It is also important to understand how the energy
world has changed. Forty years ago, world oil
reserves were largely the domain of the investor-
owned, international oil companies (IOC), based
principally in the United States. Most people today
assume that international oil companies are little
changed from decades ago, still sitting astride the
bulk of these world oil reserves. That is no longer
the case. Today, world oil reserves are 80 percent
owned by the national oil companies of foreign
governments, many formed during the past 30
years. Only 6 percent of world-wide oil reserves
are now held by investor-owned oil companies.
Faced with such competition, the investor-owned
oil companies have scaled up within this new
world—principally through mergers and
acquisitions—by creating ever larger efficiencies,
greater technological and project management
prowess, and substantially broader competitive
access to capital markets.


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