Project Portfolio – Strategy Advisor Group

East Coast Energy - Power and Gas Energy Company 2000-2003

Note

We have masked the client company’s name as we are talking in part about decisions that affect their current strategy. We use the alias “East Coast Energy” for this company, but this is not their real name. There is no confidential information in this, or any other part of our site.

Objectives

“East Coast Energy (ECE)” decided in 1999 to establish a significant position in the natural gas infrastructure industry associated with the Sable offshore gas production. “ECE” had already purchased 12.5% of the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline system which transports gas from Nova Scotia to New England and began service December 1999. Gas production offshore Nova Scotia was expected to grow very quickly and this expansion would open up massive investment opportunities.

ECE” was the only locally owned company participating in infrastructure ownership of the Sable project, but it recognized that it did not have real depth of experience in the gas business. Its partners and competitors were some of the largest oil and gas and pipeline companies in the world and so “ECE” wanted to sharpen its strategic thinking in regard to its new line of business.

Fall Line’s Role

Fall Line Systems coordinated the formation and operation of the Strategy Advisor Group, charged with providing strategic advice to the President, CFO and Executive VP Development. We helped recruit oil and gas and energy executives as expert members, and we facilitated the quarterly meetings and bi-weekly conference calls. We prepared the briefing papers and strategic questions prior to each meeting and kept all members informed of significant changes in the business and technical environment surrounding proposed projects.

Results

The Strategy Advisor Group was a very powerful force in the maturation of “ECE’s” strategy. In the early stages, we discussed which pieces of the energy value chain to focus on, competitive advantages of the players and other big picture issues. Later on we discussed how to obtain maximum value from proposed deals, identified potential risks associated with these deals and focused on other important tactical issues to ensure “ECE” realized significant gains from its strategic moves.