BP Energy Statistical Review 2017

Last Tuesday, 13 June 2017 I had an opportunity to attend the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 launching in BP office in London. I am always interested in reading either BP’s energy outlook or statistical review every year, merely based on my curiosity on how the big fossil fuel players see their business in the future. Compared to a neutral organization like Bloomberg or International Energy Agency, there are some distinct points on big energy* companies’ energy outlook seeing the market share of fossil fuel in the future. They tend to overlook the share of fossil fuel in the future primary energy supply, prefer to underestimate the growth of renewable and alternative energy source other than fossil fuel. Starting from the fact that nobody can predict the future with their outlook, the move makes very sensible motives of the big energy company to favor the optimism of big fossil fuel share since that is the value of their business. The outlook might ensure their stakeholders that everything in the business is still good at least until next twenty years, as most outlook now predict the condition in 2040.

*Now the big oil companies tend to call themselves by energy company in order to remove the trademark of fossil fuel producer, even though the majority of their portfolio is still in oil and gas industry.

The opening speech was done by Lamar McKay, one of BP Deputy Group Chief Executive. He emphasized on the declining coal usage in power industry, the stagnation of carbon emission, and the strategy to achieve the emission commitment as declared in COP20 at Paris. Shortly, he also mentioned briefly about BP’s strategy on surviving the energy industry by altering their upstream investment in the gas field and strengthening their presence in the downstream industry as lube producers. Especially, he mentioned about six from seven major projects in upstream sector are gas field drilling to justify their strategy on prioritizing gas-related investment. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel compared to the others, especially coal as it emits around two times carbon than natural gas. Most people believed that natural gas is the bridge fuel for the transition from fossil fuel dominated power sector into the renewable energy powered.

The main talk was delivered by Spencer Dale, the chief economist of BP. Two main points that he emphasised were the short run adjustment and long run transition of world energy. Some issues in energy that he talked about are the resilience of tight oil that play an important part in the oil market and the unwillingness of OPEC to cut production in November 2014 when oil price started to crash. OPEC’s power to handle the market crash seemed unapparent, so the result of the event was the permanent shock and the long-term structural imbalance of the oil market. OPEC can do temporary adjustment to the stock of oil in order to stabilize the market. But no one knows what will be the stability price of oil in the next 5 or 10 years.

Natural gas, despite the expected prospect as new fuel to replace coal in power generation showed positive but slow growth. The number of gas trade through long-term contract decreased, as more short-term and small size contract became more prevalent. Added by prospect of LNG and USA shale gas capacity, gas market is expected to grow more competitive where LNG might plays an important part.

Renewables will only contributing up to 4% of primary energy supply despite its unexpected fast growth in power generation sectors due to falling cost of solar and wind energy. However, the variability of renewable power still very dependable on weather condition in the location which makes it less reliable to provide big share in the power supply. There was a question during the Q&A session that argued that the lack of renewable growth is in implication of not high enough carbon tax. It is still debatable about renewables, about what can drive more renewables penetrating the energy market. Spencer opined that price will be the deciding factor, and the way you drive the prices are numerous. However, which one will be effective is still debatable.

It was such a valuable experience for me, being the students amongst all professional with suits from a different background. Some are market analyst and trader, some are consultants, and some come from academics. The presence of fossil fuel industry is unexpectedly still very prominent in the energy industry, hence I am curious and excited for the energy industry transition that may happen in the near future.

BP Challenger Program 2014 Selection Process

BP or commonly mistaken as British Petroleum (they changed the name several years ago) is one of the oil company that has operation facility in Indonesia. They are commonly known for their gas facility in Tangguh, West Papua. From the information I got at the recruitment day at Institute of Technology Bandung back in March 2014, they were looking for many new graduate engineer to compensate their plan of Tangguh train expansion near in the future. Challenger Program for what they named it, is a more like management trainee program where fresh graduate engineer will have exposure of on the job working and numerous training to make them a globally competitive engineer in the future. On 2014 they opened almost for all position in engineering including drilling, completion, mechanical, electrical, process, petrophysic, and petroleum. On this post I will give a glimpse of BP’s selection process for Mechanical Engineer Challenger.

I attended BP’s campus recruitment day around March in 2014. Interested student could apply by drop their CV and the interview with HR will conducted directly afterwards in the afternoon. The campus recruitment day was very advantageous aside from the conventional process from BP’s brassring website.

Conventional:

Online apply – online aptitude test (Saville) – HR Interview – User Interview – Assessment Day

Campus day:

CV – HR Interview – online aptitude test – user interview- assessment day

Well, there is no difference on the process but the swapped online test – HR interview. But that was really matter. FYI, BP hired Saville Consulting for the aptitude test. But the Saville aptitude test was hard and very competitive. The time available was very-very lacking. Sure they want to get the engineer who can think fast under pressure using this test. Shortly, it was very hard to be outstanding in the online test. But if you attend the campus day, you will be getting a HR interview first. If you had a good interview session, you will considered even you just got average mark in the aptitude test. True story. Been there before, and I got lucky to passed the aptitude even with my moderate mark. Be sure to participate in the campus recruitment day!

The process

  1. HR Interview

On this interview I faced two assessor, one HR team and one Mechanical Engineer which just graduated from the Challenger program. Interview. We talked about my activities and achievements in college and none of technical related question.

  1. Saville Online Test

There were three assessment; diagrammatic, verbal reasoning, and numerical. Time was very restricted so fast and steady internet connection really needed. Google saville online test about the image of question will be asked.

  1. User Interview

Because I applied for Mechanical Static Engineer, the question asked are none other about heat exchanger. They do need a lot of heat exchanger on gas facility. My tips, study about Air Cooled Heat Exchanger because we will talked about that specifically in the interview. You can easily study it in Hewitt’s book about Process Heat Transfer. Air cooled heat exchanger are used for cooling the gas after compression, or so said as intercooler. When I missed with some answer I did not know, Mr. Wisnu (the user) gave a little lecture about heat exchanger. How to accommodate the tube expansion, increasing heat transfer coefficient without cost, and many practical information about engineering works in the real world. I got so much new knowledge and just knew about the spiral heat exchanger type used in LNG industry. What a great interview!

  1. Assessment Day

In the evening after user interview I got a call from HR that I passed to the assessment day section. User interview on Wednesday and assessment day held on next Friday. Such a fast recruitment process due to urgent needs for new engineer for upcoming expansion project. On Thursday evening we met with other assessment day participates and given accommodation by BP. Lodging place provided in Mercure Hotel, TB Simatupang, Jakarta. We also given information about what will we faced on the assessment day and how to prepare it. There was also a presentation for user about the benefits and what will you get when work at BP. There were total of 9 persons competing in assessment day, 3 mechanical, 3 electrical, and 3 chemical engineer for process. That was for Global Project Operation and still a lot from other division (Global Operation and others).

What is assessment day?

It was my first time attend an assessment day for job recruitment purpose. Assessment day is a day or more day where employee candidate will be assessed thoroughly about their likeability to perform well on work. Many test provided on the assessment day(s) ranging from interpersonal skills, communication skills, arguing a opinion, critical thinking under pressure and many others. (Source: googling). But for BP’s I got only 3 activities: FGD, Case Interview, and Personality Interview.

1. FGD

Topics discussed on the FGD was technology to be used on offshore drilling facility. We are given many alternatives within in the case paper and some times to read and think. Then we have to discuss within our group which one will we choose. At the end of the discussion, one voice is expected from the result of team’s discussion. Clue: you have to choose between flare or gas pipeline, conventional drilling or hi-tech drilling, water injection or treatment facility, and others I do not remember. You are in the point of oil company and you have to choose the alternatives which most probably benefitting for the operation. There were no right or wrong answer, as long you have reasonable reason with your choice. At the end of the discussion, we were expected to present our conclusion to assessors.

2. Case Interview

In this interview you had to choose between to alternatives. There were two choices of prospective well location, one is a conflict area in Africa and the other is a relatively safe location somewhere in East Europe. Each of them had their own pros and cons. There were should not be a absolute true answer on this. I chose the conflict area back then whereas other participates had the safe location as their answer. Just ready to prepare your argument on defending whatever your choice of alternative.

3. Personality Interview

This sounded like a normal HR interview but more meticulous. Some questions like how to solve a problem, facing conflict, communication style were asked.

Even I did not pass the assessment day, I still got much valuable experience from it. The assessment day gave a brief description about the working atmosphere of real world. For those who has not heard about assessment day before, I expect this post kind of helpful to you.

Good luck.