Traditional integrated, multi-national oil companies are increasingly worried about the way in which nationalised (or part-nationalised) rivals are encroaching onto their natural territory.
One example is the way in which national oil companies (NOCs) are beginning to take an interest in upstream activities, and acquiring the kinds of technical expertise they used to rely on internationals (IOCs) to provide. Now we also know that the NOCs are outstripping the IOCs in capital spending, thanks to a new piece of research from Evaluate Energy.
According to the report, which surveyed over 50 NOCs and the top seven major IOCs, capital spending by NOCs has grown by 131 per cent from 2005 to 2009, while that by the IOCs has increased only 59 per cent in that time.
Total’s top table was the place to be sitting at last night’s Oil and Money dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London.
Delegates kept wandering past to congratulate Andrew Gould (right), the chairman and chief executive of Schlumberger, for being awarded the Petroleum Executive of the Year Award – the first service company to receive this award.
That was certainly not a point lost on Christophe de Margerie. The chairman and CEO of Total – and winner of the prize last year – was there to hand over the award to Mr Gould.
Firmly tongue in cheek, the personable Frenchman told the audience that he had had “a nightmare” the night before – namely that Total, “a major oil and gas company” had to give a prize to “a contractor”. How “embarrassing”.