 Top players in Oil & Gas ?
29/01/2010 05:22

Gordon to Anon (#37)

Celerant is seriously stepping up their Middle East operations

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#39 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/01/2010 12:23

anon to Gordon (#38)

with Schlumberger can anyone help with the following questions?

-Travel - is it 3-4-5 as per usual consultancies or more like 3 weeks out 1 week back here?

- In a 'normal' consultancy you can become a partner or equivalent, is there the same earnings potential in an oil services company when you're not in their core business?

- How much of their work is strategy focused and how much IT/Ops?

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#40 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
31/01/2010 13:22

blowing bubbles to anon (#39)

From what I know, from a friend who used to work there, they mainly do project management / IT ops type roles in far off corners of Africa and Asia so a 5-4-3 model won't work.

Having said that, if you are on the bench in London or Paris, it's a pretty easy time. For instance, he used to travel to Paris on the train for a meeting, and then take the next day off to "recover" from the stress of travel.

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#41 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
11/02/2010 21:55

J to blowing bubbles (#40)


I am into oil and gas for last 15 years doing EPC/PMC/MPMC projects with major contractors. Recently have finished MBA from a premier school of management in UK. Trying to venture into consultancy.

Any advice will be helpful. So far getting rejections from wood mackensey etc as if all the major consultancy firms need lots of experience in consultancy.

Can any of you help?

Many thanks

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#42 RE: Top players in Oil & Gas ?
12/02/2010 13:08

Also in oil to J (#41)

Have you tried CRA?

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#43 Top players in Oil & Gas ?
12/04/2010 14:10

y to J (#41)


have u been successful with CRA?

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