Adalah menarik untuk mengkaji bagaimana syarikat minyak dunia dan Arab Saudi menghadapi fenomena kejatuhan harga minyak dunia ini. Apakah strategi-strategi yang digunakan?
Ada dua artikel menarik dari dua orang pakar strategi:
But not all producers will lose equally. One group really is cutting back sharply: Western oil companies, which have announced investment reductions worth about $200 billion this year. That has contributed to the weakness of stock markets worldwide; yet, paradoxically, oil companies’ shareholders could end up benefiting handsomely from the new era of cheap oil.
Just one condition must be met. The managements of leading energy companies must face economic reality and abandon their wasteful obsession with finding new oil. The 75 biggest oil companies are still investing more than $650 billion annually to find and extract fossil fuels in ever more challenging environments. This has been one of the greatest misallocations of capital in history – economically feasible only because of artificial monopoly prices.
Nonetheless, with OPEC on the ropes, the broad principle applies: ExxonMobil, Shell, and BP can no longer hope to compete with Saudi, Iranian, or Russian companies, which now have exclusive access to reserves that can be extracted with nothing more sophisticated than nineteenth-century “nodding donkeys.” Iran, for example, claims to produce oil for only $1 a barrel. Its readily accessible reserves – second only in the Middle East to Saudi Arabia’s –will be rapidly developed once international economic sanctions are lifted.
For Western oil companies,the rational strategy will be to stop oil exploration and seek profits by providing equipment, geological knowhow, and new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to oil-producing countries. But their ultimate goal should be to sell their existing oil reserves as quickly as possible and distribute the resulting tsunami of cash to their shareholders until all of their low-cost oilfields run dry.
According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, Saudi Arabia has the potential to double its GDP and create six million additional jobs by 2030, enough to absorb the influx of young men – and, increasingly, young women – entering the labor market. To accomplish this however, the kingdom will have to dramatically reduce its unhealthy dependence on oil – a strategic goal that has been long discussed, but never implemented.
Saudi Arabia has many sectors with strong potential for expansion. The country has substantial untapped deposits of metals and non-metallic minerals, including phosphate, gold, zinc, bauxite, and high-quality silica. Its retail sector is already growing quickly, but it lags behind in areas like e-merchandizing and supply-chain efficiencies.
The country’s tourism sector could be developed and upgraded, not only for the millions of Muslim pilgrims who visit the holy sites of Mecca and Medina every year, but also for leisure tourists. Saudi Arabia has a long coastline on the Red Sea, as well as other unspoiled areas of natural beauty that could attract visitors. The manufacturing sector, too, could be built up; at the moment, the kingdom has only small-scale domestic manufacturing, despite being one of the largest markets in the region for cars, machinery, and other capital goods.
It will also require large improvements in productivity. Saudi Arabia’s productivity growth has lagged behind that of most other G-20 countries, rising by just 0.8% in the past decade. Jump-starting productivity growth will require reworking the kingdom’s restrictions on business and labor practices. For now, the Saudi economy relies heavily on low-wage and low-productivity foreign workers on limited contracts; indeed, such workers hold more than half the jobs in the country. That will have to change if the economy is to raise productivity and modernize its non-oil sectors.
The kingdom’s new leadership has some difficult but important choices to make as it formulates a detailed economic strategy. The most important priorities include boosting the efficiency of government spending and developing new sources of revenue to replace oil exports. The government has a number of options for new revenue, including a reform of wasteful energy subsidies and the introduction of levies that are standard in the G-20, such as value-added tax.
Weaning Saudi Arabia’s economy off oil will not be easy, and the kingdom has an uneven track record in this regard. But there are encouraging early signs about the government’s focus, energy, and determination. One is the recent decision to levy a tax on unused land that could be developed for housing. Another is the new inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation that appears to be taking place under the auspices of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, a body established in January 2015. If the government is able to sustain its resolve over the years it will take to set the economy firmly on a new trajectory, the kingdom will be thoroughly transformed – for the better.