Chairman, Chief Analyst and author of The Edge
Simon FlowersView Simon Flowers's full profile
In 2020, our global analysts came together to produce an outstanding body of research to steer our clients through the challenges and uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our people ‒ their passion, commitment and teamwork ‒ are what make Wood Mackenzie’s research the best in the business.
Every year, we acknowledge our team’s efforts with our Research Excellence awards. This year, 12 reports – from a pool of strong contenders – stood out as being truly representative of the compelling and timely analysis our clients need. Bringing together the work of more than 50 contributors, they showcase the breadth of commodities we now cover, our forward-thinking cross-sectoral collaboration and the phenomenal insights we gave to our clients in an unprecedented year.
We traditionally award honours for Best Insights and Best Core Reports, in addition to the Chairman’s Award for alignment with our cutting-edge Lens platform. The 2020 field was so strong and the customer response so overwhelmingly positive, however, that we decided to add two more award categories, Thought Leadership and Coronavirus Response.
All of the winners share one key ingredient: innovative, forward-thinking analysis. I am, therefore, proud and delighted to present the Wood Mackenzie 2020 Research Excellence award winners.
Exploration’s future in a low-cost, low-carbon world (June 2020)
Andrew Latham & Adam Wilson
The world will rely on oil and gas for much of its energy needs until well beyond 2040 and exploration will be critical to meeting this future demand. Yet, exploration is widely perceived as discretionary, even unwarranted. Our analysis led us to a different view. Learn more about exploration’s surprising role in a low-carbon future.
Cabot blazes its own trail amid Marcellus monotony (September 2020)
Ryan Duman & Mike Stinebaugh
Guidance from the leading Northeast players suggested 2020 capital programmes that would keep production flat. It's easier to grow from a flat base than a shrinking one, but in our view, it would take more than a year of restricted spending to improve the finances of Marcellus producers. Moreover, the longer they put maintenance capital on hold, the larger the gap in financial health on the other side would be. And at what gas price would the gap become sufficiently wide to materially impact growth outlooks? Visit our store to find out.
Copper supply: responding to a global pandemic and lower prices (March 2020)
Eleni Joannides, Gillian Moncur, Yanting Zhou & Will Tankard
The collapse of the copper price and Covid-19 containment measures posed a significant risk to global mine supply and project development. We put mine disruptions into a global market context, looked at supply responses in previous downturns and placed some parameters around likely price floors. Our analysis included our estimates of industry costs at the oil prices and exchange rates at the time.
Battle for the future 2020: Asia Pacific power and renewables competitiveness report (November 2020)
Rishab Shrestha, Alex Whitworth, Frank Yu, Simeng Deng, Kyeongho Lee, Xiaoyang Li & Robert Liew
Our 2050 outlook and analysis for power technology and generation cost trends in Asia Pacific included levelised cost of electricity data for 10 key technologies: coal, gas, onshore wind, offshore wind, utility-scale solar, residential solar, hydro, nuclear, solar and storage, and wind and storage. It spanned Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan region and India, as well as some subregions. We examined the competition between renewable and fossil-fuel power in each, and gave an overview of the key factors driving costs for each technology. You can find the full report in our store.
Methanol global supply demand analytics (September 2020)
Olivia Loa & Kelly Cui
Our annual report explored the evolving role of methanol – once part of a supply-driven market, the rise of manufacturing in Asia has changed the dynamics of the industry. We outlined global demand projections, trade patterns and prices, alongside a look at new methanol capacities. Find out more about our methanol service.
Hydrogen production costs: is a tipping point on the horizon? (August 2020)
Last year may have been an inflection point for the emerging low-carbon hydrogen market. High production costs, however, remain the most significant barrier to its mass adoption in the global energy market.
We examined the production costs of green, blue, grey and brown hydrogen from 2020 to 2040, using dynamic pricing to assess the competitiveness of green versus fossil-fuel generation. We also took a view on PEM and alkaline electrolysers, used different deployment sizes, made different capex assumptions and added Saudi Arabia to our analysis mix, given the activity in solar and grey hydrogen markets there. Download a complimentary copy of the executive summary here.
Volatility and value: the Supermajors’ upstream portfolios at different prices (September 2020)
Angus Rodger & Tom Ellacott
We wanted to explore which Supermajor portfolio retained the most value at low prices, and which had the greatest leverage to pricing upside.
We modelled the five Supermajors under different price decks in Lens to assess how they performed. We investigated the key projects driving total net present value and why each company’s top 10 assets had such a big impact on overall portfolio performance. We also examined the lowest NPV assets, their role in the portfolio and whether divestment is always the answer. Visit the store to find out more.
The €200bn prize in offshore wind (March 2020)
Søren Lassen, Shimeng Yang, Mhairidh Evans & Caitlin Shaw
Investment in offshore wind is growing – both in absolute and relative terms – and the way that investment will be distributed across the supply chain is changing. In this report, we compared the trends in offshore wind investment with offshore oil and gas, and identify opportunities where investment will be made in the offshore wind supply chain. You can find the full report in our store.
The world after Covid-19: scenarios for the future of energy (May 2020)
Ed Crooks, Peter Martin, Gavin Thompson, Erik Mielke, Derryn Maade, Alan Gelder, Ann-Louise Hittle & Ravi Manghani
We knew that the Covid-19 pandemic would have a lasting impact on energy demand. As governments kept businesses shuttered and restricted freedom of movement for billions of people, consumption of oil, gas and power declined.
The ultimate impact of the pandemic would depend on questions to which we had no definitive answers, but some clear trends were emerging. To explore the potential long-term effects of the pandemic, we looked at three scenarios based on these trends and made some illustrative projections for oil, gas and coal. Read the complimentary report in full here.
Our teams were swift to respond to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic with focused research into a range of sectors and markets, weekly and monthly tracking reports and accompanying datapacks. This is just a taste of the insights that grabbed our clients’ attention in 2020.
Coronavirus: impact on European gas markets (July 2020)
Murray Douglas, Kateryna Filippenko & Alastair Heggie
Our experts tracked the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, delivering rolling updates and analysis from the start of European lockdowns. Our weekly gas market updates provided detailed country reports, sectoral analysis, supply and demand impacts, insights into Europe’s storage crunch and much more. This insight proved critical for those assessing both European and global gas and LNG markets.
Understand global gas market fundamentals, dynamics and disruptive trends with our complete analysis of the gas and LNG value chain.
Metals & mining: coronavirus impact (July 2020)
Metals & Mining research team
As the global impact of the coronavirus started to be felt, we provided weekly updates on the pandemic impact across 11 commodities’ value chains – spanning country-level demand down to mine asset shutdowns. Our array of comprehensive research products continues to inform investment decisions and corporate strategy as the world starts to contemplate how it will rebuild post-pandemic.
Find out how to access our latest forecasts of global and regional metals and mining market fundamentals, in-depth analysis of the drivers of trade and price dynamics and more.
Weekly Covid-19 impact briefing
Jonny Sultoon, Stuart Livingstone, Peter Martin & Merve Ergez
In this weekly report, we combined the global pandemic modelling expertise of our sister company, AIR, with our macroeconomic analysis to explore the impact of the coronavirus pandemic across the sectors we cover. Each week, we focused on a critical natural resource segment, on a rotating basis, during the early stages of the pandemic.
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