In the current pricing environment, oil and gas companies have been forced to take a hard look at their business practices. In an era where oil prices were steadily over $90 a barrel, upstream companies could afford to be bloated and take risks that the current environment simply does not allow for. As oil prices have now fallen below $40 a barrel, companies are now finding ways to stretch their capital to not only meet their current operational needs, but also to plan for long-term survival so they can be around when commodity pricing recovers.

Energy consultants have the unique ability to help companies implement industry best practices so that these companies can achieve operational efficiency. It is in times of distress-when companies are forced to take a hard look at their operational budgets-that cuts are made. However, if cuts are made simply to save short-term dollars, the opportunity to implement and learn more efficient and better practices is lost. It is critical that companies take this opportunity to not only find ways to cut costs, but to implement more efficient processes. The latter will have a lasting impact on their ability to succeed.

Even companies who have found operational success can be rudderless in the seas of turbulent commodity prices if they do not have a long-term plan that helps them manage risk. Companies that rely solely on short-term operational success will have a difficult time succeeding in a down pricing environment. Energy consultants work with companies to plan and manage operations in different pricing environments, constantly keeping an eye on the future.