Joint Industry Program – Market Analytics for Petroleum and Chemical Industry Capital Projects

by Bob Ritter, CII Associate Director for Performance Assessment

What information are you using to plan your next major capital project? What do the historical capacities and backlog look like across global fabrication yards? Can you expect to see an increase in modularization being leveraged? Are delivery times of major equipment or materials shifting? How have regulatory changes impacted the capital project market conditions?

Since 1991, ExxonMobil, Shell, and Total have been committed to evaluating capital project market conditions across the oil & gas and petro-chemical industry through a Joint Industry Program (JIP). In the Spring of 2017, the Construction Industry Institute (CII) joined the JIP as overall Program Manager. The JIP is committed to the annual collection, analysis, and reporting of historical global capital cost data and trends to help improve project planning decisions.

Information is solicited through formal surveys of most major global EPCs and Fabricators to collect capacity and cost data across five elements of capital projects:

  • Engineering
  • Procurement
  • Construction
  • Onshore/Offshore Fabrication
  • Material/Equipment Purchase Orders 

The data collected include information about backlog, workhours for core and high-value centers, vendor shop loading, delivery times, all-in subcontractor rates, labor productivity rates, yard capacities, and material cost trends. All responses are provided with strict confidentiality and antitrust compliance. The JIP employs two independent 3rd party consultants to maintain separation and confidentiality. The first collects, validates, and blinds the raw data for CII to then perform data analytics to generate aggregated summary statistical reports for the five elements.

Throughout the process, the participating contractors and fabricators have the opportunity to dialog directly with the JIP sponsors. This provides a powerful platform to increase exposure to the sponsor companies and upcoming project opportunities, as well as to increase the sponsors’ awareness of the contractors’ capability and capacity plans. Using the published Summary Reports, the EPCs and Fabricators have the ability of benchmarking themselves against aggregate industry norms by global geography. The value gained through the survey results are beneficial to share with business management, cost & schedule engineers, project planners, and purchasing/contracting specialists.

Participants have reported analytical benefits as a result of the JIP to track and compare material prices, labor costs, backlogs and other trends from geographic areas. Participants and sponsors are regularly involved in survey improvement recommendations to help ensure the expected value from the program is continually exceeded.

Global EPCs and Fabricators are constantly solicited by several Owner/Operators to participate in individual, yet similar, market surveys. Traditionally, this adds overhead for the contractors and minimizes their real benefit with so many fractured market results. One of the major objectives of the JIP is to expand the program sponsorship with more non-government Owner/Operators such that the contractors only need to participate in one consolidated and impactful survey each year. This will not only save considerable time and effort, but will also help provide more comprehensive and consistent market analytics for everyone’s benefit.

The JIP is governed by a Board of Management (BOM) that represents each of the sponsoring owner/operators and the two independent 3rd party program consultants. The BOM meets face to face in the Spring and Fall each year. In the Spring, CII provides the previous year’s survey summary reports for review and offers recommendations to include the next annual survey round. The Fall meeting is largely focused on enhanced engagement with the industry participants during the active survey round while soliciting continued improvement for the next round.

The annual cycle begins with the end in mind by analyzing the previous years’ survey data and compiling the aggregated Summary Reports. The reports are distributed to all of the participating JIP contractors by early Summer. The reports and findings help set the targets for the next annual survey round which is launched early Fall in order to collect and validate that years’ data by year-end. The survey data represents only recent historical data. The survey does not look at projections or market forecasts.

The JIP has established a powerful platform that benefits all participants in the industry. The aim is to help better address project risk and planning to ensure the best value and return is achieved from capital project investment for all stakeholders.

If you have an interest in participating in the JIP as a global EPC or Fabricator, or as a sponsoring Owner/Operator, please send an email to or visit the JIP Survey website at

Date posted: February 27, 2018