The Rise of National Oil Companies and the Demise of Big Oil
So often I see and hear that “Big Oil" is responsible for the high oil prices, or that Big Oil has a monopoly on the principle type of energy we use and on the sources of this energy.
My experience as an international explorer for oil, suggests that it is not the oil companies, such as Shell, BP, Exxon et al, but the National Oil Companies, and Nations which are the resource holders who are in control of this resource now. Furthermore, the multinational oil companies are losing control of their destiny as they loose access to the areas they need to explore for oil and gas.
In many cases the loss of access is political such as in the United States and Venezuela where national policy has excluded the multinationals from exploring. Or it is economic such as in Nigeria where Chinese and Indian oil companies are acquiring exploration licenses. In Nigeria, the national oil companies of Asia are acquiring access rights not based on the net present value or other fundamental economic measures of merit but to ensure their national economies have access to these important natural resources. By contrast the multinationals have failed to compete for these opportunities not based on the geologic potential to find giant oil fields but because the contracts established by the resource holders are uneconomic for “Big Oil” even at $ 100 per barrel prices.
Any reasonable person then should see:
1. The idea of “Big Oil” as an omnipotent Industry is fallacious
2. The masters of the economies of Asia do not see any near term potential to replace oil. These builders of the new economies clearly do not believe in wind, solar or other non-competitive green energy schemes