Superperformance in Oil and Gas


by Dave Guerra

Release Date: Early 2016

“Two hunters on a camping trip are suddenly accosted by a huge bear. The first hunter sits down and begins to lace up his sneakers. The second one asks; “What do you think you’re doing? You can’t outrun a bear!” He responds; “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I just have to outrun you!”

In the same spirit, Oil & Gas companies around the world are currently running for their lives. The price of a barrel of oil has fallen by over 50% since the fall of 2014.  The predicted New Oil Order has actually become the New Oil Disorder, owing to a variety of spoiling influences; like the tremendous contribution of unconventional drilling; especially shale fracking, OPEC intransigence; in particular Saudi Arabia’s refusal to lower production levels, diminishing storage capacity around the world, increasing geopolitical instability, fluctuating demand levels, more efficient sensing technology and smart fields, and the Great Crew Change, to name a few. For the Oil & Gas industry, uncertainty is the new certainty, and the universal result has been a shift from volume to value, from Big Oil to Smart Oil.

For seasoned Oil & Gas veterans, who have become entrained to the predictable joy and despair of boom and bust periods, the future is not what it used to be. The industry is undergoing an irreversible transformation. Against this new backdrop, the Oil & Gas industry is evolving into something new. Like the finches in Darwin’s Galapagos Islands, who grew longer beaks after severe drought periods in order to dig deeper into the drier soil for tasty bugs and seeds, and who developed wider wingspans to forage across a greater geography, the Oil & Gas industry is becoming something different. Which companies will survive?  Which companies will grow the longer beaks and the wider wingspans?

Against this new backdrop Superperformance emerges as a True North strategy focused squarely on value. The evidence that it works is already here, and it is self-evident to all who have found it. From the Norwegian continental shelf – to the Gulf of Mexico – to the Bakken formation, Superperformance in Oil & Gas is alive and well around the world. The underlying pattern of the various cases illustrated in this book is a consistent one; it is the same pattern in evidence across at least a dozen other industries, in many companies, projects, teams, and individuals who have achieved Superperformance and learned how to keep it – this elusive, wonderful steady state.

Superperformers outperform their industry peers by almost 500%. This is an exciting cause for celebration in an industry preoccupied with maximizing OPEX and CAPEX performance these days. In the same way there are opportunities and risks living inside of sweet vs. sour crude oil production, Superperformance is about seeing and leveraging this pattern of mutually completing opposites.  Where not only engineering and process but also cultural and relationship excellence occurs in the upstream, midstream, and downstream stages of the value chain.

Explore. Produce. Transport. Refine. Commercialize. Superperformance is a strategy for leveraging both the tangible and intangible parts of the business at every stage.

That’s what this book is about. It proposes that the ecology that is the global oil & gas industry is actually a living, complex adaptive system. And because it is a living, complex adaptive system it has the capacity to flow and the capacity to emerge – both at the same time.

Read the Table of Contents