More Evidence that Big Oil Shrinking in Influence…

In my 10 November post ($100 Oil: Creating a New World Order), I focused on the shift in power away from traditional Big Oil towards state run oil companies in some emerging nations.  Steve LeVine, in his always informative Oil and Glory blog, offered further evidence today of the shrinking influence of Big Oil:

“…After years of playing tough guy on the Caspian Sea, the two companies [Chevron and Exxon] have knuckled under and paid their share of a whopping $309 million environmental fine to the country, according to an announcement yesterday.

Just a few years ago, the companies went to the mat when Kazakhstan levied a $71 million fine for alleged violations at the supergiant Tengiz oilfield, in which they hold a combined 75% interest. They hollered, griped to journalists, deployed their lawyers, and the fine was reduced to $7 million.

But that was four years ago. Now, Big Oil has been knocked on its heels around the world, as national oil companies from Russia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and China have become the new, big and swaggering force in global energy.

So when Kazakhstan offered a cut of almost half in a newly levied $609 million fine for fresh alleged violations at Tengiz, Chevron and Exxon agreed.

This comes on top of conspicuous concessions the companies have made in recent months in Russia. There, Shell and France’s Total have surrendered majority positions in oilfields, and Total and Norway’s Statoil have agreed to be effective contractors at the giant Shtokman natural gas field….”

This entry was posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007 at 5:00 pm and is filed under China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia.  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.