KPMG Releases Results of Its 2018 U.S. Energy Outlook Survey

U.S. energy executives are looking to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and intelligent automation to improve business operations, but do not expect it to eliminate jobs, according to KPMG's 2018 U.S. Energy Outlook Survey.

In fact, 51 percent see technology replacing tasks so employees can focus on strategic activities, and 32 percent plan to use technology to improve products and services.

"Emerging technology is disrupting the status quo, and concepts around digital labor and cognitive technology are being explored industry-wide, resulting in concerns over how the workforce will be affected," said Regina Mayor, Global and U.S. energy sector leader. "However, utilizing innovative tech to alleviate mundane and time-consuming tasks will put organizations in a strong position to make big change as they operate with a more efficient workforce."

KPMG provided the following report highlights:

On the topic of new technologies, the KPMG survey of 92 energy execs shows only mild concern over the impact of autonomous vehicles on the energy industry. Sixty-five percent of respondents say autonomous and electric vehicles (AV/EVs) won't disrupt their businesses. In fact, the majority (59 percent) don't expect business model changes due to growing adoption of AV/EVs to occur for at least five years, if at all.

Focus on Core Business a Priority

The survey points to a growing sense of optimism among energy executives, with 59percent expecting an improved U.S. economy in the next year. Eighty-three percent plan to increase or maintain headcount. When asked about top strategic priorities over the next year, 21 percent cite reduction of cost structure, 21 percent cite acquisition of competitors or relevant businesses, 16 percent plan to invest in new products or geographies, and 11 percent point to reducing operational complexity.

However, the executives do see barriers to achieving growth over the next year: 38 percent have concerns over volatile commodity/inputs, followed by 15 percent who cite a lack of customer demand, and 13 percent who identify regulatory constraints as a hurdle. While there is still concern over commodity prices, expectations for 2018 are higher: 45 percent estimate the average price of Brent Crude oil to be between $50-$59, and 49 percent expect to see prices in the $60-$69 range.

Additionally, deal activity remains high, with 54 percent of respondents indicating a likelihood to be involved in a merger or acquisition this year. Twenty-nine percent indicate consolidation of core businesses as the biggest driver of M&A activity, and only six percent say bankruptcies or restructuring are an M&A driver.

On the renewable energy front, while renewables are making a strong appearance, executives indicate the future of energy is a mix. The top renewable sources for investment are solar (14 percent), offshore wind (7 percent) and biomass (7 percent). However, 54 percent of respondents say they have no plans to invest in renewables, and 44 percent believe we will achieve a 50 percent renewables footprint by 2035, while 30 percent say never.

"The industry is making great strides to add renewables into the mix, but power is a growing demand for our world," said Mayor. "To achieve a sustainable future, we need to create an energy ecosystem that includes both renewables and fossil fuels, and looks at the less mature and untapped resources that will allow us to harness energy globally for the long-term."

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  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Gilt and Sarah Jessica Parker Unveil SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal Collection for Spring

    Sarah Jessica Parker, in partnership with Gilt, kicked off the exclusive launch of SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal, Gilt’s first foray into bridal ready-to-wear that would have Carrie Bradshaw swooning.

    The collection includes dresses, skirts, bodysuits and other pieces, ranging in price from $295 to $2,395 and from sizes 0 to 14.

    "Collaborating with Gilt on my first bridal ready-to-wear collection was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," said Sarah Jessica Parker. "The team there is brilliant and allowed me to be imaginative and take risks as I was designing for the non-traditional bride. It has been quite fun to play around with colors, fabrics and details to create unique pieces for all kinds of brides." The collection, comprised of ten styles, is inspired by Parker's vision of a modern, non-traditional bride, and is designed to dress a woman for a variety of wedding milestone moments; from her bridal shower through her wedding reception. Styles offered are a unique mix of classic dresses and gowns, modern bodysuits, full skirts, and a jumpsuit. The color palette includes traditional bridal white, sleek black, plus pops of blush, poppy, light gray and blue.

    Designed in collaboration with Gilt, the collection was produced in New York City utilizing fabrics like cashmere and stretch crepe sourced from Spain, Italy and France.

    The pieces all feature carefully curated details like elegant bows, sophisticated cutouts, feathers, intricate embroidery and beautiful hand-stitched beading. 

    The actress and style icon is no stranger to chic bridal wear. Carrie Badshaw, famously played by Parker, took part in an elaborate bridal photo shoot in Sex and the City: The Movie. The shoot featured gowns from designers like Christian Lacroix and Lanvin. Parker famously wore a black wedding gown for her own wedding to Matthew Broderick in 1997.

    "Not only is Sarah Jessica Parker's style known around the world, her point of view is one-of-a-kind," says Tom Ott, Chief Merchant of Gilt. "Sarah Jessica brings her impeccable taste and fashion sensibility to life in this collection. We think our customers will be delighted with the offering which is stylish and well-priced in the bridal category."

    As part of the bridal launch, Gilt will also offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear line, each of which are complementary to the bridal collection. 

    To correspond with the bridal collection launch, Gilt City will present offers from some of Sarah Jessica Parker's favorite places in New York City.

    The offers were each chosen as a way to help brides plan for and celebrate the big day with highlights including, Leather Spa, Lars Nord Studio Tailoring, Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery, among others.

    More Information:

  • Alexandra Scarborough
    Tea Forté Introduces ‘Matcha’ Collection

    Convenience meets tradition in Tea Forté’s new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and the Matcha Single Steeps.

    The company said its spring harvested, shade grown, stone ground, organic matcha tea is best served in a centuries-old Japanese tea ceremony called chanoyu: a preparation technique known for its centering meditative qualities.

    "The launch of Tea Forté's Matcha collection represents our continued commitment to wellness and cultivating all the potential mental and physical health benefits of tea," says Tea Forté CEO Michael Gebrael. "In addition to our high quality Pure Matcha, we've also blended four distinct flavored Matcha varieties. Prepackaged in pouches measured out for a single serving, our Single Steeps Matcha is ideal for the office, travel, or to keep with you for a boost anytime."

    Tea Forté noted its handcrafted ceremonial tea bowl, handmade bamboo whisk and measuring ladle “encourages serene enjoyment of our premium Kosher, gluten-free and vegan matcha blends.” These include: Pure Matcha, Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha, and Chai Matcha.

    According to a release, in addition to its distinctive taste, matcha is prized for its health benefits. Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed.

    Available now in select stores and online at teaforte.com.




Expedia.com has released a year-end look at U.S. traveler behavior and trends for 2017, analyzing data to identify the most in-demand destinations, hotels, activities and more.

Among other insights, the roundup revealed:

  1. Labor Day was the busiest weekend for car rental
  2. Disney Theme Parks topped the list of things to do
  3. The average hotel stay was two nights
  4. Top destinations based on 2017 air travel included major global cities like New York, London and Bangkok
  5. Popular tourist destinations included Orlando, Cancun and Las Vegas