Dinosaurs at the Tar Pit (4) / Needed: A Refined Approach to Refining

Another day and more articles on the demise of Big Oil and the rise of The Seven Sisters. As Rig Zone points out:

“…Three years ago, the top six names on the PFC Energy 50 ranking of the world’s largest oil & gas industry companies were ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Chevron and Eni. This year’s top six include Petrochina, Gazprom, Sinopec and Petrobras, National Oil Companies (NOCs), whose shares are traded on public markets, but which are majority-owned by the governments of China, Russia and Brazil. The preeminent positions of these NOCs on the PFC Energy 50 list reflect a profound change in the global energy industry. With some 65% of oil and gas reserves off-limits to International Oil Companies (IOCs), the majors are finding it increasingly difficult to deliver growth in reserves and production, while the NOCs offer more convincing growth prospects…”

As Oil & Glory separately notes, this is a trend we’re going to hear more of given the associated rise of sovereign wealth funds that many of the world’s petro-states, such as Russia, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and most recently Saudi Arabia, have formed to hold their hundred of billions of dollars in oil profits and turn them into diversified assets. According to Morgan Stanley, these funds, now totaling some $2.5 trillion in assets, stand to skyrocket in size over the next dozen or so years until they are at $28 trillion in 2022, or twice the size of the current U.S. economy.

But, the emergence of these new players may not all be due to luck in having large reserves in their territory nor due to a trend toward nationalizing resources. Perhaps it is also due to ambition and desire?  As Oil & Glory asks:

“…Why is it that Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Petroleum can put up a completely new, world-class refinery capable of processing the worst crudes on the planet in just 18 months, and ConocoPhillips, Total and Aramco cannot?

Ambani is set to complete a near doubling of his 660,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Jamnagar, in southern India, by the end of December. That’s a turbo-charged pace.

It’s also more proof of why Big Oil is on the decline. It has trouble competing with the aspirations of people like Ambani”

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2008 at 3:16 pm and is filed under China National Petroleum Corporation, Gazprom, Petrochina, Petroleo Brasileiro, Sinopec.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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Wildcats & Black Sheep is a personal interest blog dedicated to the identification and evaluation of maverick investment opportunities arising in frontier - and, what some may consider to be, “rogue” or “black sheep” - markets around the world.

Focusing primarily on The New Seven Sisters - the largely state owned petroleum companies from the emerging world that have become key players in the oil & gas industry as identified by Carola Hoyos, Chief Energy Correspondent for The Financial Times - but spanning other nascent opportunities around the globe that may hold potential in the years ahead, Wildcats & Black Sheep is a place for the adventurous to contemplate & evaluate the emerging markets of tomorrow.