IBM Global Business Services

IBM Institute for Business Value

                                   Chemicals and
IBM Institute for Business Value
   IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value,
develops f...
A high-stakes race against time
Are investors prepared to capture the liquefied natural gas opportunity that
emerges from ...
nations to again invest in LNG. The cumulative     the fact that modern renewable technologies
      2007-2030 investment ...
A high-stakes race against time
Are investors prepared to capture the liquefied natural gas opportunity that
emerges from ...
…and the unpredictability                                                                          Often, governmental con...
LNG must contend      remain high enough to support the higher                                  remained tight overall), L...
Complexity and risk                                                 As the supply network expands and importers
     As th...
It’s important for     effect. The thinner margins that often accom­        venture its own business practices and tech­
Instill a culture of safety                         must make a commitment to safety to the
     In the LNG industry, safe...
Standarization early in   ventures. Standardization – of processes,                           operations. These key steps ...
Ready for the race?                                •	 In which areas of our business could stan­
      In those very early...
DPLNG: Preparing for scale-up from start-up
       In 2006, the Guangdong Dapeng (DPLNG) regas terminal received its inaug...
About the authors                                 Omar Ishaq is the IBM Institute for Business
      Steve Edwards is the ...
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IBM Oil| Management Solutions for the Liquefied Natural Gas Industry


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Over the next few years, data indicates a sharp increase in the Liquid Natural Gas industry. To capitalize on this opportunity, IBM has the leading supply chain managment solutions that can quickly establish flexible global business models for an unpredictable, high-stakes future.

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IBM Oil| Management Solutions for the Liquefied Natural Gas Industry

  1. 1. IBM Global Business Services IBM Institute for Business Value Chemicals and Petroleum A high-stakes race against time Are investors prepared to capture the liquefied natural gas opportunity that emerges from the recession?
  2. 2. IBM Institute for Business Value IBM Global Business Services, through the IBM Institute for Business Value, develops fact-based strategic insights for senior business executives around critical industry-specific and cross-industry issues. This executive brief is based on an in-depth study by the Institute’s research team. It is part of an ongoing commitment by IBM Global Business Services to provide analysis and viewpoints that help companies realize business value. You may contact the authors or send an e-mail to for more information.
  3. 3. A high-stakes race against time Are investors prepared to capture the liquefied natural gas opportunity that emerges from the recession? By Steve Edwards, David Haake and Omar Ishaq Despite the current global financial crisis, which has led to a fall in energy demand and prices, the market for liquefied natural gas is expected to regain its steep growth trajectory in the mid and long terms, spurred by anticipated increases in demand, particularly in emerging markets. In this update to our 2007 study, we find the exact extent of this surge in demand and related investments in infrastructure is difficult to project, however, given complex risk management issues, volatility of natural gas prices and availability of competing fuels. To capitalize on opportunity when it arises, investors must be prepared to mobilize quickly and establish flexible business and operational models for an unpredictable, high-stakes future. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has Indeed, from 2006-2015, the global market for developed slowly over the last half century LNG is expected to increase by 70 percent 2 because, in most heavy-consuming nations, and more than triple by 2030. Not surprisingly, the domestic energy supply has been suffi- investors are anxious to grab their share of this cient to meet demand. However, as energy opportunity. consumption has continued to increase around the world (most dramatically in The rise in energy demand led to a peak in emerging nations), it has become more diffi­ energy prices around mid-2008, followed cult for many nations to satisfy their energy by a recession-generated steep decline. As needs locally. Complicating the situation the short-term impact of the global reces­ further, more than a third of the world’s natural sion subsides, however, natural gas prices gas reserves are located in low-consumption are expected to stabilize again through countries, far from where energy demand is 2011 and then increase for the foreseeable 3 1 highest. Increasingly, nations are turning to the future. These higher gas prices will make mobility and flexibility of LNG to resolve these it economically feasible for businesses and imbalances. 1 A high-stakes race against time
  4. 4. nations to again invest in LNG. The cumulative the fact that modern renewable technologies 2007-2030 investment in gas supply infra­ may well overtake gas to become the second- structure is expected to be US$ 5.5 trillion (in largest source of electricity, behind coal, soon 4 6 2007 dollars). Out of this, US$440 billion is after 2010. expected to be made specifically in LNG infra­ structure. 5 The question is: will investors be able to scale their LNG infrastructure quickly enough to However, the same high prices that spur capitalize on this bubble of opportunity? And frenzied investment in LNG could eventu­ equally important, how can they make their ally become detrimental to the industry. The businesses flexible enough to withstand the International Energy Agency forecasts suggest cyclic nature of this industry? that high natural gas prices may prompt consumers to turn to other fuels, reflected in 22 IBM Global Business Services IBM Global Business Services
  5. 5. A high-stakes race against time Are investors prepared to capture the liquefied natural gas opportunity that emerges from the recession? Because of its LNG: The opportunity… regional natural gas trade will rise from 52 11 Driven by population and economic growth, percent in 2006 to 69 percent in 2030. “mobility,” LNG will global primary energy demand is expected play a critical role Not surprisingly, investors are anxious to to increase by 45 percent between 2006 and in satisfying rising 2030, with 87 percent of projected growth capture their share of this revenue oppor­ energy demand around 7 tunity. Many were rushing to establish the coming from non-OECD countries. As a infrastructure necessary to capitalize on this the world. But global result, their share of world primary energy upswing in LNG demand before the reces­ economic conditions are demand is expected to rise from 51 percent 8 sion shocked the world energy market, halting to 62 percent. China and India are expected forcing a re-evaluation a great number of these projects (see Figure to account for 51 percent of incremental world of investment priorities. 9 1). The industry was considering proposals to primary energy demand in 2006-2030. Even more than double the world’s 2008 regasifica­ established nations such as the United States tion (regas) capacity by 2013, with more than are likely to see energy use rise by more than 10 100 new plants under planning or construc­ 11 percent between 2007 and 2030. 12 tion globally. On the production side, 30 Most of the world’s known gas reserves are new liquefaction plants were in some stage concentrated in just a few regions – far from of planning or construction to start operation 13 where energy is needed most – and so LNG, by 2013. Investors are no doubt urgently as a means of delivery, has become a more re-evaluating their portfolio of LNG invest­ attractive alternative in recent years. Industry ments, trying to decide which to reactivate, analysts anticipate LNG’s share of inter- which to mothball and which to accelerate going forward. FIGURE 1. An investment of US$440 billion is expected over 2007-2030 in expansion of LNG infrastructure. 30 new liquefaction plants planned or under construction to start by 2013 Pipeline Doubling globally by 2013 Point of Production Processing and export consumption Transport LNG Import and regas Source: “World Energy Outlook 2008,” International Energy Agency; “Natural Gas Market Review 2008,” International Energy Agency. 3 A high-stakes race against time
  6. 6. …and the unpredictability Often, governmental control of the supply of Yet, the demand for LNG – perhaps more than natural gas is used as political leverage on the other energy sources – is characterized by world stage. Complicating the situation further, unpredictability. There are inherent uncertain­ many of the particularly gas-rich areas of the ties in any industry based on constrained world are fraught with political instability. The natural resources. New natural gas sources facilities and infrastructure that produce and are increasingly difficult and expensive to find transport LNG are prime targets for terrorism. and develop, more and more remote, and In some cases labor strife, trade embargoes – production volumes are harder to anticipate and even piracy – threaten LNG shipments. and realize. The most volatile factor influencing demand Geopolitical issues also aggravate the for LNG is alternative fuel prices. LNG is inher­ economics of LNG supply and demand. ently caught up in a tug-of-war between the Most nations strive for energy self-sufficiency, price of natural gas and that of oil, with coal but for many, this desire for independence emerging to dominate in the not-too-distant is outpaced by GDP growth and its corre­ future. Lower natural gas prices tend to raise sponding energy demands (see Figure 2). overall demand for gas. The price must also FIGURE 2. Most economies are becoming increasingly energy dependent. 125% 100% Australia 75% Vietnam Total energy independence 50% Venezuela 25% Independence Argentina 0% New Zealand Dependence UK China -25% Brazil Netherlands -50% France U.S. India Czech Republic Germany -75% Finland Italy Japan Israel Turkey 2010 GDP -100% 2005 GDP -125% 0% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 2010 GDP growth Notes: The size of the two bubbles for each nation represent the size of the country’s gross domestic product in 2005 as compared to 2010. The position of the bubbles represent their energy independence in those same two years. The energy independence percentage is calculated as the amount of domestic production in excess of consumption divided by overall consumption. A positive value indicates a measure of independence, while a negative value represents the degree of dependence on energy imports. Sources: IBM Corporate Economics analysis; “Annual Energy Outlook 2006,” U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. 4 IBM Global Business Services
  7. 7. LNG must contend remain high enough to support the higher remained tight overall), LNG shipments to the costs of LNG delivery, but not increase too United States plummeted, as domestic gas with the uncertainty much or consumers will switch to alternative proved a cheaper alternative. of constrained fuels. The threat of substitution is substantial: natural resources, nearly 20 percent of today’s current natural For LNG, this competition among fuels creates geopolitical issues gas usage in the United States can be easily a window of opportunity. But the extent and duration of this opportunity are difficult to and, most of all, fuel switched to other fuels (primarily through dual- fired power plants that can use either coal or project precisely. The International Energy prices, making the Agency predicts that high natural gas prices gas).14 precise window of would ultimately lead to a shift in demand opportunity difficult As the most “mobile” form of natural gas towards coal. The U.S. Department of Energy 15 to predict. supply, LNG imports are particularly vulnerable forecasts that high LNG prices will spur to regional and even local price shifts. When domestic supply, leading to a decline in U.S. higher natural gas prices decrease overall imports over the long run (see Figure 3).16 As a demand, LNG imports tend to be the first cut. result, LNG industry participants face difficult When unexpected spikes in demand occur, choices about how much to invest, where, and buyers often close the gap with LNG. When how fast. Asian demand spiked in 2008 (while supply FIGURE 3. High LNG prices are expected to increase domestic production of natural gas in the United States, leading to a fall in imports over the long run. 4 History Projections Net U.S. natural gas imports by 3 source (trillion cubic feet) 2 Overseas LNG 1 Canada 0 Mexico -1 -2 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 Source: “Annual Energy Outlook 2009,” U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. 5 A high-stakes race against time
  8. 8. Complexity and risk As the supply network expands and importers As the LNG supply chain becomes larger and demand more purchasing flexibility, the indus­ more flexible – with more globally distributed try’s historical long-term contracts are steadily liquefaction and regas facilities – the nature of giving way to commodity marketplaces. In the the LNG business is changing, with commen­ 1990s, less than 2 percent of all natural gas surate increases in complexity and risk. transactions were spot trades; by 2007 that , 17 figure had grown to 11 percent. We expect The supply chain – or more precisely, the LNG this trend to accelerate as existing long-term value chain network – has become inordi­ contracts expire. The industry impact could nately more complex to manage. Historical be substantial, given that contracts for a large point-to-point delivery has evolved into an amount of gas sold each year to Asian coun­ intricate network of origination points, trans­ tries will be up for renewal over the coming portation partners and shipping destinations. decade.A commodity-like market structure Each player must manage a complex value is quickly falling into place, with LNG pricing chain of new assets, joint ventures, invest­ mechanisms already established in both the ments, purchase/supply agreements and Atlantic and Pacific Basins. logistics – constantly monitoring both physical and transactional flows in order to react in real­ In addition to the financial complexity intro­ time as situations change (see Figure 4). duced by the expanding commodity market, LNG ventures face another possible side FIGURE 4. This example illustrates the major physical and transactional movements that must be managed as part of an LNG value network. Japan China Physical movements Information and transac­ tional movements Global/regional decision support center Reservoir LNG terminal Malaysia Integrated downstream operations Customers and consumers Australia LNG tanker Source: IBM Institute for Business Value analysis. 6 IBM Global Business Services
  9. 9. It’s important for effect. The thinner margins that often accom­ venture its own business practices and tech­ pany commodity trades will likely expose nology standards, making holistic assessment LNG ventues to operational inefficiencies in the supply chain and management of the business extremely focus on actions that previously hidden by higher-margin, long-term challenging. facilitate long-term contracts. flexibility. Early readiness, enduring flexibility As always, production, storage and trans­ So how can industry players and nations port of a fuel such as natural gas requires protect the investments they are making to the utmost attention to safety, reliability and meet global energy demand? How can they regulatory compliance. The general public mitigate risk amid ever-increasing complexity? and the governments that represent them are understandably concerned about protecting It is important for new LNG ventures to focus the environment. Even with superior safety on actions that can accelerate successful records, LNG ventures face a daunting image scale-up, while positioning themselves for challenge, given the magnitude and visibility of long-term flexibility. We believe investment their projects. partners should consider four key actions early in the joint venture process: The scale and complexity of the LNG busi­ • Focus constrained joint venture resources on ness is matched only by the financial stakes differentiated areas of the new business. involved. By almost any measure, LNG ventures are massive, encompassing thou­ • Instill a culture of safety. sands of acres of shoreline, thousands of • Increase visibility for improved decision employees to build and operate, millions of making. design documents and often billions of invest­ • Establish a reusable business model and ment dollars. Constructing a regas terminal, associated infrastructure. for example, typically costs about US$900 million – and the price tag for a gas liquefac­ Focus constrained joint venture resources 18 tion plant begins in the billions. Consider also By nature, most joint ventures operate with that these investments usually have a five-year limited staff. Adding to the challenge, most of lag for engineering and construction before the specialized skills required by new LNG payback begins and are based on a 30-year ventures are in short supply. These ventures business case. are often competing with the petroleum and utilities industries for a shrinking pool of talent Because of the magnitude of the invest­ and expertise. ment (and the risk), most LNG projects are accomplished through joint ventures. These Thus, it is crucial for investors to focus their capital projects involve a complex collabora­ scarce resources on areas of the business tion among engineering firms, equipment that are most strategic, as well as those that suppliers, producers, pipelines, liquefaction carry the highest stakes because of safety plants, shippers, regas facilities, and storage risks or the degree of capital involved. Equally and distribution networks. However, the joint important, investors should consider turning venture structure, in turn, complicates visibility low-risk, low-investment functions over to of investments, assets, inventory and finan­ external specialists that can often perform cials. Each investment partner brings to the those activities more economically and at a higher level of quality. 7 A high-stakes race against time
  10. 10. Instill a culture of safety must make a commitment to safety to the In the LNG industry, safety must be a core public, employees and regulators. Early hiring value, designed into the business from the and professional training of operations staff is start. This can be institutionalized through critical to success. the implementation of formal, enterprise-wide safety practices and broadly communicated Increase visibility for improved decision expectations of safety performance. Where making The sponsors and owners of LNG ventures possible, the expected level of performance often lack access to operational, financial, should be explicitly stated and measured logistical and asset management information using standard, industry-accepted metrics. associated with the new business. Conflicting Clear communication channels – up and down business practices, incompatible processes the management chain – must be established and technologies, and different information to surface and correct potential safety issues standards can make it difficult to share infor­ as they arise. Leaders must continuously rein­ mation across corporate boundaries. force an environment where the disclosure of It is critically important to flatten these hurdles problems is encouraged and employees are early in the venture. All investment part­ motivated to do the right thing, even when it ners need a common view of information to might seem difficult. facilitate decision making and more timely Practically every decision a joint venture responses to business changes. As they work makes – from where facilities are located to to improve visibility, investors should implement whom they partner with – should involve a processes and infrastructure that can transi­ safety element. Achieving a positive return on tion smoothly from design and construction investment is inexorably linked to safe and reli­ phases to ongoing operations. able operations. For LNG ventures, safety is not a cost; it’s an investment. Establish a reusable business model and associated infrastructure A key example of instilling safety is through New joint ventures present partners with operator training. Many LNG ventures are a fresh start, an entrepreneurial environ­ essentially start-ups, with no operations history ment where they can adopt industry-leading and few experienced staff. Using design processes, practices and technologies. data from process equipment, automation Partners can bring the best from their respec­ and information technology, sophisticated tive companies, while escaping ineffective operator training simulators can be developed processes and current infrastructure limita­ to support comprehensive training for new tions. hires – long before they must help commission The goal should be to merge diverse partner new LNG facilities. Would an airline allow pilots interests into a flexible business model with to fly a jet on which they had not been simu­ components that can be reused in future lator trained and certified? The LNG industry 8 IBM Global Business Services
  11. 11. Standarization early in ventures. Standardization – of processes, operations. These key steps in handover of the business practices, technology platforms facility from the engineering, procurement and a venture helps mitigate and such – lays the groundwork for reuse. construction provider to the owner/operator risk and accelerate Standardization early in the venture is even can be streamlined and enhanced if technolo­ implementation. more beneficial, as it helps mitigate risk and gies are in place early enough to leverage. accelerate implementation timelines. Too often, new ventures postpone process, technology In low-risk, low-investment areas of the busi­ and measurement standardization decisions ness, investors should consider using a until forced by the construction schedule. centralized services approach or possibly Agreeing upfront on key processes, infrastruc­ outsourcing to speed implementation and ture and metrics helps prevent delays that reduce risk (see Figure 5). In strategic areas, might otherwise occur. investors will also want to invest in infrastruc­ ture for standardization and automation. Using today’s digital technologies for example, Financial information sharing, asset manage­ it is possible to electronically exploit facility ment and procurement are some of the key design data within its new operational systems areas to evaluate for standardization opportu­ even before factory acceptance testing, nities. helping smooth site acceptance testing, plant commissioning and both initial and long-term FIGURE 5. Early investment in standardized aspects of the business model reduces variability and focuses efforts on accelerating implementation without compromising safety. Focus investments on strategic and/or high- Consolidate Achieve superiority risk areas • Increase efficiency • Focus the business on High investment and consistency becoming best-in-class • Customization and • Invest to gain unique integration with other competitive advantage business activities may limit outsourcing Manage as utility Leverage specialists • Operate on specific service- • Use best-in-class partners level agreements and usage in areas where internal Low investment capability is not unique • Use partners with low cost of entry and high reliability • Seek tightly integrated, Use standard business exclusive relationships practice templates/ partners to simplify and facilitate Low risk High risk implementation. Source: IBM Institute for Business Value. 9 A high-stakes race against time
  12. 12. Ready for the race? • In which areas of our business could stan­ In those very early stages, when a LNG joint dardization and established governance venture is initially forming, investors make processes help reduce costs and risk? critical decisions that impact their long-term Where could we use partners to accelerate odds of success. Delaying those important start-up, improve performance or share decisions simply piles risk onto an already risk? risky endeavor. • How modular and reusable are our processes and business practices? What As a participant in a new LNG venture, here specifically do we plan to redeploy in our are some questions to help you assess your next LNG venture? level of preparedness: • Overall, how confident are we that our • How quickly can we adapt to changing current LNG project will achieve its conditions? Are we locked into an inflex­ expected return on investment? ible business infrastructure that cannot be scaled easily or hard-wired processes that Given the inherent volatility of this business, it constrain innovation? is uncertain how long the present upswing in LNG demand will last. We believe focusing on • What specific steps are we taking to manage the safety risks involved in our the four key action areas we’ve outlined can project? Do our employees understand the help investors move quickly enough to capture safety-related aspects of their roles and the the current LNG opportunity, while remaining decisions they are making? flexible enough to thrive amid a chaotic and cyclic industry. • Do all of our investment partners have access to the information they need? Do we have the necessary information to make fast and accurate decisions as situations change? 10 IBM Global Business Services
  13. 13. DPLNG: Preparing for scale-up from start-up In 2006, the Guangdong Dapeng (DPLNG) regas terminal received its inaugural shipment: 66,000 tons of LNG arriving from Australia. The terminal is part of a US$3.6 billion investment that also includes the LNG transpor­ tation infrastructure and pipeline system that connects several fast-growing cities and five new power plants in Southeast China. DPLNG has 11 shareholders, including the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, which owns 33 percent of the venture, and BP, the lone foreign shareholder, which controls a 30-percent stake. DPLNG is China’s first LNG regas terminal. It is a government-endorsed pilot that will serve as a template for other future facilities. Being first has presented the business with some unique challenges: it had no precedents for forming a Chinese LNG joint venture or designing appropriate management practices and business processes. It has been a pioneering effort in almost every way. In addition to facing first-of-its-kind pressures, the venture must also be capable of scaling operations in step with the region’s ever-increasing energy needs. Its strategy for achieving this objective has centered on standardization, optmization and reuse. It selected business processes and technology standards strategi­ cally – not only to support the complexity of its current business, but also to facilitate replication in future regas terminal projects. During construction, business practices were created based on business templates so that when the physical infrastructure was ready, the business infrastructure was available too. This approach allowed the business to move more seamlessly from construction to operations. The choice of standardized business processes and supporting technologies made it easier to integrate and coordinate with the facilities’ myriad upstream and downstream partners. But perhaps more importantly, designing the business with reuse in mind from the start has led to standard, industry-leading practices that can be repeated in subsequent ventures. 11 A high-stakes race against time
  14. 14. About the authors Omar Ishaq is the IBM Institute for Business Steve Edwards is the IBM Global Industry Value leader for the Chemicals & Petroleum Leader for the Chemicals and Petroleum Industry. He has extensive experience in industries. He has been consulting for over Strategy & Change consulting from the Nordic, 25 years with his recent focus involving and has worked with a number of large cross-border business transformation and global Chemicals & Petroleum clients. Omar associated technologies for super major has a dual Master of Science in Strategy/ and national oil companies. Recently, he has Organizational Psychology and Business/ devoted significant time in key oil and gas Economics, and he is considered a subject territories including Russia, China and India, matter expert on future energy. He can be as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, Latin contacted at America, North America, Australia and the Contributor Middle East. Mr. Edwards is a Fellow of the Krishna Kaushik, strategy consultant, IBM Institute of Management Consultants and an Global Business Services affiliated member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. He is a The right partner for a changing frequent speaker at conferences including the world Oil and Money Conference in London, China At IBM Global Business Services, we Business Forum Beijing, and Oil and Gas collaborate with our clients, bringing together World Economic Forum Moscow. business insight, advanced research and tech­ David Haake is a Chemicals and Petroleum nology to give them a distinct advantage in Industry Solutions Executive in IBM Global today’s rapidly changing environment. Through Business Services focusing on asset our integrated approach to business design management solutions and value network and execution, we help turn strategies into management for the LNG industry. Mr. Haake’s action. And with expertise in 17 industries and career background includes more than a global capabilities that span 170 countries, we decade in process automation with ABB can help clients anticipate change and profit and The Foxboro Company (now Invensys) from new opportunities. focused on capital projects worldwide. He has spent the past ten years working with business transformation and technology projects in the global Oil and Gas Industry. Mr. Haake recently participated in a panel discussion at the LNG San Antonio 2007 conference. 12 IBM Global Business Services
  15. 15. References 11 “World Energy Outlook 2008.” International 1 “World Energy Outlook 2008.” International Energy Agency. Energy Agency. 12 “Natural Gas Market Review 2008.” 2 Ibid. International Energy Agency. 13 3 “Annual Energy Outlook 2009.” U.S. Ibid. Department of Energy, Energy Information 14 “World Energy Outlook 2008.” International Administration. Energy Agency. 4 “World Energy Outlook 2008.” International 15 Ibid. Energy Agency. 16 “Annual Energy Outlook 2009.” U.S. 5 Ibid. Department of Energy, Energy Information 6 Ibid. Administration. 17 7 Ibid “Natural Gas Market Review 2008.” 8 International Energy Agency. Ibid. 18 9 Ibid. Ibid. 10 “Annual Energy Outlook 2009.” U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration. 13 A high-stakes race against time
  16. 16. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2009 IBM Global Services Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America July 2009 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo and are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. GBE03239-USEN-01