Talking about the changing face of the oil industry, this is a really interesting article by Carola Hoyos in today’s Financial Times about the new “Seven Sisters”, the most powerful global oil companies.
Writes Hoyos: “As oil prices have trebled over the past four years, a new group of oil and gas companies has risen to prominence. They have consolidated their power as aggressive resource holders and seekers and pushed the world’s biggest listed energy groups, which emerged out of the original seven sisters – ExxonMobil and Chevron of the US and Europe’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell – on to the sidelines and into an existential crisis”.
The “new seven sisters” are Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom, CNPC of China, NIOC of Iran, Venezuela’s PDVSA, Brazil’s Petrobras and Petronas of Malaysia. “Overwhelmingly state-owned, they control almost one-third of the world’s oil and gas production and more than one-third of its total oil and gas reserves”. In contrast, the old seven sisters – which shrank to four in the industry consolidation of the 1990s – produce only about 10 per cent of the world’s oil and gas and hold just 3 per cent of reserves.
I’m not a “fortress America” type but “The New Seven Sisters” certainly gives reason for the U.S.A. to get it’s act together and start spending it resources on developing its internal energy resources. (I don’t mean drilling in Alaska either.) $407 billion in Iraq, to provide US oil corps. with enforceable access to oil resources there, could have gone a long ways towards developing our own energy resources, better spent too.
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