Oil & Gas

Thank you, GlobalData!


Dearest darling GlobalData, We adore you for devoting a bookmark-worthy Media Center to those of us who are perpetually jonesing for great industry news articles.  You must have been following our blog entries like this one and this one, because you know that the best way to our hearts- ok actually probably the left hemisphere’s of our brains- is through freely available news and analysis.

You woo us not just with the standard page of Press Releases but also with an Expert Insights page covering categories like Alternative Energy and Medical Devices.  Your headliner titles like, “Hydropower's Hold over Indian Renewables Market Set to Decline” make us all giddy and flustered with all that forecasting.  And we love a company that is open to communication; email alerts for emergent research in our category of choice is such a turn-on.

Of course you might break up with us when you figure out that we librarians can’t afford to actually buy any of your full-length market research reports or take you up on one of those consultations, but there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Hugs and kisses,


Revving Eco-Friendly Auto Research


Cars in all shades of green are a red-hot topic for the automobile market, and (in my opinion) they make for seductive headlines.  Speaking for myself I’m constantly distracted by news articles featuring shiny auto show concept car images and stories touting the newest manufacturer’s plans to jump on the plugged-in-hybrid-nontraditionally-fueled-gazillion-mpg-bandwagon. If you want to delve beyond the occasionally distracting article breaking up your regular mix of headlines and more closely follow this market, then check out Green Car Reports which, as the name suggests, is a veritable hoard of relevant industry news.  Unfortunately the site is a bit cumbersome to browse, and it lacks an advanced search page, with only a lonesome Google custom search box at this moment, but considering the concentration of all topics related to the green auto business (the News section currently has 270 pages of articles with 15 headlines per page), it’s a forgivable sin.

Navigation tip:  type the keyword infographic in the search box and you can view a handful of reports and articles that include eye-catching high-resolution images of interesting data spreads, for example, people in which cities are spending the most on fuel?  Just like the industry its following, this site may need some tweaks and upgrades, but it’s definitely headed in the right direction.

The Gas Can and the Egg


Ever wondered about the gas prices in other countries?  Perhaps Moldova or Cameroon, or Norway?  While answering a research question for a student, I stumbled on an enormous and freely downloadable report of gas prices for over 170 countries put out annually by GIZ- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, which (if the Google translator is correct) roughly means German Society for International Cooperation. “’International Fuel Prices’ is a long-time effort of GTZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to provide decision-makers with global data on fuel prices. The worldwide comparability of fuel prices helps implementing a rational energy pricing policy.”

Apparently the Germans are as good at engineering reports as they are cars.  The full version of the 2009 report is 114 color pages packed with charts, graphs, maps, benchmarks, etc.  If you need the most up-to-date data, then download the sample report of the current year, which includes a brief executive summary and two massive charts listing retail gas and diesel prices for the majority, if not all, of the 170 countries.

And you can play along too!  At the bottom of the reports page, you’ll find this message and link:  “Your Contribution - International Fuel Price Survey:  In order to broaden the database and to provide data series throughout the year we decided to invite the public to participate in our study. Please assist us by completing the form on our special webpage.”

Being curious, I followed the link, which takes you to the Sustainable Urban Transportation Page, where at the bottom of the front page, you can click another link to provide information about your city.  Then you are transported to a form where ou are asked for the following:  “Who can help us? You can.  And it's quite simple. By filling in the latest fuel prices - fuel (regular and premium) and diesel fuel - as well as the price of a medium-sized hen's egg, you can contribute to keeping our database up-to-date.”

This request seemed so left-field to me that for a moment I thought they were kidding (“We want a shrubbery,” anyone?) until I read in a later paragraph the explanation that, “The price of a medium-sized hen's egg is of great value to us in assessing local purchasing power.  All reported prices should reflect "normal" conditions; one-day price spikes or purchases at top-end supermarkets shouldn't find their way into our database.”  Learn something new every day!

5 Great Sites for Oil & Gas Research


According to the American Petroleum Institute, the Oil & Gas Industry represents about 7.5% of our GDP.  And just try turning on your television without hearing a story about rising gas prices, oil spills, oil shortages, drill or don't drill. It can be a bit overwhelming. Spend even a week doing business research and you'll likely be asked at least one question about the Oil & Gas Industry. Luckily, there are endless places to turn for free resources. Here are five that we've found to be fountains (wells? tanks?) of information: 1. The U.S. Energy Information Administration--Here you'll find crude oil spot prices (current & historic back to 1986), weekly gas prices by region, U.S. production of oil all the way back to 1920 and monthly imports of crude oil by country . They also publish This Week in Petroleum which comes out every Wednesday.

2. The American Petroleum Institute--The API is a trade association representing all aspects of the oil and gas industry from refiners to pipeline operators. The API collects, maintains and publishes "statistics and data on all aspects of U.S. industry operations, including supply and demand for various products, imports and exports, drilling activities and costs, and well completions."

3. Bakers Hughes--If you're looking for rig counts, Baker Hughes is the place to go. A rig count is the  "number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas". Here you can find current and historic rigs counts all the way back to 1968.

4. Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries--OPEC publishes the Monthly Oil Market Report covering things like world oil supply & demand, commodity markets, world economy, the tanker market and the oil trade. This month's report is 72 pages and it's yours for the taking. You can get free reports back to 2001. They also have annual reports back to 2001 and a recent joint report  with World Bank, the OECD and the IEA.

5. Environmental Protection Agency--The EPA provides regulatory information for the petroleum sector. Here you can find laws, regulations and policies affecting the industry.