Oil company simulation game (version 2)
This simulation consists of an infinite number of rounds (periods) in which one must try to make an oil company as succesfull as possible. The game ends with bankruptcy if you make a mess of it or by simply hitting the cross in the right upper side of the window. A simulation can be saved and resumed afterwards. The program code complies with Smart Basic version 2.0.1. It does not run under previous versions of Smart Basic.
Each period (say a quarter of a year) has 3 phases:
- an exploration & acquisition phase, in which to find oil wells and acquire concessions.
- a production phase, in which to decide about production, storage and sales.
- an investment phase, in which to decide about production and storage capacities.
There are two products: crude oil from the wells and (refined) gasoline.
There are four types of production means:
- exploitation of oil wells (production of crude oil)
- storage of crude oil (tank park)
- refinery of crude oil into gasoline (plant)
- storage of gasoline (tank park)
Selling prices for each of the two products vary with a trend factor, a season factor and some arbitrary fluctuations.
The minimum price for crude oil is 60 dollars per unit, maximum is 200.
The minimum price for gasoline is 200 dollars per unit, maximum is 500.
Oil wells are scattered randomly in a 45x45 lots area. Each lot may be concessioned by you or by competitors (if there are any).
Oil fields vary in size from one single lot to large 6x6 lots, distributed as follows:
6x6 lots: 2 fields
5x5 lots: 2 fields
4x4 lots: 3 fields
3x3 lots: 5 fields
2x2 lots: 10 fields
1x1 lot : 30 fields
Large lots have more oil in the centre parts then at the outskirts.
Oil fields may (partly) overlap, other shapes than square fields are possible.
The probability that an arbitrary lot contains oil is less than 14% (less than 1 out of 7).
Oil wells are depleted as the oil is taken out by the company.
PLAYING THE GAME
New game or resume.....
On startup a choice must be made between starting a new game or resuming a previous saved game.
Next you have to choose a difficulty profile, consisting of 3 elements:
- Ease of finding oil wells: there are two tools for finding oil (explained later). Here you can set the efficiency of these tools (probability that oil is discovered)
- Participation of competitors, who buy concessions around yours, once you found oil and buy concessions (noticed by dumb compatitors) or even when you explore lots (smart competitor)
- Disasters: such events as sharp price drops, destruction of parts of your installations, cost increase, etc.
- Starting capital:.... Depending upon the previous settings a starting capital between 50.000 and 100.000 is granted.
Default setting is the most easy profile.
When you are done, you enter the first period.
"Start of period".......
The balance sheet:
At the start of each period, a balance sheet is presented, showing the assets and liabilities of your company. This information is used to determine bankruptcy if the amount of loans is more than 4 times the remaining capital. If the loans are more than the capital but less than 4 times the capital, the board of directors will force restrictions on you: stocks are to be sold, you are forbidden to explore or make investments.
After this a message-box pops up, containing the prices for that period and other items such as disasters or breaks in price trends. This is a scrollable table of messages, with the most recent messages on top. Press the "Done" button if you're done with the messages.
You start with between 50.000 and 100.000 dollars in the pocket.
The amount of cash is shown on the right side of the screen (negative, if you are taking loans). Also on the right side is a button "auto-save is on/off", where you can have every round saved.
You have 4 options now for finding oil and buying concessions. As concessions cost a lot of money, you should be pretty sure that the lot contains oil.
- "Global search" : the entire area is "loosely" scanned for oil. One random quarter of the lots is "visited", and based upon global (geological) techniques an estimate is made about the existence of oil in that lot. If there is oil in a lot, the probability that this fact is reported to you varies between 10% and 20%, depending on the difficulty profile.
There also may be "false" reports. There is a fixed probability of 5% that oil is reported where there is in fact no oil.
The results are given in a tableau with dark lots where there might be oil.
The results are kept for later viewing (see hereafter)
You can only perform one global search per period. You are advised to perform a global search each period in the beginning of the game to gather a picture of the area.
A global search costs 2000 dollars.
- "Global view": gives a cumulative view of the results of all previous "global searches". If a lot has been "visited" and promised oil more than once, the color wil be lighter (red). You can always call the global view in the acquisition phase at no cost.
- "Exploration": a more profound research of one lot, giving a relatively good indication about existence of oil in the lot. If there is oil in the lot, the probability that you get the report "oil well found!" varies between 65% and 85%, depending on the difficulty profile.
There are no "false" reports: if oil is reported, you are sure that there is oil in the lot.
You can perform no more than 3 explorations per period.
As drilling is necessary, an exploration is rather costly: 2000 dollars.
- "Concession": if you found oil, you should buy a concession from the authorities for the right to build the exploitation installations, needed to win the crude oil. A concession costs 5000dollars plus 1000 dollars per period, irrespective whether there is oil or not. So, it is not necessary to do explorations in order to buy concessions. You cannot buy more than 3 concessions per period.
If you are done, press the button "to operations phase"
In this phase the ongoing business decision are made, concerning production, stockage and sales of the two products, using the installed production means. The production of your oil wells (crude oil) is calculated. Together with available stock of crude oil, you decide about the destination of it: sales, refinery, or stockage. Any quantity that cannot be refined ore stored, is forced to be selled. Crude oil that is sent to the refinery (if present) will be available as gasoline in the next period.
If the storage capacity of gasoline is fully used, the remaining produced gasoline is forced to be selled. Refinery costs are high: 200 dollars per unit of gasoline produced.
When the desicions are made, press the "to investment phase" button.
In this phase you can expand the "hardware" of the oil company: drilling stuff at the oil wells, tanks for crude oil and gasoline, and more capacity in the refinery plant.
A window with the data of your concessioned lots can be opened at any time during this phase. It must be closed however when an investment is to be made by one of the action buttons. Possible investments are:
- Exploitation capacity -> production of crude oil. These go in units of 100 and are to be assigned to a concessioned lot.
- Storage capacity for crude oil: goes in units of 1000.
- Refining capacity -> production of gasoline in units of 100
- Storage capacity for gasoline: goes in units of 1000.
When you are done press the "Done" button which will bring you to the next period.
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