As part of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil & gas industry in the Philippines took a significant hit. Oil & gas is a vital component of the energy sector along with electricity and its peripheral utilities. With both electricity and fuel demands being lower due to reduced human activity in previously busy urban centers and business districts, industry players lost opportunities and were thus forced to adapt. These changes included altering their business model, simplifying their expenses, and even shutting down entire facilities that were too costly to operate.
At the same time, they were also pressured to make their products and services more accessible to a customer base that had a reduced spending capacity. Neglecting to do so would’ve risked them losing clients, further affecting their bottom line.
The Oxford Business Group elaborated on these points in The Report – The Philippines 2021, where they also tracked the changes that different industries went through in 2021.
Interestingly, the same publication projects a steady ramp up in energy demand beyond the pandemic, specifically as gradual resumption of industrial, commercial, leisure, and general activities increases the need for both electricity and fuel. 
What does this mean for the oil & gas industry?
Increasing demand for the products and services that oil & gas industry players can provide has the potential to breathe new life into the economy, for both businesses and workers. In order to deal with increased demand, businesses have to adapt in certain ways that can increase their capability to deliver the results that clients expect.
They may need to expand work environments and acquire additional equipment, especially if they had to let go of some of their facilities in the first year of the pandemic. Also, they would have to hire sufficient personnel to ensure these facilities are functioning in alignment with their product or service delivery objectives: there have to be more team members to interface with an increased number of clients, implement and sustain more projects, and maintain expanded facilities and additional equipment.
This means employment opportunities for workers who may be looking for their next career move, whether they’re recovering from unemployment or seeking growth from their current position. Even businesses that rely on managed services providers can create jobs, through requiring their partner providers to source qualified candidates for deployment at their facilities.
Increased demand also means potential for more business opportunities, which oil & gas industry players should be keen to seize. Businesses interested in taking advantage of this projection should keep in mind that clients’ needs will be fundamentally similar to their pre-pandemic needs, but will also have new dimensions attached to them. For example, customers across a variety of industries have grown comfortable with digital business solutions that minimize person-to-person contact.
Businesses who wish to maximize this adaptive behavior will want to implement digitalization strategies especially for customer interface and service delivery. Some organizations have sufficient in-house expertise to implement this on their own, but others may have to hire a team to take care of it. Still others may want to partner with a managed services provider that offers project management and consulting for IT and related support functions.
The future for the oil & gas industry is certainly one of major adjustments and adaptations. Some of these changes had already taken place over the past 2 years through the initiatives of industry players themselves. Out of necessity, they took brave steps forwards and made difficult decisions that continue to pay off today.
Just ahead, there will be more opportunities that will require them to take calculated risks and make informed decisions. Whether they deal with these scenarios in-house or in collaboration with a managed services provider, with the right preparation the future looks more conducive to growth and progress than the pandemic makes it out to be.
Oxford Business Group. The Philippine government’s new priorities for energy. From The Report – The Philippines 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2022 from https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/overview/powerful-shift-year-disruption-allows-government-re-evaluate-priorities-and-chart-new-path-future