training specialists to the upstream oil and gas industry

Scenario Planning for Decision Making in the Energy Sector

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Course overview

Scenario planning, also called scenario thinking or scenario analysis, is a strategic method that some organizations use to get to grips with the broader contextual uncertainties that the organization faces when strategizing or making investment decisions. It is a way to better understand the complexity of the future business environment. The scenario narratives that result from such exercises may be referred to as ‘memories of the future’. They provide a meaningful framework for discussing the key trends in the contextual environment and their implications for business decisions.

The energy industry faces much more uncertainty than say 10 to 20 years ago. The energy transition is a sure thing, but how fast will it go? What is the remaining outlook for oil? Will power generation be as decentralized as some are suggesting? Will gas indeed act as a transition fuel, or will this be short lived as the pace of development of renewables continues to surprise? Will CCS ever take off as an accepted emission mitigation strategy?

We do not have the answers to such questions and neither will others. In order to understand the possible futures of the energy business, one has to consider the key global driving forces and how these may evolve. These can be explored by means of scenarios. In the workshop we will show how companies or organizations can develop and use this approach.

Scenario planning is an important tool when making long term decisions. However, at the same time the improved understanding resulting from scenario thinking is also of great value to the agile enterprise. We will therefore specifically look at how scenarios can inform decision makers and how they can be incorporated in decision making processes.

As a special feature, an online course is integral part of the workshop. It is available before and after the face to face component and is constituted of videos, texts and quizzes. In this way the theory and exercises will optimally ‘sink in’.

The course is designed for

  • Strategy Staff
  • Petroleum Economists
  • Risk Managers
  • Geologists
  • Geophysicists
  • Production engineers
  • Reservoir engineers
  • Commercial managers
  • Business development managers

Learning Objectives

The objective of this course is to provide participants with a good understanding of the scenario planning concept and in particular how to apply scenarios in decision making.

The workshop is a two-day interactive engagement with lectures and group work. Participants will be developing some initial scenarios directly relevant to them. Scenario development methodologies will be discussed and practiced as will the use of scenario thinking for decision making.

Prior and after the workshop participants will get access to an e-learning component for maximum effectiveness (6 weeks before and after). In this way participants can prepare for the live exercises at the workshop and/or further reflect on the content afterwards.

Course outline

Day 2

Focused scenarios

  • Zooming in on a business decision using an influence diagram
  • From exploratory scenarios to focused scenarios


  • The importance of underpinning trends with quantification
  • Econometrics and system dynamics
  • Correlations

Decision Making

  • Three ways to incorporate scenario planning in the decision processes
  • Scenario planning and decision quality

Putting things into practice

  • Finalizing the group work and composing scenarios

Day 1

Scenario concept

  • What do we mean by scenarios?
  • Examples

Contextual driving forces and uncertainties

  • Scenario elements: pre-determined elements and driving forces
  • Five global fundamental driving forces

Thinking about the future

  • Some remarkable successes and failures of foresight
  • The crux: plausibility

Making the connections

  • How do things hang together?
  • Methods for scenario developments: inductive, deductive and incremental

Published scenarios for the energy sector

  • BP, Shell, Equinor, IEA publications
  • What can we learn, how can these be used?

Location Start Date End Date Cost Trainer Book
Upon request     £1,150 Henk Krijnen Make enquiry

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