March 2011

National Oil Companies
and Value Creation
Volume I
Silvana Tordo
with Brandon S. Tracy
and Noora Arfaa
PRE-PUBLICATION VERSION




PRE-PUBLICATION VERSION
W O R L D B A N K W O R K I N G P A P E R


National Oil Companies
and Value Creation

Silvana Tordo
with
Brandon S. Tracy and Noora Arfaa






Volume I








PRE-PUBLICATION VERSION


Copyright © 2011
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iv
Contents

Acknowledgments ............................................................................................................................................. vii
Executive summary ............................................................................................................................................. ix
1. The petroleum sector value chain ...................................................................................................... 13
1.1 Overview of the value chain ..................................................................................................... 13
1.2 Policy decisions affecting value creation ................................................................................ 16
1.1.1 Industry participation ................................................................................................ 16
1.1.2 Licensing and petroleum contracts .......................................................................... 17
1.1.3 Taxation ........................................................................................................................ 17
1.1.4 Depletion policy .......................................................................................................... 18
1.3 Value creation through integration ......................................................................................... 19
1.4 Local content policies and value creation ............................................................................... 20
1.5 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 23
2. The establishment of a NOC: advantages and issues ..................................................................... 27
2.1 A brief history of NOCs ............................................................................................................ 27
2.1.1 Industry participation ................................................................................................ 27
2.1.2 The emergence of NOCs ............................................................................................ 28
2.1.3 OPEC revolution and post-colonial world .............................................................. 30
2.1.4 The reaction of consumer states ................................................................................ 31
2.1.5 A new agenda: liberalization and privatization ..................................................... 32
2.1.6 The end of history? ..................................................................................................... 33
2.1.7 Developments since 2000 ........................................................................................... 34
2.2 Arguments in favor of NOCs ................................................................................................... 34
2.2.1 Historical context ........................................................................................................ 35
2.2.2 The importance of the petroleum sector .................................................................. 35
2.2.3 Political gains from state control............................................................................... 35
2.2.4 Efficiency and monitoring of operations ................................................................. 36
2.2.5 Petroleum rent maximization .................................................................................... 36
2.2.6 Socioeconomic issues and priorities ......................................................................... 37
2.3 Practical difficulties and setbacks with NOCs ....................................................................... 37
2.3.1 Historical context and ideology ................................................................................ 38
2.3.2 Economic cost of political control ............................................................................. 38

v
2.3.3 Operational inefficiencies .......................................................................................... 39
2.3.4 Lack of competition .................................................................................................... 40
2.3.5 Subsidies and noncommercial objectives ................................................................ 40
2.3.6 Weak corporate governance ...................................................................................... 41
2.3.7 Funding strategy and requirements ......................................................................... 41
2.3.8 Conflict of interests and balance of control ............................................................. 42
2.4 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 43
3. The performance and value creation of NOCs: a conceptual model ............................................ 50
3.1 A conceptual model of value creation ..................................................................................... 50
3.2 Measuring the performance of NOCs: the value creation index ......................................... 52
3.2.1 Proxy measures used in VCI ..................................................................................... 53
3.2.2 Determination of VCI ................................................................................................. 56
3.3 The value drivers ....................................................................................................................... 56
3.3.1 Selection of proxy variables ....................................................................................... 57
3.4 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 60
4. Case studies and lessons learned ....................................................................................................... 62
4.1 Exploratory analysis of value drivers ..................................................................................... 62
4.1.1 Selection of proxy variables ....................................................................................... 63
4.1.2 Indications from the statistical analysis ................................................................... 64
4.2 Case studies ................................................................................................................................ 65
4.3 The corporate governance of NOCs ........................................................................................ 79
4.3.1 Context variables and NOC corporate governance ............................................... 80
4.3.1.1 External governance ................................................................................................... 81
4.3.1.2 Internal governance .................................................................................................... 85
4.3.2 Selected NOCs corporate governance scorecard .................................................... 93
4.4 Lessons learned .......................................................................................................................... 96
5. Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................... 110
Appendix 1– Key stages of the value chain ................................................................................................... 115
Appendix 2– Examples of local content policies .......................................................................................... 122
Appendix 3– Overview of key research on NOCs ....................................................................................... 127
Appendix 4 – Exploratory statistical model: data limitations and issues ................................................. 134
Appendix 5 – Relevance of government support to the credit rating of NOCs ....................................... 136



vi
Tables
Table 2.1 – Founding dates of selected NOCs ________________________________________________ 29
Table 3.1 – Value drivers and their proxy measures __________________________________________ 57
Table 4.1 – NOC sample for statistical analysis ______________________________________________ 62
Table 4.2 – VCI for the sample NOCs_______________________________________________________ 63
Table 4.3 – Results of model estimation _____________________________________________________ 64
Table 4.4 – Case studies: overview _________________________________________________________ 66
Table 4.5 – Composition of corporate governance sample _____________________________________ 80
Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs ______________________________ 82
Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs ___________________________________ 87
Table 4.8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs __________________________________ 92
Table 4.9 – Governance standards: sample NOCs vs. large oil and gas companies. ________________ 94
Table 4.10 – Governance scorecard for selected NOCs ________________________________________ 94

Boxes
Box 4.1 – The grant of special privileges to a NOC: opportunities and pitfalls ____________________ 98
Box 4.2 – Local content policies and NOC value creation _____________________________________ 100
Box 4.3 – Consistency and speed of government reforms and NOC value creation _______________ 101
Box 4.4 – Geology and NOC value creation ________________________________________________ 103
Box 4.5 – Openness and NOC value creation _______________________________________________ 104
Box 4.6 – Corporate governance and NOC value creation ____________________________________ 106

Figures
Figure 1.1 – Petroleum value chain .................................................................................................................. 14
Figure 1.2 – Options for the level of competition and participation in the petroleum sector ................... 16
Figure 3.1 – Petroleum sector value creation .................................................................................................. 51
Figure 3.2 – Components of the VCI ................................................................................................................ 53
Figure 4.1 – Value creation flow chart.............................................................................................................. 97



vii
Acknowledgments


National Oil Companies and Value Creation, Volume I, is part of a
study aimed to explore the determinants of value creation by national
oil companies (NOCs). The study comprises three volumes: volume I
presents the findings of the study, volume II contains detailed case
studies on the NOCs analyzed in the study, and volume III contains the
full dataset and calculation of the value creation indices and value
drivers for each NOC in the study sample. The study was undertaken
and written by Silvana Tordo (lead energy economist – Oil, Gas, and
Mining Policy Division, World Bank), with contributions from Brandon
S. Tracy (econometrician, consultant), and Noora Arfaa (consultant),
both with the Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division of the World Bank.
The study draws on earlier drafts of chapters 1, 2, and 3 prepared by
Christian O. Wolf (Economist, Cambridge University, United
Kingdom). The data and material utilized in the calculation of the value
creation index and value drivers were collected by Michelle M. Foss,
Gurcan Gulen, Miranda Wainberg, Ruzanna Makaryan, and Dmitry
Volkov (Center for Energy Economics, Bureau of Economic Geology,
University of Texas at Austin – CEE), who also contributed to the
definition of the statistical model of value creation and prepared the
initial version of the case studies. The comments of peer reviewers Alan
H. Gelb (Center for Global Development ), Robert W. Bacon and
Charles McPherson, both consultants (Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy
Division, World Bank), Sunita Kikeri (Corporate Governance
Department, World Bank), and Andre Plourde (professor, department
of economics, University of Alberta) are gratefully acknowledged.
Comments were also provided by PRMSP. Steven B. Kennedy and
Fayre Makeig edited the paper.



viii

Abbreviations and acronyms

$ United States dollars
BOD Board of Directors
E&P exploration and production
EBITRN earnings before interest, taxes, royalties, and noncommercial
expenditure
GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
IFRS International Financial Reporting Standards
JV joint venture
NOC national oil company
POC private oil company
PSC Production sharing contract
R&M refining and marketing
RRR reserve replacement rate
SOE state-owned enterprise
VAT value-added taxes
VCI value creation index
WGI Worldwide Governance Indicators
WTO World Trade Organization



ix

Executive summary

Approximately two billion dollars a day of petroleum are traded worldwide, which
makes petroleum the largest single item in the balance of payments and exchanges
between nations. Petroleum represents the larger share in total energy use for most
net exporters and net importers. While petroleum taxes are a major source of income
for more than 90 countries in the world, poor countries net importers are more
vulnerable to price increases than most industrialized economies. Unlike most
commodities, petroleum is a major factor in international politics and socio-economic
development. These characteristics of the petroleum sector largely explain why many
producing and importing countries have, at least at some point during the course of
history, opted for direct state intervention rather than more liberal governance
regimes.
Today national oil companies (NOCs) control approximately 90 percent of the
world’s oil reserves and 75 percent of production (similar numbers apply to gas), as
well as many of the major oil and gas infrastructure systems. This can be directly as
producers or as the ‚gatekeepers‛ for exploitation by private oil companies (POCs).
Petroleum Intelligence Weekly ranks 18 NOCs among the top 25 oil and gas reserves
holders and producers. In addition, an estimated 60 percent of the world’s
undiscovered reserves lie in countries where NOCs have privileged access to
reserves. As such, NOCs are of great consequence to their country’s economy, to
importing countries’ energy security, and to the stability of oil and gas markets.
Governments’ petroleum sector policies often pursue a variety of development
and socioeconomic objectives, including the maximization of the net present value of
the economic rent derived from the exploitation of petroleum, inter-temporal equity,
the promotion of backward and forward linkages, the promotion of bilateral trade,
energy self sufficiency, and security of supplies. NOCs are often used to achieve a
wide array of these objectives, as primary tool or in combination with other policy
tools. The choice of policy tools – NOC, regulation, or a combination of both –
depends on the type of objectives that policy makers wish to achieve and their
relative priorities. These in turn depend on the country specific context. Exogenous
factors, including oil and gas prices, economic cycles, and the existence of
international sanctions, also affect government policies. This helps to explain the
diversity of policies pursued by governments over time.
Whatever the objectives and their mix, governments’ primary concern should be
to maximize economic efficiency and the generation of social welfare. Although there
are established criteria to guide policy formulation in cases that involve a certain
level of value judgment, in practice deciding whether or not establishing the NOC
maximizes social welfare is a matter of political choice. Indeed economic
considerations, such as the desire to address market deficiencies or inefficiency or to
maximize rent capture, may not be the primary reason for establishing the NOC.
Hence, any attempt to compare the relative contribution to social value creation of
direct state intervention and regulation would inevitably imply a considerable level
of subjectivity. This is not attempted in this paper. Rather we analyze the available
evidence on the objectives, governance and performance of 20 NOCs from both net


x

importing and net exporting countries, and draw conclusions about the design of
policies and measures that are more likely to lead to social value creation by NOCs.
In this paper, social value creation refers to the creation of benefits or reductions of
costs for society in ways that go beyond the maximization of the financial return on
investment derived from the exploitation of the resource.
The first step towards measuring NOCs performance is to establish their
objective function. But NOCs differ on a number of very important variables,
including the level of competition in the market in which they operate, their business
profile along the sector value chain, and their degree of commercial orientation and
internationalization. One thus needs to be mindful of possible over-generalizations.
On the other hand, most NOCs share at least some core characteristics: they are
usually tied to the ‚national purpose‛ and serve political and economic goals other
than maximizing the firm’s profits. Perhaps this is the most relevant single factor that
explains their existence and resilience in very different political, social and economic
environments. These core characteristics need to be taken into account in defining
what constitutes NOC value creation and analyzing NOCs behavior and strategy.
A quantitative measure, the ‚value creation index‛, is proposed to capture the
NOC’s capacity to fulfill its mission and objectives (that is, its contribution to value
creation). The index, which includes operational, financial and national mission
performance indicators, is not designed to measure all aspects of value creation; it
focuses on key aspects of short-term value creation by NOCs, and is used to reveal
the relative position (and direction of changes over time) of the NOCs in the study
sample with respect to the observed value creation measures. This in turn provides
an indication of relative policy success.
Although informative, the value creation index does not reveal which factors
‚drive‛ value creation. We refer to them as ‚value drivers‛. If we were able to
identify these factors, we could determine which policies and tools should be used to
affect NOC value creation. To this end, a conceptual model of value creation is
proposed that identifies five classes of value drivers: geology and geography, state
context, petroleum sector governance and organization, NOC strategy, and NOC
corporate governance. An exploratory regression analysis is applied to understand
the relationship between value drivers and NOC value creation. The analysis
confirms the importance of geology, petroleum sector governance and NOC
corporate governance to value creation. However, caution should be applied in
interpreting these results. One of the main difficulties that we faced in this attempt to
statistically measure the relative importance of value drivers was the uneven
quantity and quality of data across the NOC sample. Although some general
observations can be drawn from this analysis, overall the result cannot be viewed as
offering substantial understanding on how the various drivers affect value creation.
More research is warranted.
On the other hand the low explanatory power of the statistical model may
indicate the uniqueness of each NOC, underlying the importance to value creation of
country specific and NOC specific factors. To test this hypothesis, the experience of
12 NOCs is analyzed in detail to establish whether discernible patterns with respect
to value creation can be observed for NOCs with similar strategy and corporate
governance arrangements, and whether certain country specific context variables
lead to particular NOC corporate governance arrangements and strategies. In


xi

particular, our analysis aims to answer the following questions: Are certain corporate
governance arrangements more suited than others to promote value creation? Is good
geology a pre-condition for NOC value creation? Are there benefits from exposing
the NOC to competition from POCs? Does the development of forward and
backward linkages hamper NOC value creation? Overall, country specific objectives,
constraints, and concerns have a substantial effect on NOC value creation. Therefore,
it is difficult to identify general principles that apply to all countries in all
circumstances. Our findings are summarized below.
Internal governance mechanisms are more critical to NOC value creation than
the ownership structure. Particularly in the petroleum sector where prices,
technology, competition, and management techniques are continuously changing,
nimble decision-making processes and budgetary and financial autonomy are crucial
to value creation, regardless of the NOC’s ownership structure. These features are
associated with the level of technical and managerial competence of the NOC.
Government interference in the NOC’s decision-making processes seems to be more
closely related to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the petroleum
sector to the specific country, rather than to the percentage of independent BOD
members. This may have something to do with the difficulty in assessing the true
level of independence of BOD in companies that exhibit a high concentration of
ownership, even when nomination committees are established. Cultural differences
across countries help to explain why similar corporate governance arrangements may
function in a very dissimilar way.
NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments may find it
more difficult to create value than their counterparts in countries with smaller
resource endowments. The size of the resource endowment matters to value
creation, but the manner in which it is exploited matters more. Large resource
endowments lead to higher value creation if the resource is extracted efficiently and
revenues from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and replace
reserves. Given the complex network of often conflicting interests between efficiency
of exploitation and state needs, following this approach is often harder for NOCs that
belong to countries with large resource endowments, than it is for their peers in less
endowed countries. Ultimately, the political, institutional, and societal qualities of a
country – more than the actions of its NOC – are critical to determining to what
extent the gift of nature will translate into value creation.
Temporary restrictions on access to petroleum activities can be effective policy
tools to enhance value creation by the NOC. Among the countries surveyed in this
paper, many impose, or have imposed, some form of restriction on the participation
of POCs in petroleum exploration and production activities by granting special rights
to the NOC. These privileges have generally taken the form of mandated association
between the NOC and POCs, with minimum levels of state participation. This
formula is often used by countries and NOCs that are new to the petroleum sector
with several objectives: (i) fast-tracking the learning curve through the association
with experienced industry participants; (ii) reducing information asymmetries
between industry participants and the state; (iii) increasing rent capture; (iv) reducing
exploration risk; and (v) accelerating the exploration and production of the country’s
resources while maintaining control over sector activities. Full exclusion of industry
participation in petroleum exploration and production activities is rare. Well-


xii

designed restrictions on access that take into consideration the characteristic of the
resource, domestic capacity, the fiscal regime, and market structure can be very
effective tools to address information and capacity asymmetries. Sheltering the NOC
from competition allows it to focus on developing the necessary competence and
economies of scale. However, this policy has decreasing effects on value creation over
time and may discourage the NOC from developing efficient and competitive
processes.
The pursuit of national mission objectives does not necessarily hamper the
creation of value by the NOC. National mission objectives hamper value creation
when their pursuit is in conflict with other key value-added functions of the NOC,
such as the efficient and sustainable exploration and exploitation of petroleum
resources. Defining proper national mission objectives for the NOC is thus critical to
value creation. This is particularly important in countries where the NOC is the only
company authorized to carry out petroleum activities, with limited possibilities for
sharing exploration and development risk with other parties, since this approach
requires, inter alia, a superior level of operational efficiency and the ability to
prioritize core-business investments. For example, creating a skilled workforce,
developing technology, and supporting the local supply industry allow the NOC to
lower the cost of operations while fulfilling its national mission objectives. If the
NOC’s national mission objectives include the development of industries that make
direct use of the oil and gas sector’s output (forward linkages), the pursuit of these
objectives may hamper value creation since it requires large scale operations and
technology that may not be available in the country. When conditions are in place,
forward linkages can enhance value creation by capturing the advantages of vertical
integration.
Organization of the paper
This paper has five chapters. Chapter 1 describes the key features of upstream,
midstream, and downstream petroleum operations and how these may impact value
creation and policy options. Chapter 2 draws on ample literature and discusses how
changes in the geopolitical and global economic environment and in the host
governments' political and economic priorities have affected the rationale for and
behavior of NOCs. Rather than providing an in-depth analysis of the philosophical
reasons for creating a NOC, this chapter seeks to highlight the special nature of
NOCs and how it may affect their existence, objectives, regulation, and behavior.
Chapter 3 proposes a value creation index to measure the contribution of NOCs to
social value creation. A conceptual model is also proposed to identify the factors that
affect value creation. Chapter 4 presents the result of an exploratory statistical
analysis aimed to determine the relative importance of the drivers of value creation.
In addition, the experience of a selected sample of NOCs is analyzed in detail, and
lessons of general applicability are derived. Finally, Chapter 5 summarizes the
conclusions.



13

1. The petroleum sector value chain

“The weakest link in a chain is the strongest because it can break it.”
(Stanislaw Lec)





The oil and gas industry encompasses a range of different activities and processes that jointly
contribute to the transformation of underlying petroleum resources into useable end-products. These
different activities are inherently linked with each other (conceptually, contractually, and physically),
within or across firms, and national boundaries. Understanding how value is created along the sector
value chain is critical for the design of effective policies.
Since the focus of the paper is the creation of social value at the country-level rather than private
shareholders value, the industry value chain (national petroleum value system) is examined, and the
contribution of individual firms to social value creation is considered.
A company’s ability to create value is affected by the organization and governance of the sector in
which it operates, which is turn is the result of policy decisions by the government. Some policies,
such as industry participation, licensing and petroleum contracts, taxation, depletion of reserves, and
policies designed to increase the economic and developmental impact of the petroleum sector, affect
value creation more directly than other, and will be discussed in this chapter. Local content policies
are particularly emphasized given their relevance in many petroleum producing countries, and the
role that NOCs often play in their implementation.
1.1 Overview of the value chain
Value chain analysis, as popularized by Porter (1985), investigates the sequence of activities required
to bring a product or service from conception and procurement through production and distribution
to the final customer.
1
Such analysis can be done for individual firms, for clusters of firms whose value
chains are interlinked – referred to as value systems by Porter and usually involving suppliers,
distributors/sellers, and customers – or for selected industries (within or across national borders). In
line with our focus on social value creation, we will consider the industry value chain for the

1
Porter distinguishes between the different stages of supply, the physical transformation from inputs to outputs,
and the critical supply services of the firm such as strategic planning or technology development. Porter argues
that the greatest value is frequently added by these latter services, and by the way in which the individual pieces
of the chain are combined: ‚Although value activities are the building blocks of competitive advantage, the value
chain is not a collection of independent activities. Value activities are related by linkages within the value chain‛
(Porter 1985: 48).


14

petroleum sector, which includes development, production, processing, transportation and marketing
of hydrocarbon (Figure 1.1).
Figure 1.1 – Petroleum value chain

Source: Wolf, 2009
The value chain starts with the identification of suitable areas to conduct exploration for oil and/or
gas.
2
After initial exploration, petroleum fields are appraised, developed, and produced. These
activities are generally called exploration and production (E&P) or referred to as ‚upstream‛ oil and
gas. Oilfield services include a number of auxiliary services in the E&P process, such as geological and
geophysical surveys and analysis, drilling, equipment supply, and engineering projects. They form an
important part of the overall oil and gas industry, but will not be the focus of our overview.
Infrastructure, including transport (such as pipelines and access to roads, rail, and ports) and storage,
is critical at various stages in the value chain, including the links between production and processing
facilities and between processing and final customer. These parts of the value chain are usually
referred to as ‚midstream‛. Oil refining and gas processing turn the extracted hydrocarbons into
usable products. The processed products are then distributed to wholesale, retail, or direct industrial
clients. Refining and marketing (R&M) is also referred to as ‚downstream‛. Certain oil and gas
products are the principal input for the petrochemicals industry. This explains the close historical and
geographical links between the two.
Individual companies can perform one or more activities along the value chain, implying a degree
of vertical integration (‚integrated‛ firms are engaged in successive activities, typically E&P and
R&M). They can also seek to expand within a given activity, leading to horizontal consolidation
(business scale). At the country level, horizontal integration in the upstream is limited by natural
resource endowments and downstream by the size of the domestic market and the country’s ability to
export goods and services. Companies’ vertical and horizontal integration choices are affected by

2
In this section the description of the petroleum value chain is very much based on conventional oil. Alternative
sources petroleum such as oil sands or shale oil require different extraction processes.
Petroleum resources
Exploration & Appraisal
Reserves development
Petroleum production
Transport & Storage
Oil refining
Oilfield
services &
equipment
Other services and inputs:
- Trading
- Financing
- R&D
- Process chemicals
- Etc.
Gas processing
(NG, LNG, GTL etc.)
Transport & Storage Transport & Storage
Petrochemicals
Oil marketing & distribution Gas marketing & distribution
Petroleum resources
Exploration & Appraisal
Reserves development
Petroleum production
Transport & Storage
Oil refining
Oilfield
services &
equipment
Other services and inputs:
- Trading
- Financing
- R&D
- Process chemicals
- Etc.
Gas processing
(NG, LNG, GTL etc.)
Transport & Storage Transport & Storage
Petrochemicals
Oil marketing & distribution Gas marketing & distribution


15

country-level industrial policies and the related legal and regulatory frameworks. For example, in
some countries, such as South Africa, vertical integration in the petroleum sector is prohibited. Other
countries, such as Brazil, limit the market share of industry participants.
Appendix 1 contains an outline of the technical elements of value creation at each step of the value
chain.
To create value along the chain the value of aggregate outputs must exceed the value of aggregate
inputs on a sustainable basis. By ‚aggregate inputs‛ we mean all economic costs such as production
cost, cost of funding, cost of resource depletion, and opportunity cost (Heal 2007). At the most general
level, the potential sources of petroleum sector value creation are:
(i) Exogenous context and conditions. Many variables are exogenous to the actors’ decision making,
but can materially affect value creation. These factors include, amongst others:
 the quality and quantity of the resource endowment (including geological properties),
which determines the availability, technical complexity, and cost structure of upstream
production;
 the geographic position of the country, and of the resources within the country, and the
availability of natural infrastructure (sea ports, rivers etc), which determines the ease of
access to domestic and export markets;
 the structure of the domestic economy, including its dependence on and interactions with
the petroleum sector.
(ii) The companies participating in the sector. These include NOCs and POCs.
3
Key factors for value
creation include:
 cost efficiency of operations (including exploration, production, refining, and marketing),
overhead spending, and investments;
 technical excellence, which may support higher reserve replacement and field recovery
rates, fewer fuel losses, and higher-value product yield (refining);
 benefits of horizontal concentration (economies of scale) and vertical integration
(transaction costs, economies of scope); and
 strategic choices, such as asset selection, and targeting of domestic versus export markets.
(iii) The sector’s organization and institutional properties. A company’s ability and willingness to
perform well are affected by sector organization and governance, which to a large extent are
the result of specific policy decisions, including:
 the mechanism/regime for capital allocation decisions between different stages of the
value chain and within individual stages. Possible choices include free and competitive
markets, restricted and regulated entry, or a combination of both;
 licensing policy, depletion policy, pricing policies, and subsidies;

3
The usual designation for the large private sector petroleum firms is ‚International Oil Companies‛ (IOCs), but
there is widespread acknowledgement that this term is confusing because an increasing number of NOCs are also
operating outside of their home country; and some oil and gas companies are neither state-owned nor
international. ‚POC‛ is thus suggested as a more appropriate.


16

 the tax system, which the government can use to encourage desired behavior, and to
capture a share of the value;
4

 the independence, responsibility, and competence of regulatory authorities;
 legal and regulatory frameworks, including market and trade regulation; and
 national petroleum and industrial policy, including local content and economic
development policies.
1.2 Policy decisions affecting value creation
Policy decisions largely determine sector organization and governance, which in turn affect a
company’s ability and willingness to perform well. A thorough discussion of each policy alternative is
beyond the scope of this chapter. In this section, we limit ourselves to four important policy
decisions—industry participation, licensing and petroleum contracts, taxation, and depletion policy—
and discuss their relationship to value creation.
1.1.1 Industry participation
Figure 1.2 illustrates the policy options with respect to the level of competition and participation in the
petroleum sector. Each policy choice influences the participants’ ability and willingness to create social
value. At one end of the continuum is a pure monopoly held by a state-owned entity without any
outside participation; at the other end is a perfectly competitive market without any entry regulation
or direct state intervention; in between are many possible combinations.
Figure 1.2 – Options for the level of competition and participation in the petroleum sector

Source: Wolf (2009).
In reality, no country has implemented either of the extreme options. Saudi Arabia and Mexico, for
example, have a state monopoly on upstream equity ownership, but private oil service contractors face
few restrictions, and Saudi Arabia now provides limited opportunities for equity participation in
natural gas projects. At the other end of the spectrum, even the most market-oriented countries
usually set pre-qualification criteria for participation in auctions, which in some cases may reduce
competition and market contestability.
Countries often adopt different policies for the different stages of the value chain. Resource-
holding nations are often categorized into those that are fully open, partially open, or closed to outside
participation with respect to access to petroleum reserves. Besides the different degree of openness
across countries, a country’s policy on access to reserves may differ depending on whether oil or gas is
considered. In general terms, countries are more likely to allow access to gas reserves in order to
attract the technology and capital needed to develop them.

4
This also includes fiscal measures to direct production to domestic or export markets, e.g. custom tariffs and
export duties, domestic price caps etc.
NOC
monopoly
POC
competition
 Market structure and entry regulation / openness
 Level playing field / privileges
 Degree of direct state participation
 Role of state companies (operators/investors)
NOC
monopoly
POC
competition
 Market structure and entry regulation / openness
 Level playing field / privileges
 Degree of direct state participation
 Role of state companies (operators/investors)


17

1.1.2 Licensing and petroleum contracts
The terms and conditions of petroleum agreements provide the basis for many technical and
commercial decisions by petroleum firms (such as where to invest, how much to invest, and whether
or not there are incentives for cost-efficiency).
5
The state can also use its licensing system to shape
industry structure. For example, it can decide on the frequency and area coverage of any licensing
(whether by auction or negotiated deal), set up economic incentives for participation, or impose
conditions such as mandatory involvement of the state.
In essentially all countries outside the United States, the subsoil is either state-owned (irrespective
of the ownership of the surface land), or the state retains a veto on its use (Mommer 2002).
6
Where the
subsoil is state-owned, the government can either grant a monopoly right to one party or develop a
licensing system to allow the participation of multiple parties. Exploration rights are usually auctioned
or awarded pursuant to solicited or unsolicited offers from interested companies. Bidding often takes
the form of commitments to the host country, such as developing infrastructure, spending a minimum
amount of money on exploration, training and capacity building, using local contractors, or drilling a
minimum number of wells.
In recent years licensing (and taxation) regimes around the world have become increasingly
varied, frequently reflecting historical or regional preferences (Tordo 2009). They should always be
analyzed based on substantive content rather than formal design or type. Waelde (1995) points out
that ‚the form of the contract is much less of the essence than the actual content, i.e. how the major
functions and issues (management and control; risk assignment; revenue sharing) are being
regulated.‛
1.1.3 Taxation
Taxation is a critical consideration. The petroleum sector is among the most heavily taxed sectors, and
taxation impacts on contractual relationships, asset selection, behavioral incentives, the dynamics of
supply as well as demand, and most obviously on the financial position of the various parties
involved. Ideally taxation should not alter allocative decision-making (and possibly even correct for
market failures such as unduly low private costs of environmental pollution). This would support
efficient behavior and maximize total welfare. If the fiscal regime is distortive (for example, it creates a
disincentive to cost savings or encourages excess investment) net welfare losses will result.
In upstream oil and gas, total government take (the government share of available cash flow from
a petroleum project) varies around the world from about 40 percent to well over 90 percent (Johnston
2007). In the years 2002 to 2008, with commodity prices rising significantly, many states have increased
the government take from upstream oil and gas. The fiscal terms applicable in a given country can
change in a number of different ways: (i) contractually; (ii) when new concessions are awarded on
different terms than previously awarded ones; (iii) through competition as oil companies bid the terms
or bid the signature bonuses they are willing to pay up front; or (iv) by law.
An important consideration when determining appropriate levels of government take is the
potential trade-off between short-term state rent capture and longer-term value creation. Given the
uncertainty of petroleum exploration and production, maximizing the net present value of rent

5
For a description of petroleum agreements see Johnston 1994, Johnston 2007, and Tordo 2007.
6
In the United States ownership of public lands, and the associated mineral rights, is divided between the federal
and state governments. Approximately 30 percent of the land area and all offshore territory are owned by the
federal or state governments.


18

capture might discourage longer-term investment, which in turn forms the basis for future rents
(Tordo, 2007).
In downstream oil, most industrialized countries levy significant consumption taxes (value added
taxes, or VAT) on top of the taxes on crude oil. Looking at a consumption-weighted average of the
main refined product in the EU in 2003, only 28 percent of the final sales price was accounted for by
the cost of crude oil, whereas 62 percent of the final price was due to taxes (including VAT) and the
remaining 10 percent was refining cost and company profit (OPEC 2005).
1.1.4 Depletion policy
Governments must decide whether or not to explore for petroleum, at what pace to explore, and who
should undertake such exploration. If the reserve base is assumed to be known, then maximization of
social welfare will be achieved by the appropriate pattern of production (that is, drawing down the
inventory) over time (Tordo 2009). The pattern of using up existing reserves is measured by the
production rate (annual production as percentage of proven reserves), which is the basis of depletion
policy. In principle, decisions of portfolio composition—whether to hold wealth as petroleum in the
ground or as some other asset above ground—could be separated from expenditure decisions; in
practice, however, the two issues are linked (Stiglitz 2007). Establishing an appropriate depletion
policy involves the following factors:
 ‚Good oilfield practice‛: Deviations from good oil-field practice may permanently damage the
reservoir;
 Politics: Nation states may have entered international commitments on productive capacity
and output that limit discretionary decision making;
 State budget: Public finances may dictate accelerated production schedules. Better knowledge
of the size of petroleum reserves provides an input for the design of sustainable
macroeconomic policies and for improving intergenerational equity through the choice of
current consumption rates (Tordo 2009);
 Public pressure on spending: Increased public income may result in pressures to spend the
money, irrespective of the availability of suitable reinvestment opportunities;
 Domestic economy: Suitable reinvestment opportunities for monetary income from petroleum
operations might encourage accelerated production schedules. On the other hand, a lack of
suitable re-investment opportunities, fears of hyper-inflation, adverse changes in foreign
exchange rates (‚Dutch disease‛), or a lack of potential production linkages to the rest of the
domestic economy may discourage aggressive depletion policies;
 Institutional framework / national governance: Lacking appropriate checks and balances,
governments or interest groups might be tempted to direct funds from petroleum production
to inappropriate or even illegal purposes. In such cases ‚the ground just might be the safest
place for the asset‛ (Humphreys et al. 2007b);
 Resource curse: Related to both the domestic economy and the institutional framework is the
apparent failure of many states to translate a wealth of natural resources into sustainable
economic development (the resource curse);
 Price expectations: Changes in the prices of oil and gas affect the value of underground assets;
 Cost expectations: ‚*I+n cases where costs of extraction are currently high, and might be
lowered over time with the progress of technology, the return to waiting may be higher than
on any other investment the government might make.‛ (Stiglitz, 2007); and
 Time value of money: Petroleum in the ground does not earn an automatic interest or income
(unless prices or costs change); dependent on the potential investment return on non-
petroleum assets, and on the social discount rate, the time value of realized production gains


19

might differ considerably. The earlier the extraction date, the higher the potential gains,
ceteris paribus.
Depletion management can refer to individual petroleum reservoirs, to connected areas of
production, or to the aggregate national level. It can be directly imposed by the government, guided
using instruments such as the licensing system, or developed bottom-up through the (largely
unregulated) choices of individual project operators (Tordo, 2009). There are wide differences in
production rates between individual countries (Eller, Hartley, and Medlock 2007; Victor 2007; Wolf
2009).
1.3 Value creation through integration
The benefits of integration have long been the topic of petroleum value chain analyses. What potential
do horizontal and vertical integration have for incremental value generation?
Regarding horizontal integration, the benefits of economies of scale in most activities of the value
chain are widely acknowledged. Petroleum projects are highly capital intensive, have long lead times,
and are inherently risky (Stevens 2005). In E&P in particular, scale helps to provide access to better
funding, to diversify investment and development risk, and to serve as long-term insurance to
partners, such as host governments. Due to the high financial and operational risks involved, oil and
gas companies usually partner with each other in E&P projects, while still competing at the corporate
level. Technical expertise and project control are considered key in building a competitive advantage
within the industry, and these can be enhanced by economies of scale in R&D investment and broad
operating experience.
The ongoing consolidation trend within the private petroleum sector (increasingly also involving
NOCs as acquirers of petroleum assets) is testament to the benefits (or at least the perceived benefits)
of economies of scale. At the same time, large-scale divestitures are also very common over the period
2002-07, UBS Investment Research shows the value of disposals at the ‚Global Oil Co‛ companies to
be 75 percent higher than the value of acquisitions. This shows that scale in itself is not always
beneficial and that careful selection of assets is required to offset diseconomies of scale (such as
management distraction). A focus on certain core areas with shared infrastructure, for example, is one
plausible and frequently chosen approach. However, such a strategy may not deliver the best possible
diversification of geological risks, which is another driver of sector consolidation, or satisfy the desire
for global upstream scale.
At the country level, natural resource limits and issues of appropriate depletion strategy
(discussed below in more detail) can prevent companies from building a broader domestic E&P
footprint in the upstream petroleum sector. In other segments of the value chain, however, some
countries—such as Singapore and the Netherlands in refining, storage, and oil trading—have attracted
substantial investment beyond their domestic requirements. Both countries benefited from
infrastructure advantages, including large natural ports along busy trading routes.
Vertical integration is another prominent feature of the petroleum industry, although the details of
integration have changed over time. It can take two principal forms: (i) financial vertical integration
occurs when one holding company owns subsequent stages of the value chain and controls their cash
flows; and (ii) operational vertical integration occurs when there is a physical exchange of crude and
products between subsequent stages of the value chain (Luciani and Salustri 1998; Bindemann 1999;
Stevens 2005).
Before the wave of nationalizations in the 1970s, POCs were both financially and operationally
integrated. Key motivations for integration were to secure sources of supply, secure off-take markets,


20

create entry barriers, circumvent taxes, eliminate the profit margins of intermediaries, and practice
price discrimination (Bindemann 1999). Integration also facilitated logistical operations, such as
storage, and, before the oil price shocks, significantly reduced transaction and information costs (since
markets were non-existent or highly inefficient at the time) (Stevens 2005). Following the
nationalization of Middle East oil properties and the two oil price shocks, POCs retained integration
by ownership but increasingly used intermediate markets, which had became more transparent,
liquid, and reliable. Shell was the first company to free its refineries from the requirement of
purchasing oil from within the group. Internal transactions were increasingly conducted at arm’s
length, giving individual divisions more autonomy. Furthermore, almost all POCs established
dedicated oil trading divisions (Cibin and Grant 1996). The increased sophistication and liquidity of oil
markets enabled further disintegration, reduced barriers to entry, and allowed a new set of entrants
(such as retailers, particularly supermarkets, and dedicated refiners) into the industry (Davies 1999).
Today, financial vertical integration is a prerequisite for operational vertical integration, but the
reverse is not true—intermediate markets can substitute for operational vertical integration.
7

Given the prominence and longevity of the major integrated POCs, financial and operational
integration are often assumed to be inherently advantageous. But benefits at the corporate level have
proven difficult to pin down in empirical studies (Bindemann 1999).
Governments might pursue deliberate industrial policies that guide or encourage diversification
along the value chain to: (i) diversify price or demand risks to the economy; (ii) capture a larger share
of value-adding processes through taxes or direct participation in industrial activities; or (iii) respond
to changing domestic and international demand. The economic literature suggests that vertical
integration makes more sense in the case of asset specificity than in the case of commodity markets
(Williamson 1985). For example, when owners or producers of very heavy or very sour crudes cannot
be assured of sufficient refinery demand on the open market, then there is an incentive for vertical
integration of E&P and R&M. Kuwait’s strategy of overseas refinery acquisitions can (partially) be
seen in this light (Marcel 2006, Stevens 2008). A second example is the presence of abundant and cheap
resources that cannot be easily transported, like in the case of Qatar’s natural gas. In this case, it is
possible to move downstream industrial users to the source of gas, because the savings on feedstock
costs more than compensate for higher transport costs (and potentially higher production costs) of the
final product. This industrial relocation supports larger production volumes than would otherwise be
possible and thus contributes to horizontal concentration at the country level. In Qatar’s case,
additional benefits include economic diversification and domestic skills development.
1.4 Local content policies and value creation
Local content policies affect both POCs and NOCs, although not necessarily to the same extent. They
were first introduced in the North Sea in the early 1970s and ranged from restrictions on imports to the
creation of NOCs. The aim of local content policies has evolved from creating backward linkages (that
is, supplying input to the local economy through transfer of technology, the creation of local
employment opportunities, and increasing local ownership and control) to creating forward linkages
(that is, processing the sector’s output prior to export through, for example, the establishment of

7
Despite the recent liquidity crisis in the financial markets, petroleum markets have worked perfectly well over
the past years and decades, but ‚low-probability high-impact‛ events could compromise market efficiency.


21

refineries, petrochemical industry, and the production of fertilizers). More recently, local content has
come to include wider economic diversification, thus going beyond the oil and gas sector value chain.
8

Governments use various instruments to implement their local content policies, including: (i)
simple contractual requirements that favor the use of local goods and services or impose training
obligations; (ii) regulation and taxation that discriminate in favor of local industries, and other
protectionist measures (iii) regulation or contractual obligations that foster the transfer of technology
from international to domestic companies; (iv) bidding parameters that include local content among
the criteria for winning oil and gas exploration and production licenses and contracts; (v) incentives to
foreign investors to reinvest their profits domestically; (vi) investment in infrastructure and education;
(vii) the mandatory incorporation of foreign companies; (viii) local ownership requirements; and (ix)
direct government intervention through state owned enterprises (SOEs).
It has been argued that local content policies create distortions, inefficiency, and, in some cases,
even corruption. However, this cannot be generalized. Inefficiency introduced by local content policies
is strongly influenced by the degree of ‚technological strangeness.‛ An economy that is very limited or
primitive can hardly be expected to quickly be able to supply services (let alone to build forward
linkages). Furthermore, the ability of the rest of the economy to develop a service sector often depends
upon the speed at which the oil or gas resources are developed, which is determined by the
government’s depletion policy. For example, Norway decided to develop its hydrocarbons more
slowly than the United Kingdom, with the explicit objective of allowing a Norwegian service sector to
develop. By contrast, the United Kingdom’s speedy development of its North Sea resources attracted
American service companies and expertise (Hallwood 1990).
Economic histories of a number of developed and developing countries show that linkages
between the primary resource sector and other sectors influenced economic growth. These linkages are
defined by the technologies of resource extraction. In some cases, the development of the resource
sector stimulates the rise of industries that supply its inputs and that process the staple products prior
to export. Thus, an economy gradually becomes diversified. However, the diversification does not
take place if the linkages are weak, such as when inputs are supplied from abroad. In this case,
production concentrates in the resource sector that has little contact with the rest of the economy, and
the country falls into a staple trap (Polterovich and Popov 2005). In transition economies, where a
number of economic sectors from the former Soviet period have been destroyed, crowding out by the
oil sector may hinder economic recovery. If this is the case, the use of local content policies to
encourage economic diversification and the development of strong backward linkages may be
appropriate. Local content policies are in essence a tradeoff between short-term efficiency and long-
term economic development. While a comprehensive legal and fiscal framework may be required to
execute the government’s local content policies, it is essential that this framework be transparent,
reliable, and predictable.
Studies of many resource abundant countries show that the staple trap theory, while useful, has
limited explanatory power since it does not take into account the role of macroeconomic and political
economy variables (Findlay, Lundahl 2001, Abidin 2001, Gylfason 2001). In his study of resource-
based industry in eight oil exporting countries, Auty (1989) identifies three critical determinants of
performance: (i) the sectoral mix of projects; (ii) the type of enterprise; and (iii) the country’s

8
By oil and gas sector value chain we mean the exploration, extraction, processing, refining, transportation and
distribution of hydrocarbons, and the development of industries which make direct use of the oil and gas sector’s
output


22

macroeconomic policies.
9
Auty argues that the risk of underperforming is minimized when optimum–
sized, joint-venture projects feed dynamic markets. Hence, a risk-reducing resource-based industry
should be small enough that is does not dominate the domestic economy, and large enough to capture
the flexibility of several diversified projects of optimum size. This would also require the careful
pacing of infrastructure investments and projects to avoid crowding. The author further found that
joint ventures between the government and well-established multinational resource corporations
spread investment risk and improve implementation by providing access to technical, managerial, and
marketing skills. Finally, a risk-reducing strategy should aim to link the resource to the market. Full
capacity utilization and access to market is required for these large investments to be economically
feasible. At the same time, macroeconomic policies that sustain domestic GDP growth and/or a
competitive exchange rate are required for these local content policies to succeed (Auty 1989).
Local content often involves multiplier effects and it might be argued that the higher the
multiplier, the greater the backward linkages. However, as discussed earlier in this section, not all
linkages are good for the national economy. The procurement of goods and services can act as a
multiplier for local economic development by contributing to employment, strengthening skills, and
developing local suppliers and enterprises. Some countries have done research to assess the multiplier
effect of investment in the petroleum sector. The Central Bureau of Statistics Norway calculates an
average multiplier of 3 for Norway in 2003. In their economic analyses, the majority of oil companies
used a factor of 2.5. But the size of the multiplier varies from country to country, and many countries
have difficulties exceeding a multiplier of 1. For example, it has been estimated that the oil sector
multiplier for construction and services in Kazakhstan is 0.47 compared to 2 in northeastern Scotland,
while for the Tengiz project in Kazakhstan it is 1.52 (Auty 2005; Kashani 2005). But multipliers are
difficult and complex to track, especially if the economy does not have an up-to-date input-output
table (Stevens 2008).
Developing local content in the petroleum sector should be based on existing capabilities within
manufacturing, fabrication, and services. In other words, successful strategies identify which existing
products and services the country can produce profitably. However, many countries have a weak and
narrow industrial base. For this reason, local content policies commonly contain some measures that
allow for the preferential treatment of domestic companies. To ensure sustainable industrial growth,
however, such preferences should be temporary.
Market-based inputs cannot replace public inputs in all cases. There are functions that markets
cannot perform, such as establishing company registries, setting norms, enforcing contracts and laws,
and providing infrastructure. An inadequate supply of these public inputs affects the productivity of
market-based activities. Determining the right level of government intervention is complicated:
different activities require different kind of intervention, and there are no clear price signals to guide
government choices. Nonetheless, the idea that governments can limit their intervention to the
provision of an enabling environment for market-based activities to develop is a simplistic one, since it
ignores the role and complexity of public inputs and capabilities. As stated in Hausmann and Rodrik
(2006), ‚industrial policy is hard, but there is no argument against its use‛.
Appendix 2 contains a brief illustration of local content policies in a selected group of petroleum
producing countries. Although country-specific factors influence the optimal design of local content
policies, we can identify general principles that can be applied broadly:

9
The countries analyzed in Auty’s paper are Bahrain, Cameroon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia,
Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.


23

 Set transparent and measurable targets. What constitutes local content needs to be clearly
defined, and targets should be established for each component of the desired local content
policy. Targets should be objectively measurable and reasonable (i.e. within the reach and
capability of the country) to avoid creating unrealistic expectations and companies – POCs
and NOCs – should be held accountable for missing targets.
 Account for technological strangeness. Policy makers need to take into consideration the ability
of the rest of the economy to develop service capacity through backward linkages and the
speed at which such capacity can be created. The creation of forward linkages is more
complex, requiring scale and technology that are not always within the reach of a country. To
maximize opportunities for development of local capacity and their sustainable utilization,
the government should carefully assess existing local capacity and manage the pace and
scheduling of petroleum sector’s activities accordingly.
 Gradually maximize local value-added. The use of foreign capacity and investment, especially in
less-developed economies, can accelerate the development of local content, reduce risk, and
facilitate capacity transfers. Once the local supply and contractor industry is in place, policy
could foster joint ventures between foreign and domestic companies. Local ownership
requirements are valuable, but they should be carefully paced and should target activities that
have the highest potential to add value.
 Create and enhance local capabilities that can be transferred to other sectors. This includes the
development of skills that are common to all sectors, as well as the creation and support of
cluster developments with other industries that have natural synergy with the petroleum
sector.
 Report on the local content performance of operators. The performance of local – private or state-
owned – and foreign companies should be periodically compared to establish benchmarks
and targets and identify opportunities for transferring best practice, and reports should be
publicly available.
- Create an enabling environment. Particularly in less developed economies where market
opportunities are often beyond the capability and reach of local suppliers and contractors,
a mix of incentives and mandatory requirements could be useful. However, the
preferential treatment of domestic companies – private or state-owned – should be
temporary so that domestic companies have incentives to be competitive and to develop
sustainable industrial growth. It is important for the government to align its agencies,
laws, regulations, strategy, and contracts with planned local content objectives. Finally,
the government should focus on improving local skills, business know-how, technology,
capital market development, wealth capture, and wealth distribution to create the
conditions for domestic companies to emerge.
1.5 Conclusion
The petroleum value chain encompasses exploration and production of oil and gas, transportation and
storage, refining and marketing of oil, processing and marketing of gas, as well as related activities
such as oilfield services and equipment and petrochemicals. Together, these processes transform
underlying petroleum resources into useable end-products valued by industrial and private
customers. Exploration and production activities carry the highest level of risk, and usually generate
most of the value. Along the value chain activities are inherently inter-linked, and such linkages might
occur within or across individual firms, and within or across national boundaries.


24

Broadly, three potential sources of social value creation from petroleum operations can be
identified: (i) exogenous context and conditions; (ii) the companies participating in the sector,
including their operational and strategic set-up, priorities and capabilities; and (iii) the sector’s
organization and institutional properties. Among the policy choices that determine the institutional
environment industry participation, licensing and petroleum contracts, taxation, resource depletion,
and local content can be expected to have a material impact on overall levels of value creation, and the
share of value that can be created by the NOC.
Both POCs and NOCs have often used integration along the value chain to generate incremental
value. While the benefits from economies of scale from horizontal integration in most activities of the
value chain are widely acknowledged, vertical integration along the value chain at country level has
been pursued with mixed success by some countries. Research carried out to date shows that full
capacity utilization, access to market, and adequate technical, managerial and marketing skills are
necessary for large vertically integrated projects to be economically feasible, which might explain why
few NOCs have successfully pursued this strategy.
Our brief overview of the value chain show that the interactions between the sources of value
creation are complex and dependent on the specific context (i.e. country and temporal conditions);
‚blueprint‛ solutions to successful value creation thus would be difficult to suggest. But experiences
from around the world provide useful insights into the drivers of value creation and the conditions for
success of different institutional arrangements and operating strategies.




25

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27

2. The establishment of a NOC:
advantages and issues

‚We never seem to get it right. Something always seems to be missing between
government policy, implementation and public expectation (or public perception of
what constitutes the common good). (…) As a result, we stagger from one confrontation
to the next between policy makers, regulators, actors and customers.”
Edmund Daukoru)





Decisions regarding the creation and management of NOCs can be examined within the general
context of government intervention in the economy. The extent of government intervention tends to
change over time in response to exogenous (such as geopolitics and the economy) and endogenous
(such as state objectives) factors.
This chapter discusses the key arguments—based on both a priori reasoning and empirical
experience—in favor of and against the creation of NOCs. Its aim is to elaborate on the special nature
of NOCs, and how it may affect their objectives, regulation, and behavior.
2.1 A brief history of NOCs
The importance of the petroleum industry was widely recognized from the early 20
th
century, when
internal combustion engines and the nascent automotive industry contributed to a prolonged boom in
oil demand that more than compensated for the loss of the traditional kerosene lighting market after
the invention of the light bulb.
10
The use of naturally occurring oil had been widespread in China and
Central Asia for centuries, but up to the mid-19
th
century oil was by and large only collected when it
occurred naturally at the surface. In 1859, the first successful modern oil well was drilled in Titusville,
Pennsylvania.
2.1.1 Industry participation
Initially the oil industry was largely shaped by privately-owned oil companies (POCs) and charismatic
entrepreneurs. In the United States, the Standard Oil Company, founded by John D. Rockefeller in
1870 as a refining company in Cleveland, dominated the industry for several decades. By 1880 it had a

10
The history of the petroleum industry is well documented in a number of publications (e.g., Giddens 1938;
Anderson 1987; Linde 1991; Yergin 1991; Linde 2000; Mommer 2002; Mabro 2005; Marcel 2006b), from which this
overview is collected. Any historical account of the industry is bound to focus on oil rather than natural gas.
Whereas crude oil has been a globally traded commodity from the early days of the industry, gas has been
somewhat of a late starter, albeit a very successful one. Furthermore, with the exception of the North American
market and the small volumes traded within Europe, natural gas prices remain linked to oil prices.


28

domestic market share in refining of 95 percent. By that time, Standard Oil had also come to dominate
the pipeline, shipping, and drilling business and in 1879 formed the Standard Oil Trust with 30
affiliated companies. Its economic and political power grew to such an extent that, after several years
of trials and investigations, the Trust was found to monopolize and restrain trade. In 1911 it was
dissolved into 36 independent companies, including the predecessor firms of Exxon, Mobil, Chevron,
ARCO, and Amoco. The discovery of oil in Texas in 1901 led to the founding of oil companies such as
the Texas Oil Company (later renamed Texaco) and the Gulf Oil Company, which opened the first
filling station in the world in Pittsburgh in 1913.
Outside the United States, Russia and the Caspian (particularly the area around Baku, Azerbaijan)
were important production areas for oil. Although oil exploration and production was initially a state
monopoly, oil properties were auctioned in 1872, triggering a wave of investments in production,
refining and transport infrastructure. Famous names associated with the Russian and Caspian oil
industry include the Nobel and Rothschild families. By 1900, railroads had been built to transport oil
to the West, and Russia briefly surpassed the United States as the world’s largest producer. Elsewhere,
private European companies took advantage of the protection of their home countries to produce oil in
the colonies. Both Shell and Royal Dutch started business in the 1890s in Indonesia. By 1907, the two
companies had merged, rapidly expanding into countries such as Venezuela (1910), Egypt (1911),
Trinidad and Mexico (1913).
2.1.2 The emergence of NOCs
The first NOC is believed to have been created in Austria-Hungary in 1908 when private oil producers
faced an excess supply of crude. Emperor Franz Joseph approved the building of a topping plant
owned and operated by the government, which helped process the crude and further developed end
markets for oil products (Heller 1980). As oil became an increasingly important strategic commodity,
governments took an interest in the oil industry. Other European states, particularly the colonial
powers, started to set up or participate in oil companies to control the domestic markets and pursue
upstream operations abroad, usually within their respective colonial domains. In 1914 the government
of the United Kingdom invested £2.2 million to obtain a 51 percent ownership stake in Anglo-Persian
Oil Company (later to become British Petroleum - BP). This was a ‚passive‛ stake without
management control and only two appointees on the board of directors. Security of supply was a key
motivation for this decision at the eve of World War I, as the latest generation of high-performance
naval vessels and warships were oil-powered. As Winston Churchill—at the time the First Lord of the
Admiralty—argued: ‚If we cannot get oil, we cannot get corn, we cannot get cotton and we cannot get
a thousand and one commodities necessary for the preservation of the economic energies of Great
Britain‛ (cited in Yergin 1991:160). To achieve security and diversity of oil supply the state could enter
into long-term supply contracts as a temporary measure, but ultimately ‚the Admiralty should
become the independent owner and producer of its own supplies of liquid fuel‛ (ibid).
The Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP) was created in 1924 as a private sector company with
substantial shareholding and support by the French government. Its key asset was Deutsche Bank’s 24
percent share in the Turkish Petroleum Company (later renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company),
awarded to France as compensation for German war damages in World War I. The creation of Agip in
Italy in 1926 was the first instance of a consuming country aiming to counter-balance the influence of
outside petroleum firms (including fully private and state-backed companies) in its domestic
downstream market.
At around the same time, Latin America, which had been largely independent since the eviction of
the Spanish colonial force in 1821, and where important petroleum discoveries were made during the
1920s, particularly in Mexico and Venezuela, was leading the way in the establishment of NOCs in


29

developing nations. The first to be founded was Argentina’s Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) in
1922, and others countries soon followed suit, including Chile (1926), Uruguay (1931), Peru (1934), and
Bolivia (1936). Mexico’s state petroleum firm Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was set up in 1938 to take
over the operations of foreign private firms in the country. This was the first large-scale
expropriation/nationalization within the petroleum sector. Table 2.2 shows the founding dates of a
selected group of NOCs.
Table 2.1 – Founding dates of selected NOCs
Year Country Company
1914 United Kingdom BP
1922 Argentina YPF
1924 France CFP
1926 Italy Agip
1938 Mexico Pemex
1951 Iran NIOC
1953 Brazil Petrobras
1956 India ONGC
1960 Kuwait KNPC
1962 Saudi Arabia Petromin
1965 Algeria Sonatrach
1967 Iraq INOC
1970 Libya LNOC
1971 Indonesia Pertamina
1971 Nigeria NNOC
1972 Norway Statoil
1974 Qatar QGPC
1974 Malaysia Petronas
1975 Venezuela PdVSA
1975 Vietnam Petrovietnam
1975 Canada Petro-Canada
1975 United Kingdom BNOC
1976 Angola Sonangol
2002 Equatorial Guinea GEPetrol
2006 Chad SHT
Source: Bentham and Smith 1987; Heller 1980; CEE 2007; company information.
Notes: Table 2.1 excludes communist and former communist countries, most prominently Russia, where the
petroleum industry was nationalized in 1917/18, and China, where current NOCs were spun off from
executive government in 1982 (CNOOC), 1983 (Sinopec), and 1988 (CNPC) and restructured in 1998. BP
(1914) was a state participation of 51 percent in an existing company (Anglo-Persian). State ownership in
CFP (1924) was 49 percent. Pertamina’s two predecessor firms (PT Permina and Pertamin) had already been
established during the 1950s. KPC was founded in 1980 as successor to KNPC; KPC’s principal upstream
subsidiary, Kuwait Oil Company, was founded in 1934 and fully nationalized in 1974.
During the 1930s a number of significant oil discoveries were made in the Middle East—in
Bahrain in 1932, and in Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia in 1938. This marked the beginning of a geographic
shift in global oil production. International oil companies formed private consortia that controlled
virtually all petroleum production in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, where five U.S.
companies set up the Aramco Oil Company. As a result of rapid economic growth following the end
of World War II, the United States became a net importer of crude oil in 1948. At that point, the United


30

States was already the most mature, explored, and drilled country in the world. Its well productivity
and marginal costs were far less favorable than in the Middle East, which had highly productive and
profitable reservoirs that had become the key assets for Western POCs.
11
From 1948 to 1972, seven out
of every ten barrels of oil added to the world's free reserves were found in the Middle East. This
strengthened the bargaining position of the host countries relative to their POC ‘tenants’, who were
perceived by them as ‚far too profitable, isolated and immobile‛ (Mommer 2002:100).
2.1.3 OPEC revolution and post-colonial world
The world’s major oil exporting countries met in Cairo in 1959, resulting in a ‚gentleman’s agreement‛
to consult with one another on issues of common interest. One part of the agreement recommended
the creation of NOCs to ensure direct state participation within the oil industry. However, in the
Middle East this recommendation was not acted upon until a few years later.
12
At the time, standard
concession contracts included a royalty payment to the resource owner—that is, the host nation—plus
an income tax of 50 percent, called ‚fifty-fifty profit sharing.‛ The second had only been introduced in
1943 in Venezuela and in 1950 in Saudi Arabia as a result of the shifting power balance towards the
producers, but the profit calculation was usually based on posted prices rather than market prices.
After the POCs unilaterally cut posted prices twice in 1959 and once again in August 1960, the major
resource-holding countries sought ways to better represent their common interests. In September 1960
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was established. The five founding
member states of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela were subsequently joined by Qatar
(1961), Indonesia and Libya (1962), the United Arab Emirates (1967), Nigeria (1971), Ecuador (1973, left
in 1992, rejoined in 2007), Gabon (1975, left in 1995), and Angola (2007). Having become a net importer
of oil, Indonesia left OPEC in May 2008.
OPEC initially achieved little tangible results for its member states, mainly due to the fact that
POCs insisted on negotiating separately with host governments, which differed in their opinions on
acceptable contract terms, degree of oil revenue dependence, and spare production capacities.
However, the global economic growth of the 1960s and the impending peak of U.S. domestic oil
production substantially strengthened the producer states’ bargaining position.
13
In 1965 three Saudi
contracts were the first (outside Venezuela) to be governed by national law and national tax legislation
instead of international law and contractual arrangements. In 1968 OPEC issued a ‚Declaratory
Statement of Petroleum Policy in Member Countries‛ that summarized key recommendations
regarding area relinquishment, tax reference points, equity participation, and host country
sovereignty. The policy encouraged OPEC members to develop their hydrocarbon resources directly,
but if entering into contracts with outside parties, such contracts should at least contain the right to
future revisions. At the time OPEC accounted for almost three-quarters of global proven reserves. By
the end of the 1960s competition for new concessions had pushed POCs, specifically those in OPEC
countries, to offer equity participation of up to 50 percent to host governments or to their NOC in
addition to the royalty payment and 50 percent income tax. The new terms ensured that the host

11
At the beginning of 2000 there were about 500,000 producing wells in the United States with an average
production of 14 barrels per day; in the Middle East average production per well was almost 4,000 barrels per day
(CSFB 2002).
12
In May 1951, Iran had briefly nationalized the oil operations of the British Anglo-Persian company, but following
the coup against Prime Minister Mosaddeq, the nationalization was reversed, and a new British-Iranian agreement
was signed in 1954.
13
U.S. production hit an all-time high of 9.6 million barrels per day in 1970.


31

governments would receive in excess of 75 percent of the profits of POCs plus significant influence on
all entrepreneurial decisions made by their tenants.
14

Even these concessions were not satisfactory to the oil-producing states, and during the first half
of the 1970s a wave of forced equity participations and outright nationalizations occurred. The Fourth
Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War in October 1973 and the selective oil embargo of key Arab nations
against Western nations, which triggered the first oil price shock, further damaged mutual relations.
By 1974 the international oil operations in the Middle East had been de facto nationalized, although
the legal arrangements would take time and differ from one country to the other.
15
The Iranian
revolution in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 caused the second oil price shock.
The development of the oil industry in OPEC states was part of a wider, global trend towards
national emancipation in a post-colonial world. OPEC, after all, included member states from very
different regions of the world (Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and Asia), and the desire for
national control over what were previously colonial assets was prevalent in many more countries.
16

Overall, the emergence of state-controlled companies had a significant impact on the ownership
structure of the oil and gas industry. Heller (1980) reports that outside the United States, Canada, and
the centrally planned economies, from 1963 to 1975 public sector control in the oil industry rose from 9
percent to 62 percent in production, from 14 percent to 24 percent in refining, and from 11 percent to
21 percent in marketing.
2.1.4 The reaction of consumer states
In the oil consuming countries of the Western world, the rise in prices had led to a significant
slowdown in demand growth for oil. Furthermore, growth of the world economy slowed. According
to estimates, the price increases due to the first oil price shock (1973/74) cost OECD members 2.6
percent of GDP, and those due to the second oil price shock (1978/80) cost them 3.7 percent of GDP
(Mommer 2002). One of the key steps to mitigate OPEC’s grip on the market was the founding of the
International Energy Agency (IEA) in 1974, which was designed to coordinate the policies and energy
strategies of the main industrialized, oil-importing nations. The first rules issued by the IEA concerned
emergency situations, and mandatory levels of petroleum stocks were introduced. In 1976, the IEA
proposed a long-term program that included a reduction in the demand growth for oil, incentives to
use alternative energy sources, and an increase in domestic supplies. A liberal licensing system was
introduced in many new petroleum provinces outside of OPEC influence (such as the North Sea,
Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico).
In addition to coordinated actions such as the IEA, a second important development was the
creation of a new type of NOC in petroleum-producing Western states such as the United Kingdom
and Canada. These were intended to ensure control over domestic hydrocarbon development in
reaction to the loss of operating control overseas. At the time, the government of the United Kingdom
already owned a majority stake in BP. Because BP had an international asset and shareholder base and
was largely run like a private-sector company, however, it was not a suitable tool to implement

14
The NOCs usually did not share the exploration risk of the project, as their capital expenditure was financed by
the POCs as carried interest, to be repaid from the project revenues, should the project prove to be successful.
15
One example is Saudi Aramco, where in December 1972 long negotiations were completed for the state to take a
25 percent equity stake, effective in 1973. By 1974, this had been increased to 60 percent, and in 1976 arrangements
for complete state ownership of Aramco were reached. Payments to the original U.S. parent companies of Aramco
were only completed in 1980.
16
For example, Angola’s Sonangol in 1976 emerged from a nationalized Portuguese oil company, Angol, which
later assumed assets previously owned by private operators such as Gulf Oil, Texaco, and Petrofina.


32

national petroleum policy. Therefore, in 1975 the Labour government set up the British National Oil
Company (BNOC), which was originally intended to take a 51 percent stake in all North Sea oil
developments. However, due to fears that a 51 percent mandatory participation of the state could
significantly weaken the incentives for private sector participation and the anticipation of a large
financial burden on the state from meeting half of all North Sea development costs, the scope of rights
and objectives of BNOC were reduced (Vickers and Yarrow 1988). By the end of the 1970s, the United
States was the only significant producer among the net importing countries without a NOC (Linde
2000).
2.1.5 A new agenda: liberalization and privatization
In the wider economic and social debate, there was an increasingly critical stance towards
governments since the late 1970s (at least in the Western world). Many SOEs performed poorly and
research in economic theory began to examine more closely the possibility of government failure.
17
As
a result, governments had to acknowledge their failure as efficient producers and their weakness in
monitoring the performance of their SOEs (Shleifer 1998; Shleifer and Vishny 1998; Yergin and
Stanislaw 2002; Stevens 2004).
In the oil and gas sector, the industrialized and net importing countries took the first steps
towards liberalization and privatization. In fact, in refining and marketing most OECD countries
already had a policy of liberal market access, which the major POCs used to build extensive
downstream portfolios. In 1977 the UK government went further and reduced state ownership in BP
from 68 to 51 percent. In 1979, the Thatcher government stripped BNOC of many of its special powers
only four years after its establishment, and in 1982 its oil producing assets were spun off and
privatized. Like BNOC, many of the consuming countries’ NOCs founded in the 1970s proved to be
short-lived as the security of supply increasingly became an international concern (Linde 2000). Many
of the larger and older NOCs in the consuming countries, such as Repsol, OMV, Eni, Total, and Elf
Aquitaine were not privatized until the late 1980s and early 1990s, but these transactions can be seen
as a continuation of policies first implemented in the late 1970s, even though the 1986 oil price drop
added to budgetary pressures.
Net oil-exporting states took longer to be convinced of the benefits of liberalization and
privatization. After all, oil producing assets in the Middle East had only recently been nationalized,
and in Latin America and Africa the end of foreign domination was historically associated with state
control over vital resources through the establishment of NOCs (Waelde 1995). But low oil prices in
the second half of the 1980s triggered pressures for institutional reform in several countries with
dominant NOCs.
In a bid to reduce price volatility, OPEC had introduced its quota system in 1982 and successfully
managed to keep prices stable through 1985. In that year, however, the introduction of the so-called
‚netback pricing‛ by Saudi Arabia caused a sharp drop in oil prices and marked the shift from a
seller’s market to a buyer’s market, a change that would persist up until the turn of the millennium.
Non-OPEC producers with less favorable resource endowments and production costs were most
vulnerable to the changes in the macroeconomic environment and faced pressure from international
creditors—including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—to implement
stabilization programs. Argentina is often cited as the first major privatization in an oil-exporting

17
New fields of economic analysis such as the theory of politics (examining the behavior of politicians), theories of
public choice (examining the behavior of bureaucrats), and principal-agent theory (examining the interaction
between politicians and bureaucrats) identified government failure as a problem that was not less severe than the
apparent market failure, which had led to the rise of government in the first place.


33

country. In 1989, the government declared 32 state-owned companies eligible for privatization,
including Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF), at that time the nation’s largest company. In the
same year, the oil sector was liberalized, and monopoly right and price controls were abolished,
opening up the industry to private participation. In 1993, 60 percent of YPF was privatized in two
separate transactions (Grosse and Yanes 1998). The transformation of YPF into a commercial entity
was generally considered a great success and inspired other Latin American countries to liberalize
(Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador) or even privatize (Brazil) their respective oil sectors and NOCs.
2.1.6 The end of history?
After the collapse of the USSR and other centrally-planned economies, many resource-rich areas that
had been closed off to Western POCs, particularly in the Caspian, were now available for investment.
As Linde stated, ‚The liberalization of the oil industry in the former Soviet Union has changed the
competitive position of all oil-producing countries‛ (Linde 2000:8). The liberal agenda of lightly
regulated hydrocarbon access advocated by POCs had prevailed over the restrictive policies of the
producer NOCs. The NOCs that were set up in the newly created states usually did not have a
dominant or monopolist position, but rather took a junior role in POC-led joint ventures (for example,
SOCAR in Azerbaijan and Kazakh Oil in Kazakhstan).
The notion that capitalism had not only won over communism, but also over state-interventionism
in a wider sense was prevalent at the time and swept through many industries, including oil.
18
Klein
(1999), at the time Chief Economist of Royal Dutch/Shell, expected all NOCs to be privatized by 2040.
The first Gulf War in 1990/91 finally convinced many governments that security of supply was no
longer an urgent issue on the political agenda. A major military conflict in the Gulf had always been
considered a worst-case scenario, but this one had been managed with little disruption to the oil
supply and the wider economy. Apparently the IEA strategic oil stocks and the free market and price
mechanisms had worked as intended.
Throughout the 1990s, the market saw strong growth in non-OPEC production, particularly from
the former Soviet Union. OPEC agreements on output restrictions were usually short-lived, and many
countries did not comply with them. In December 1997, OPEC increased its members’ quotas: a
number of members wanted to boost their short-term revenues, but Saudi Arabia (which since 1986
had supported a policy of low and stable oil prices to encourage energy users to return to oil) wanted
crude prices to fall below $20 per barrel to discourage further investment in the Caspian and Central
Asia. The expansion in supply coincided with the Asian financial crisis and Russia’s insolvency, and
oil prices subsequently crashed in 1998, with crude oil trading as low as $10 per barrel.
Prices recovered in April 1999, but by that time most NOCs had already reduced their new
investment dramatically or were refused additional funds from their respective governments. POCs
began to test new investments for positive net present values at assumed oil prices of $10-12 per
barrel, shelving many projects and setting the scene for a coming shortage of supply a few years later.
In 1999/2000, OPEC initiated a period of output restrictions, which benefited from the support of two
major non-OPEC producers (Norway and Mexico) and thus proved to be much more successful than
earlier attempts to stabilize price. In 2000, the annual average Brent crude price was $28.5 per barrel,
up from $12.2 per barrel in 1998.

18
Francis Fukuyama’s book ‚The End of History and the Last Man‛ (1992) is one of the most prominent
illustrations of this view.


34

2.1.7 Developments since 2000
Since the turn of the millennium, two somewhat opposing trends can be observed with respect to the
status and importance of NOCs. On the one hand, the economic and political agenda of market
liberalization and privatization have continued to influence decision making around the globe. Since
the turn of the millennium several important countries—including China, Brazil, India, Pakistan,
Norway, and Japan—have partially privatized their NOCs, and others are considering doing so.
19

Although many key producers ruled out privatization, there were important regulatory reforms in
some of these countries (such as Indonesia and Algeria), and initial steps towards allowing foreign
participation in others (such as the Saudi Gas Initiative or ongoing political debates in Kuwait and
Mexico).
On the other hand, high petroleum prices (particularly between 2003 and 2008)—largely caused by
the lack of supply-side investment in the late 1990s, strong Asian demand growth, and heightened
geopolitical concerns—have shifted bargaining power firmly in favor of the exporting states. Many
immediate budgetary pressures for sector reform have been relieved in exporting countries, and
increased interest from investors due to the perceived scarcity of hydrocarbon resources has raised
their political profile. The desire to increase the government share of available petroleum rents led to
widespread increases in taxation, and in some cases, to the nationalization or quasi-nationalization of
petroleum operations (for example, in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Russia), or the creation of NOCs in
emerging oil provinces (such as Chad and Uganda). Furthermore, some net consuming states in the
developing world, such as China and India, have supported their NOCs in pursuing acquisitions of
overseas petroleum sources, and Russian Gazprom’s export dealings appear to be shifting from a
purely commercial to an increasingly political arena (Victor 2008). Overall, the political aspect of
energy decision making has been reinforced in both exporting and importing countries.
As of today, the volatility in oil prices, the global recession, and the uncertain economic outlook
make it difficult to accurately define the outlook for energy demand, petroleum supply additions,
international trade policy, or even the geopolitical landscape, all of which are critical to the future
economic and political role of NOCs. Several factors—including the significantly reduced availability
of debt financing, and the ongoing volatility in the equity markets—may limit the ability of some
NOCs to invest in new upstream capacities as originally planned.
2.2 Arguments in favor of NOCs
NOCs come in many different forms. They can be monopolies or participate in competitive markets.
They can be asset operators or financial holding companies. Their business profile along the petroleum
sector value chain and their degree of commercial orientation and internationalization can also vary.
As a result, any argument about NOCs inevitably risks being overly generic or simplified. Therefore,
to control for the variation among NOCs, most of the arguments put forward in this chapter assume
NOCs to have a significant or even dominant role in their domestic petroleum sector. In fact, although
‚*p+ublic ownership does not imply state monopoly and private ownership does not entail
competition‛ (Vickers and Yarrow 1988:45), both concepts are nevertheless frequently intertwined in
practice (Beesley and Littlechild 1983).

19
This phenomenon might be partly explained by drawn out political decision making, as some of these initiatives
were conceived in the pre-2000 era of low oil prices and tight public budgets. Also, up until 2003 most industry
participants did not believe that energy prices would remain high—a typical broker forecast was a mean reversion
to around $20 per barrel within three to five years. In many cases of partial privatization, there was no apparent
intention to cede management control over time (Wolf and Pollit 2008).


35

A review of the literature offers numerous reasons as to why governments choose to set up NOCs
rather than opting for more liberal governance regimes. These have been divided into six categories,
namely (i) the historical context of NOC creation; (ii) the importance of the industry; (iii) political
benefits of state control; (iv) general sector efficiency levels; (v) rent capture by the state; and (vi) wider
socioeconomic issues and priorities.
2.2.1 Historical context
In many countries the establishment of NOCs largely coincided with a wave of asset nationalizations.
POCs were perceived to be backed by foreign, imperialistic governments and therefore opposed to
national interests (Grayson 1981; Hartshorn 1993). If national sovereignty over natural resources was
to be restored, it seemed logical for the government to create a domestic company to replace the
former operators (Olorufemi 1991; Stevens 2004) and act as a national symbol of independence. This
sense of a national mission, combined with the inherent weakness of the private sector in most
developing countries, largely ruled out the option of domestic but privately-owned operators in the oil
and gas sector (Linde 2000).
20
To some extent the setting up of NOCs could also be explained by an
element of mimicry across countries: creating symbols of independence became quite fashionable in
the post-colonial world (Jaidah 1980; Stevens 2004).
The proliferation of NOCs after World War II and through the late 1970s was embedded in a
wider political view that the state could and should tackle social and economic issues and supported a
strong belief in the benevolence of such state action (Yergin and Stanislaw 2002). In later years the
mainstream view of the state in economics changed considerably: public ownership was seen to be less
efficient, and market failures could instead be addressed using regulation (Shleifer and Vishny 1998).
2.2.2 The importance of the petroleum sector
In countries where either production or consumption in the oil and gas sector constitutes a significant
share of the domestic economy, there are inevitably strong incentives for comprehensive state
involvement or even direct state control to secure political and financial advantages. Petroleum is
frequently portrayed as one of the ‚commanding heights‛ in the international context, a ‚strategic‛
industry that can be used and abused as an economic or political weapon.
21
Hence, it is ‚too important
to be left to the market‛ (Robinson 1993:57).
22

2.2.3 Political gains from state control
The political importance of the petroleum sector has been evident throughout its history.
Consequently, the political incentives for direct state control are generally very strong. Whether or not
state control leads to better decision making and value creation is a different question.
Internationally, petroleum wealth can be used to secure financial, political, or military support,
and direct state control over the oil and gas sector enhances the government’s standing and bargaining
position. Domestically, state participation in the sector via NOCs provides the government with better
control of the petroleum sector along the value chain, including technical and commercial decision
making; resource development and depletion policy; product prices and subsidies; employment

20
Even in Norway, which in the early 1970s had a sufficiently developed private sector and was not laden with
post-colonial trauma, private (Norwegian) leadership of the petroleum sector was never an option in the political
discourse, although this partly reflected the Scandinavian tradition of state involvement across industries.
21
The term ‚commanding heights‛ goes back to Lenin and refers to industries that effectively control and support
the others.
22
The original quote that oil is not an ordinary commodity and is too important to be left to the market is often
ascribed to Sheikh Ahmed Yamani, Saudi oil minister from 1962-1986.


36

decisions; and scope of activities.
23
In downstream operations, direct control over the pricing of oil
products affects the daily lives of consumers and voters and is therefore a sensitive subject
(McPherson 2003). Furthermore, some oil importing countries use their NOCs to address (or at least
mitigate) concerns about the security of supply and to balance the power of exporting countries and
their NOCs, as well as prominent POCs.
2.2.4 Efficiency and monitoring of operations
Proponents say that the presence of a strong NOC benefits overall efficiency levels in the industry and
thus improves value creation. The most commonly cited argument in this context is the role of NOCs
in reducing informational asymmetries vis-à-vis private operators, which leads to better sector
regulation and less opportunities for rent seeking and rent skimming. When a government deals
directly with private investors in the petroleum sector, there are significant information asymmetries
between the parties: the private operator usually has much better knowledge of the geology (after
initial exploration has been conducted), appropriate production schedules, technology and associated
costs, and the environmental impact of the project. In order to effectively perform its industry
oversight, the government would require a comparable level of expertise and information, which is
highly unlikely if the state has no direct operational involvement in the industry (Nore 1980; Stevens
2004). NOCs enabled governments to gain first-hand information on the operational and financial
conditions facing all companies and to establish a benchmark against which they could judge the
performance of the POCs.
24
In other words, NOCs provided the state with a ‚window to the oil
industry‛ (Grayson 1981).
2.2.5 Petroleum rent maximization
The state’s rent capture from petroleum operations is in principle determined by two main variables:
the total amount of rent created in the petroleum industry, and the relative share captured by the state
and its agent (NOC). In setting appropriate fiscal systems (the main mechanism for rent extraction),
the state must consider the balance between short-term monetary gain and longer-term implications
for attracting incremental investment, which in turn determines the future tax base.
25
However,
governments often want to secure the highest possible share of the economic rent (or value-added, in
the case of downstream operations) and are hesitant to allow private companies to obtain significant
returns on investment. Fiscal and contractual frameworks, if well-designed and implemented, can

23
The policies of OPEC members in the oil and gas sector are prominent examples of the blending of political
motivation and economic policy. Saudi Arabia has long used its oil trading relationship with the United States to
acquire political and diplomatic capital and military assistance (Jaffe and Elass 2007). Outside of OPEC, Norway is
a much-cited example of how the state can use its NOC to control the pace and means of petroleum development.
In the early 1970s there was widespread concern among government and civil society over the macroeconomic and
cultural consequences of overly rapid oil development, which led to a deliberate ‚go-slow‛ policy. This included a
restrictive licensing system and a strong NOC (Statoil, founded in 1972), which in the early years had a majority
interest in all production licenses and veto power on development decisions (Dam 1974; Al-Kasim 2006; Wolf and
Pollit 2009).
24
The belief that the NOC should provide governments an inside view of the industry was instrumental in the
creation of Statoil in Norway in 1972. Although some had advocated Statoil to be a holding company only for the
state’s direct interests in petroleum assets, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy believed ‚that only through
‘learning the ropes’ as an operator would the national company be able to assist the country in ensuring national
control‛ (Al-Kasim 2006). Petronas was established in response to the difficulties faced by Malaysian state officials
in obtaining information on new discoveries and developments by POCs, making it difficult to properly inform
parliament and to develop suitable national petroleum policies (von der Mehden and Troner 2007).
25
Political control and economic efficiency also affect the size of the rent and its capture. These were discussed in
previous sections.


37

promote sector development and value creation while efficiently capturing some of that value for the
state (Tordo 2007). But an effective fiscal system requires that a country has the administrative
capacity and expertise to regulate and oversee private petroleum operators. The absence of such
regulatory competencies can be particularly pronounced in developing nations. Therefore, some
countries have opted to create a dominant NOC to avoid the need for effective regulation or to allow
the bureaucracy time to develop sector familiarity and in-house expertise.
2.2.6 Socioeconomic issues and priorities
NOCs can be used to serve socioeconomic goals, such as employment generation for locals,
development of commercial and technical capacity, provision of social (such as schools and hospitals)
and other infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, and water supply), income redistribution through
subsidized prices, and facilitate state borrowing (Nore 1980; Gayson 1981; Horn 1995; McPherson
2003). In countries where welfare systems are underdeveloped or non-existent, employment in NOCs
can be a primary social safety net, and oil subsidies can be primary redistribution measures.
26
In many
ways NOCs have thus been ‚tied to the national purpose‛ (Khan 1987), and the existence of
noncommercial objectives and obligations is often cited as a defining characteristic of NOCs compared
to their privately-owned peers.


Noncommercial objectives vary widely among NOCs. Some are explicitly mandated by the
government, while others are embedded within the corporate culture of the NOC.
27
For some
noncommercial objectives, the NOCs are simply convenient sources of funding for government-run
programs. Others are actually implemented by the NOCs themselves. Some involve straightforward
redistribution of wealth, whereas others aim to develop economic linkages around the oil and gas
sector to advance longer-term capacity building and economic diversification. It is worth noting that
recent research seems to indicate that NOCs have increasingly been focusing on their core business,
and many noncommercial activities today are sponsored indirectly via funds transferred to the state
treasuries (Marcel 2006b; WB-CEE 2008).
2.3 Practical difficulties and setbacks with NOCs
Despite the host of apparently good reasons to set up a NOC, the performance and commercial
efficiency of these state enterprises has in most cases not lived up to expectations and quite often has
been disappointing. This issue is related (but not equivalent) to resource curse—that is, the apparent
failure of many states to translate a wealth of natural resources into sustainable economic
development. Resource curse can affect any resource-holding nation, but some would argue that

26
For example, Saudi Aramco, which has a reputation for operational and commercial efficiency, still plays an
important societal role as a sponsor of technical education and training. Saudi Aramco’s mission statement
declares investment in Saudi nationals to be ‚a national obligation and a strategic goal‛ (Jaffe and Elass 2007:68).
Consequently the NOC spends more than $1 billion per year on programs to recruit, train, and retain its
workforce. Since 1953 it has built more than 130 government schools, and its College Preparatory Center has
awarded over 4,800 full scholarships to international universities to Saudi nationals since 1994. Aramco does not
usually fire poorly performing employees, but instead keeps them in ‚shadow offices‛ ‚away from important
business‛ (Marcel 2006b:68).
27
Some NOCs, including Algeria’s Sonatrach, have in recent years begun voluntary expenditure programs very
much comparable to corporate social responsibility initiatives of the private sector. In interviews conducted by
Marcel (2006b), Sonatrach managers emphasized the corporate citizenship aspect of programs such as healthcare
provision, sport sponsorship, or emergency relief aid.


38

nations with heavy direct state involvement and limited access to outside competitors are more prone
to the phenomenon.
28

2.3.1 Historical context and ideology
The historical context of NOC establishment (as outlined earlier in this chapter) makes decision
making susceptible to ideology, which can interfere with the maximization of economic efficiency and
the generation of social welfare. The memories of foreign domination through international consortia
and of the sometimes arduous nationalization process continue to influence perceptions and decision
making, particularly in the Middle East. POCs have traditionally sought title to reserves and
production, emphasizing the need for property rights; NOCs, on the other hand, have tried to avoid
granting equity rights.
29
POCs have also frequently been accused of producing reserves too quickly,
focusing on short-term profits and disregarding the longer-term wealth of the host nation; of using
deliberately low future price scenarios that underestimate the profitability of any joint projects; and of
generally being arrogant (Marcel 2006b). Such strongly held opinions on both sides make cooperation
and rational decision making more difficult.
However, in many cases—with the exception of openly nationalist initiatives—the cultural and
operational gap between NOCs and POCs seems to have narrowed. Chinese state companies
PetroChina and Sinopec have joint ventures with Western POCs to build retail networks and
petrochemicals plants in China and run upstream operations around the world. Middle East NOCs
such as Saudi Aramco and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) have acquired equity interests in
private overseas refining and marketing assets (such as Showa Shell in Japan). Even the large-scale
takeover of private firms and assets through NOCs, which was considered impossible for cultural and
political reasons for a long time, has become a regular feature of the industry.
30

2.3.2 Economic cost of political control
The importance of the petroleum industry is often cited as an argument in favor of direct state
intervention. But this is a political rather than an economic argument, and any political benefits from
state control often come at substantial economic costs.
At least in theory, ownership structure does not matter from an economic perspective if complete
contracts can be written (Williamson 1985; Grossman and Hart 1986). But as with all SOEs, the
ultimate owners
31
of the NOCs face a ‚principal-agent problem‛: between the citizens and their

28
For a detailed analysis of the resource curse see for example, Wijnbergen (1984), Auty (1983), Karl (1997), Leite
and Weidmann (1999), Stevens (2003), Humphreys et al. (2007), and Sachs (2007).
29
According to Marcel (2006a), many NOCs consider the compensation paid to the POCs in the 1970s
nationalization processes to have been excessive. For many resource-holding states this issue has contributed to
the popularity of contractual (including PSCs) over concessionary legal systems. While contractual and
concessionary systems could be designed to provide equivalent economic returns to the government, their
psychological connotations clearly differ.
30
The first asset acquisition by a producing NOC was KPC’s purchase of some of Gulf Oil’s European downstream
assets. When KPC acquired 22 percent of BP’s shares in 1989, the fear of producer dominance in consuming
markets was such that the British government ordered the stake to be reduced to 9.9 percent (Al-Moneef 1998). In
2005 China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) attempted a $18.5 billion takeover of the U.S. firm Unocal,
which was effectively blocked through political opposition in the U.S. Congress. China Petroleum and Chemical
Corporation (Sinopec) recently agreed the $7.2 billion acquisition of Swiss-Canadian Addax Petroleum, which
among its assets has a production license in Northern Iraq.
31
In modern democracies the ultimate beneficiaries and owners of SOEs are the citizens, who delegate their rights
to politicians and bureaucrats (Cohen 2001).


39

government on the one side, and between government and NOC management on the other.
32
This
makes the writing of complete management contracts particularly difficult, and might thus be
responsible for inefficient behavior (Shleifer 1998).
33

Developing countries in the past have also frequently been unable to establish efficient regulatory,
contractual, and fiscal frameworks. But as the general understanding and appreciation of these
contractual issues has improved in recent years (Johnston 1994; Tordo 2007), from an economic point
of view there seems to be no a priori reason to opt for a NOC instead of a competitive market with a
well-designed fiscal system.
More generally, the notion of creating value by ‚cutting out the middle-man‛ (in this case the
private sector) may be misleading: NOCs don’t operate for free either, and any public sector
investment in the petroleum sector has a cost of capital associated with it (which in an efficient market
is similar to the private operator’s return) as well as an additional opportunity cost due to the fact that
public funds tend to have a higher shadow welfare multiplier (Jones et al. 1990; Newbery and Pollit
1997).
2.3.3 Operational inefficiencies
If NOCs had equal or greater operational efficiency than POCs’, then this would alone constitute a
strong argument for their existence. However, NOCs are frequently accused of sub-standard
operational efficiency due to inadequate technical and managerial capabilities and misguided human
resources policies (Jaidah 1980; Al-Mazeedi 1992; Gochenour 1992; also see many NOC case studies by
Rice and Stanford Universities).
34

After the POCs lost their prime assets in the wave of nationalizations that took place in the 1970s,
years of high oil prices provided an opportunity for POCs to restructure and improve efficiency levels.
They invested a large part of their windfall profits from this benign pricing environment into research
and development of new technologies, enabling huge cost savings and productivity gains. The price at
which POCs could profitably find, develop, and produce non-OPEC oil—particularly oil from frontier
fields—fell significantly from $25 per barrel in the 1980s to $10 in 1999, both in 1999 prices (Linde
2000). NOCs, on the other hand, tended to manage and maintain the asset base that was handed to
them, and most failed to invest in upgrading facilities or new technologies. It was during this time that
many of the NOCs fell behind in technical competency and lost the ability to take on more advanced
projects on their own (Stevens 2004). In terms of human resources, NOCs were often overstaffed, paid
above-average wages compared to other government entities and state-owned enterprises (Waelde

32
Applied to corporate governance, the term ‚principal-agent problem‛ includes many of the problems associated
with adequate management that may stem from the distributed ownership structure. In private corporations the
shareholders participate and vote on major decisions at the general shareholders’ meeting. In SOEs there may be
several oversight government entities between the ultimate beneficial owners (that is, the citizens) and the SOE’s
management. Depending on the organization of the state, an SOE may not have a clear owner, but rather
competing owners and stakeholders with widely different objectives (OECD 2005). The various institutional
objectives may be legitimate, but competition for influence often dilutes accountability and weakens the incentives
for managers and board members to seek optimal performance (OECD 2005). This complex agency chain often
creates difficulties for SOEs that are not present in the more straightforward relationship between a private
company’s management and its shareholders.
33
Critics might rightfully argue that complete management contracts do not exist in either case, but the relative
deviation from this ideal scenario does matter in terms of incentives for efficiency and control.
34
Case studies can be downloaded at http://www.rice.edu/energy/publications/nocs.html (Rice) and
http://pesd.stanford.edu/research/oil/ (Stanford).


40

1995), and were accused of recruiting according to family, tribal, or religious considerations rather
than based on qualification and performance (Al-Mazeedi 1992).
2.3.4 Lack of competition
The important role of competition for the performance of a company is well–documented in both
theoretical and empirical work (Boardman and Vining 1989; Galal and others 1994; Nickell 1996).
Competition allows improved monitoring through a comparison of managerial performance,
encourages innovation of new products and processes, and disciplines companies to fight for market
share and against the threat of bankruptcy (Hayek 1948; Beesley and Littlechild 1983; Vickers and
Yarrow 1988; Pollit 1995). Lack of competition has been found to be the greatest barrier to economic
growth in developing countries (Palmade 2005). Nevertheless, often governments granted monopoly
rights— or at least a highly protected business environment—to their NOC. Even where there were
potential competitors, especially in the downstream market, NOCs were often able to create significant
barriers to entry by manipulating the regulatory environment to their advantage (Stevens 2004).
Furthermore, powerful interest groups within public enterprises—including management, employees,
and unions—have an incentive to oppose the introduction of competitive forces. By comparison,
groups with an interest in competitive pressure—such as potential market entrants and the wider
consuming public—often have not been as effective in arguing their case (Vickers and Yarrow 1991).
The justification for privileges has often been to offset noncommercial obligations imposed on NOCs,
or to promote local content policies.
2.3.5 Subsidies and noncommercial objectives
In many importing and exporting countries, NOCs bear the burden of petroleum product subsidies. In
net importing countries, subsidies may be one of the NOC’s principal noncommercial obligations.
These NOCs are particularly hard-hit in times of high commodity prices (Coady et al. 2006; ESMAP
2006; Mati 2008). In a recent study, the 2007 energy subsidies of the 20 largest non-OECD countries
(net importers and exporters) are estimated at $310 billion. Subsidies are often an unsustainable
economic burden and exacerbate negative environmental effects (IEA 2008).
Especially in countries with low public investment management capacity and weak social safety
nets, the NOC may be tasked to implement investment programs that go beyond normal corporate
social responsibility programs. Similar to fuel subsidies, social expenditure programs of NOCs have
been criticized as ineffective, inefficient, or as sources for patronage (Hodges 2003; Heller 2009).
35

As discussed earlier, many governments assumed that NOCs would be able to successfully deliver
on both commercial and noncommercial objectives. This perception was partly based on the size of the
NOCs (often the largest local enterprise) and the significant rents, particularly in the upstream. But
many have argued that the pursuit of many, often conflicting objectives imposes costs on NOCs and
reduce their incentive to maximize profits.
Noncommercial objectives may well affect the commercial performance and profitability of NOCs.
At the same time, they do not necessarily decrease efficiency. Not-for-profit activities can be delivered
efficiently, and efficiency should always be measured relative to corporate objectives. But according to
most empirical studies, NOCs typically are not very efficient in delivering on noncommercial

35
For example, an analysis of Sonangol’s overseas university scholarships determined that although they covered
technical degrees that were pertinent to the oil industry (such as engineering), they were often dispensed to the
children of politically-connected families. During the final years of the civil war between 1997 and 2001, overseas
scholarships accounted for 18 percent of total government expenditure on education, more than what was spent
within the country on technical education and higher education combined (Hodges 2003; Heller 2009).


41

objectives, and other public sector bodies would be better placed to perform such duties. Where
‚money is spent haphazardly, without strategic guidance, or without concern for measuring the
success of the expenditure‛ (Marcel 2006b), there will be inefficiencies in the delivery of both
commercial and noncommercial objectives.
2.3.6 Weak corporate governance
According to some researchers NOC’s corporate governance standards score poorly compared to
other SOEs or POCs. This may be a consequence of both the NOC managers and the politicians in
government not having strong incentives to enforce governance standards. NOC managers may strive
to maximize their scope of discretionary decision making, while the government may have political
reasons to obscure the exact uses of cash (Stevens 2004). The board of directors (BODs) of NOCs are
considered to have less decision making power than their counterparts in other SOEs since their
members are frequently government officials or are appointed on political grounds. Some NOCs do
not even have a BOD.
36
Like with other SOEs, weak governance arrangements of NOCs can lead not
only to inefficiency, but also to corruption and cronyism.
37

While it is generally agreed that the transparency of NOCs is an important issue, one should
distinguish between transparency towards its owners (the state, or more precisely, its citizens) and
transparency to outside parties. Some countries have chosen to limit disclosure to the outside world,
while providing comprehensive internal NOC disclosure to the relevant authorities (Jaffe and Elass
2007). From a corporate governance perspective, adequate oversight and control exercised by the
owners seems to be of primary importance in reducing information asymmetries and the potential for
managerial rent-seeking.
2.3.7 Funding strategy and requirements
The level of budgetary and financial autonomy of a NOC can have important consequences for its
efficiency and market strategy. Financing arrangements can be broadly categorized as follows:
 Low level of budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC transfers all revenue or margin from
operations to the state and must present requests for financing in order to fund its investment
programs;
38

 Some budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC has the right to reinvest part of its profits.
Investment and borrowing decisions beyond a certain amount must be authorized by the
government body that exercises the ownership rights of the state or other authority
representing the state;
 High level of budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC has the right to reinvest all or part of its
profits. Investment and borrowing decisions are authorized by its BOD.
In general terms, the lack of autonomy tends to negatively impact the timeliness and effectiveness
of investment decisions, and may increase the cost of doing business and political interference in the

36
For example, McPherson (2003) reports that the Nigerian NOC, NNPC, did not have a board for 10 years due to
the government’s desire to exercise more direct political control (see also Nwokeji 2007).
37
For example, in 1999 the Price Waterhouse Coopers special audit report of Indonesia’s NOC, Pertamina, found
numerous irregularities, including excessive mark-ups on contracts, sales of natural gas below market price, and
questionable fees to trading companies partially owned by the President’s family. Following the change in regime
and the oil and gas sector reform law of 2001, Pertamina cancelled or re-tendered more than 150 contracts with
associates of former President Suharto; the associates were ordered to sell their stakes in petroleum projects
(Hertzmark 2007).
38
Some government uses its NOC to collect revenues and then allocates investment capital through its central
budget (Randall 1987; Karshenas 1990; Cochnour 1992; McPerson 2003).


42

management and operations of the NOC. On the other hand, too much autonomy may reduce the
fiscal revenue of the state, and could diminish incentives for cost reduction and efficiency
improvements.
39
Similar financing and budget autonomy may produce different results.
40

In some cases, NOCs do not have sufficient cash flow to provide upfront financing of large and
infrastructure-heavy developments.
41
More generally, the oil and gas industry is highly capital
intensive and the budgetary demands can be daunting for developing nations, especially relative to
other government programs such as health, education, and transport.
42
Petroleum sector investment
can therefore crowd out social programs to the detriment of national welfare.
2.3.8 Conflict of interests and balance of control
Conflict of interest may affect the efficiency and mandate of NOCs. In many countries, the NOC
devises and implements sector policy, and even in countries where a ministry is formally in charge,
the NOC often contributes substantially to decision making due to its superior resources and
industrial expertise. For example, Marcel (2006b) describes the boundaries between the National Iran
Oil Company (NIOC) and the ministry as ‚famously blurred‛. The NOC has frequently been the
writer and enforcer of the rules and game participant all at the same time, raising the likelihood that
decisions are not in the best interest of the public. NNPC, Pertamina, and Algeria’s Sonatrach once
were examples of this ‚all-in-one‛ institutional set-up, although all of them have been subject to

39
For example, it is very common for NOCs to sell the state’s share of production on behalf of the government,
given that NOCs have, in principle, both the market knowledge and existing sales channels. But if sales and
transfer prices are not market-based or do not reflect marketing costs, then transparency and efficiency might be
compromised. Before the 2001 sector reform in Indonesia, Pertamina marketed the government’s share of PSC
production volumes. The NOC retained 5 percent of the sale value as marketing fee, which typically accounted for
half of Pertamina's profits (World Bank 2000a). After the 2001 reform, receipts from the sale of the state share of
PSC production go directly to the Central Bank rather than through Pertamina’s accounts. The objective of the
reform was to make the flow of funds more transparent, and to improve incentives for efficiency in Pertamina
(Hertzmark 2007). In Norway the state has substantial direct equity interests in Norwegian production, which
historically has been processed, transported and marketed by the Statoil. Statoil is mandated to sell state volumes
alongside its own production so as to maximize their combined value. Statoil must ensure the equitable
distribution of value between the State and itself, and costs and revenues related to these sales must be transparent
and measurable (Statoil 2001). All prices are realized prices; the state does not pay any specific consideration to
Statoil other than reimbursement of a proportionate share of actually incurred marketing expenses.
40
For example, both Pemex (Mexico) and Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) have a relatively low level of financing and
budgetary autonomy. Corporate tax rates imposed by the state on Pemex have historically been based on
government needs, leaving the NOC with after-tax resources that are inadequate for capital replacement, let alone
investment in new projects. Over the past five years, Pemex has paid out slightly over 60 percent of its total
revenues in royalties and taxes and has financed almost 40 percent of Mexico's entire federal budget. Evidence
from investment data and available research show that the company focuses on short-term production
maintenance to maximize short-term revenue (Moody’s 2003; Stojanovski 2008). At Saudi Aramco, normal
operational expenses and investments are financed out of retained earnings, but additional funds for major
projects need to be allocated through the national budget via the Ministry of Finance (Jaffe and Elass 2007). This
arrangement seems to work reasonably well in the Saudi case, as there is little evidence of long-term investment
being suppressed.
41
Several factors can restrict the availability of private sector financing to NOCs. For one, borrowing from private
sources usually requires government approval or the provision of government guarantees. Furthermore, the NOC
may be constrained by the level of existing foreign debt of the government. Finally, if oil production is used as
loan collateral, the extent and availability of the resource base will affect the level of possible financing.
42
For example, in Nigeria in 1999, budgetary allocations for health, education, and transport were less than 20
billion Naira each while the state share in NNPC’s joint ventures with foreign oil companies required a total
investment of close to 350 billion Naira (McPherson 2003).


43

reform. The most common reform trend has been to transfer some licensing and regulatory powers
from the NOC to newly formed executive (or independent) bodies, and to eventually aim for an
institutional setup that separates policy making (which is the responsibility of the government) from
corporate strategy (NOC) and sector regulation (independent regulatory body) (McPherson 2003;
Marcel 2006b). This institutional arrangement is commonly known as the ‚trinity‛ or ‚Norwegian‛
model.
The promise of overcoming conflicts of interest through independent regulatory bodies is
conceptually appealing. Implementing such an arrangement properly requires frameworks that may
not exist in some countries, such as strong governance principles, regulatory freedom from political
intervention, and strong training and human resources policies to competently staff two sets of
institutions. Consequently there are still several prominent NOCs with comprehensive powers over
the petroleum sector, including Petronas and Sonangol. According to the protocol of a series of
producer countries’ roundtables at Chatham House London (Lahn et al. 2007) there is a consensus
today that the regulatory role should be separate from operations, but there is no consensus as to
whether this should be achieved through separate departmental responsibilities at the NOC or the
ministry or through a truly independent body. This position is corroborated by more recent research
on the applicability of the so called ‚Norwegian‛ model in different capacity and institutional settings
(Thurber, Hults and Heller 2010).
Although NOCs were originally set up as instruments of the state to reduce the information
asymmetries between government and foreign operators, they have become ‚major actors on their
own, interposed between the government per se and, mostly foreign, oil companies‚ (Waelde 1995).
As such, NOCs often capitalize on the principal-agent relationship and information asymmetries
between the domestic government and itself (Linde 2000; Stevens 2004). But in some cases state control
mechanisms intended to prevent conflicts of interests or corrupt practices may ultimately result in
considerable damage to the commercial decision making process of the NOC.
43
The final decision can
often take ‘a couple of months’.‛ Achieving the proper balance between the NOC’s entrepreneurial
freedom on the one hand and effective monitoring and control on the other is thus difficult.
2.4 Conclusion
To understand NOCs, one has to consider the historical, political, and socioeconomic context in which
they were founded and have developed. Direct state intervention could be justified based on: the
historical context of the decision; the overall importance of the industry to many nations and the
political benefits of state control; the potentially beneficial impact of NOCs on sector-wide economic
efficiency; enhanced rent capture by the state; and the ability to pursue wider socioeconomic priorities

43
Pemex, for example, is stringently controlled in its operations and business decisions by various ministries,
including the Ministry of Public Functions (SFP). Not only does SFP appoint Pemex's external auditors and
oversee its procurement decisions, it also determines its organizational charts, salaries, and employment positions.
Any newly created jobs—whether they are managerial or low-level union jobs—require the agency's regulatory
approval. Stojanovski (2008) observes that ‚*w+hile the stringent oversight (<) may, in some ways, be fitting for a
country with a vast bureaucracy and significant potential for political corruption, it also clearly clips Pemex’s
autonomy and restricts the flexibility and risk-taking that are essential to running a business.‛ At KPC, any
purchase over 5,000 KD (approximately $17,000) requires a public tendering process, which can take up to one
year. This figure was set in 1964 and has not been adjusted since. Additionally, any expenditure greater than
100,000 KD requires pre-approval by the State Audit Bureau (SAB). The law requires the SAB to respond within
one week, but according to Stevens (2008a), ‚in practice on day 6 or 7 the SAB comes back with some ‘query which
effectively stops the clock’ (PESD Interviews 2007).


44

with the help of the NOCs’ operational and financial clout. Despite these valuable reasons for setting
up NOCs, existing research shows that their performance and value creation has quite often been
disappointing. Some of the key issues identified for NOCs and a state-led petroleum sector include:
the economic cost of political intervention; the operational inefficiencies of NOCs; unsatisfactory
delivery on noncommercial objectives; inadequate corporate governance arrangements; inappropriate
sector organization; and issues related to funding arrangements and the scarcity of public funds.
The observed shortcomings have historically been associated with NOCs. But few are inevitably
tied to them: appropriate institutional arrangements can mitigate or resolve some of these issues, and
certain states/NOCs have succeeded in doing so. Nevertheless, the implementation of such mitigating
measures has generally proven difficult, and their success has been attributed to a considerable extent
to the wider national context. The review of existing literature on the history of NOCs suggests that
the country political, economic, and social environment affects the objectives of the NOC, as well as its
governance mechanisms over time.
NOCs differ on a number of very important variables, including the level of competition in the
market in which they operate, their business profile along the value chain, and their degree of
commercial orientation and internationalization. One thus needs to be mindful of possible over-
generalizations. On the other hand, most NOCs share at least some core characteristics: for example,
they are usually tied to the ‚national purpose‛ and serve political and economic goals other than
maximizing the firm’s profits. Perhaps this is the most relevant single factor that explains their
existence and resilience in very different political, social and economic environments. These core
characteristics need to be taken into account in defining what constitutes NOC value creation and
analyzing NOCs behavior and strategy.




45

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50

3. The performance and value creation
of NOCs: a conceptual model


“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't
know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
(Mary Kay Ash)





Most of the analyses carried out to date point to the existence of efficiency gaps between NOCs and
POCs. In general, NOCs exhibit lower labor and capital efficiency, generate lower revenue, are less
profitable, and produce a significantly lower annual percentage of their upstream reserves than
POCs.
44
Such efficiency gaps have been partly justified by the complexity of objectives pursued by
NOCs compared to the simple maximization of shareholders’ return on capital pursued by POCs. The
results, although indicative of a general trend, shed little light on the performance of NOCs, since they
attempt to measure performance with reference to an objective function—the maximization of
shareholders’ return on capital— that fails to capture the broad mandate and mission of NOCs.
Previous chapters have shown that NOCs differ greatly in their institutional environments, their
corporate objectives and operations, and their domestic and international socio-economic linkages,
which makes a comparative assessment of NOCs’ value creation far from trivial. This chapter sets out
a possible analytical framework for assessing NOCs’ wider contribution to social value creation.
3.1 A conceptual model of value creation
The factors that affect value creation by NOCs can be grouped into two categories: (i) variables
describing initial conditions and context (such as the economic situation, political history and
ideology, international obligations, and natural resource endowment); and (ii) variables describing
human and organizational agency (such as sector and corporate governance choices, and companies
strategies).
45
The model draws from an earlier version developed by Wolf (2009).Together, the context
and agency variables constitute the drivers of value creation. A schematic representation of these factors
and their interaction is shown in figure 3.1.

44
Appendix 3 contains an overview of the most salient advances in the research on NOCs.
45
For some variables this classification is dependent on the time horizon of the analysis. Over the mid- to long-
term, for example, international obligations can be revoked or renegotiated, but for any short-term decision they
are essentially exogenous.


51

The proposed simplified conceptual model assumes that three key institutions generate the vast
majority of direct value in any national petroleum sector: the NOC, the POCs, and the sector
organization and governance.
46
NOCs and POCs (the companies) have certain levels of economic
efficiency and make strategic and operational choices, which translate into commercial and
noncommercial performance and value creation. But the companies’ ability and willingness to perform
well are embedded within, and affected by, matters of sector organization and governance, including
the fiscal regime (which often delivers the greatest share of state monetary benefits), industry structure
(that is, monopoly versus competition), regulatory responsibilities and capacity, and pricing
mechanisms.
Any national petroleum sector has a set of implicit or explicit rules and procedures. Additionally,
as the resource owner, the state has to decide whether to allow NOCs, POCs (national or
international), or a combination of the two to operate and invest in the sector. The state’s decisions –
regarding sector governance and sector participation are fundamentally interconnected and jointly
affect value creation. The model describes NOC value creation as the outcome of a number of
interlinking variables and processes. The role and objectives of a NOC are assumed to be influenced
by the goals and objectives of the state with regard to energy and petroleum policy, which in turn is
determined by the nation’s historical, political, financial, and economic context, itself affected by the
country’s resource endowment and geography. The NOC’s objectives influence both its corporate
governance structure (which is also influenced by the country’s institutional and governance
arrangements) and its strategy and behavior in the marketplace. These two factors are suggested as the
most immediate drivers of NOC performance and value creation.
Any model is a simplification of reality. Therefore some possible variables and many possible
linkages between variables have not explicitly been acknowledged. For example, the model does not
assume that value created within the petroleum sector in turn affects the country’s financial, economic,
political, and geological context.
Figure 3.1 – Petroleum sector value creation










Source: Authors.

46
We define institutions to include the system of formal laws, regulations, and procedures (including, but not
limited to, legal entities and their governing rules), as well as informal conventions, customs, and norms that
influence socioeconomic behavior.
Petroleum sector value creation
Geology and geography
State context
Sector policy and institutional framework
POCs organization
and strategy
NOC organization
and strategy


52

3.2 Measuring the performance of NOCs: the value creation index
The performance of a NOC should be measured with reference to its objective function. As discussed
in chapter 2, mission and objectives vary widely among NOCs, depending on its shareholder’s policy
objectives. But in general they often include one or more of the following: (i) to protect national
hydrocarbon wealth, which requires the NOC to maximize the recovery factor on fields and optimize
resources in line with the country’s depletion policy; (ii) to promote economic development, which
requires the NOC to maximize its financial and productive linkages, both forward and backward; and
(iii) to promote the political interests of the state abroad (Stevens 2008). In other words, the NOC’s
objective function is the creation of value for society.
In this context performance simply refers to economic behavior by the NOC that is conducive to
overall value creation. NOCs directly create value, either through their role as operators, or through
their national mission (Stevens 2008). They can also create value indirectly, for example, as an advisor
to other elements of the government and as a regulator (although this may give rise to conflict of
interest). The NOC’s capacity to fulfill its missions and objectives determines its contribution to value
creation.
To measure NOC value creation this section proposes a composite indicator: the value creation
index (VCI).
47
The index is not meant to capture all aspects of NOC value creation, but to provide a
useful measure of key aspects of value creation for further analysis. In particular, the index is designed
to measure short term value creation by the NOC. As such, long-term sustainability considerations
and long-term growth potential are not captured by the index (for example, we measure the NOC’s
ability to replace its reserves, but not the future flow of revenues from the extraction of existing
reserves).
The proposed index focuses on performance indicators that contribute directly to value creation
(that is, output indicators). There are other interesting and essential aspects of good NOC
performance, such as human resources and skill base, technological competence, and industrial
partnerships. However, these support and enable the creation of value and are drivers of value
creation rather than indicators of value creation. Since we aim to better understand the relationships
between value drivers and value creation, the value creation index should not overlap with these
drivers. Stevens (2008) identifies three categories that theoretically capture NOC value creation:
operational performance, financial performance, and national mission performance. If each of these
categories could be observed and measured directly, the summation of the observed values would
provide the desired measure of value creation. But categorical measures do not exist. Therefore we
estimate them by using proxy variables that capture aspects of value creation that we believe to be
important for each category.
48
It is worth noting that the selection of proxy variables is affected by data
availability for a sufficient number of NOCs. Figure 3.2 shows the categories and proxy variables
selected for the creation of the index.



47
Composite indicators are synthetic indices of individual indicators, where an indicator can be defined as a
‚quantitative or qualitative measure derived from a series of observed facts that can reveal relative position in a
given area and, when measured over time, can point out the direction of change‛ (Freudenberg 2003).
48
Since the scale of the VCI is not relevant to the proposed model, the relative importance of each category, and of
proxy variables within a category, is not a concern (as long as each sub-component is orthogonal to the others and
measured in such a way that it facilitates aggregation, for example, by normalizing on a common, increasing
scale).


53

Figure 3.2 – Components of the VCI












Source: Adapted from Wolf, 2009.

3.2.1 Proxy measures used in VCI
The rationale behind the selection of the proxy measures used for each component in the VCI –
operation performance variables, financial performance variables, and national mission variables – is
discussed below.
a. Operational performance variables:
Production growth and the reserve replacement rate (RRR), both net of acquisitions and disposals, are
standard indicators of upstream effectiveness. While the exploration success rate might be considered
as an additional indicator of technical and geophysical expertise, it is already partially captured by the
RRR.
Refinery capacity utilization is chosen to measure downstream performance. Growth in capacity
utilization is considered a proxy measure of a NOC’s ability to meet local demand, and to add value.
NOCs without refining assets are not penalized in the data aggregation process.
The ratios of output to total assets and output to employees reflect capital and labor efficiency,
respectively. For the purpose of this index, output is defined as the sum of upstream production and
refined products (where applicable), both expressed in millions of barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE).
b. Financial performance variables:
As this paper examines social value creation by NOCs, after-tax measures are not appropriate because
taxes are not a loss of value as viewed by the government. Furthermore, taxes are not usually within
the NOC’s sphere of influence due to its inability to relocate domestic operations.
49
Similar

49
POCs usually have considerable flexibility with respect to portfolio management and related tax implications. In
this sense, benchmarking the performance of POCs on the basis of after-tax profits reflects the companies’ ability to
devise efficient tax management strategies.
- E&P production growth (%)
- Reserves replacement ratio (%)
- Refinery utilization (%)
- Output / total assets (boe)
- Output / employees (boe)
- EBRTN / revenue (%)
- EBRTN / total assets (%)
- Net cash flow from operations
/ CAPEX (%)
- Share of local content (%)
- Domestic output use (%)
- Share of national sin NOC
workforce (%)
- NOC employment share of
country workforce (%)
- Employment growth (%)
- Non-commercial expenditure /
total expenditure (%)
- Non-core commercial net
income / total net income (%)
- Price subsidies / revenue (%)
Operational performance
NOC value creation index
Financial performance National mission performance


54

considerations apply to a NOC’s noncommercial expenditure. Ultimately, the earnings before interest,
royalties (and other production taxes), income taxes, noncommercial expenditure, and non-core
commercial activities (‚EBITRN‛) should allow us to benchmark the financial performance and value
creation of NOCs, irrespective of how they transfer that value to the government, whether through
taxes, social expenditure, or profits and dividends.
50

Noncommercial and non-core activities are excluded from the financial performance measure,
since they are considered in the national mission performance. However, data on noncommercial, non-
core activities, and price subsidies are not systematically disclosed by NOCs. Without appropriate
data, financial performance and national mission performance may be under or overestimated as the
case may be.
The proxy indicators chosen to measure profitability, financial efficiency, and solvability are
EBITRN/revenue, EBITRN/total assets, and net cash flow from operations/capital expenditure
(NCFO/CAPEX), respectively. For the purpose of calculating this proxy indicator, NCFO is defined as
cash flow from operations minus the government's portion of dividends.
When using financial accounting data the following need to be taken into consideration:
 the accounting literature has shown that companies can manipulate their disclosure, even in
developed capital markets and jurisdictions;
 differences in accounting standards between countries (and within countries over time) can
reduce the comparability of data;
 irrespective of accounting standards, the detail and quality of the accounts and the auditing
process might vary significantly between NOCs;
 the definitions of individual, non-GAAP financial items may vary between NOCs (for
example, capital expenditure might be reported including or excluding acquisitions, based
solely on additions to property, plant and equipment, or on a wider range of assets); and
 specific petroleum-sector accounting issues need to be considered, such as different
approaches to treating exploration expenditure (that is, ‚full cost‛ vs. ‚successful effort‛).

c. National mission performance variables:
The following are often cited as objectives in NOC mission statements: fostering the transfer of
technology, creating employment opportunities, increasing local ownership and control, promoting
economic growth and diversification, contributing to energy self sufficiency, and security of supplies.
As discussed in chapter 1, similar objectives appear in countries’ local content policies, thus affecting
both NOCs and POCs. But NOCs are often given a primary role in promoting local content policies.
Nonetheless, they have very little control over their countries’ policy choices. For the purpose of this
paper, we assume that local content policies are inherently effective and efficient. Hence, NOCs that
implement them create value for society.
51

Measuring the performance of NOCs with respect to the achievement of their national mission
objectives is made difficult by the dearth of detailed reporting, as well as the lack of standard

50
For the purpose of our calculations ‚noncommercial expenditure‛ includes social and capacity building
programs, culture, sports, environmental projects that are not directly related to petroleum operations, country
infrastructure projects, and similar non-productive expenditure; and ‚non-core commercial activities‛ include
activities, such as airlines, banking services, commercial warehousing, oil logistics, seismic acquisition, data
storage, handling and shipping services, and other for profit activities that are sold by the NOC to affiliates or
third parties.
51
Measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of local content policies is beyond the scope of this paper.


55

disclosure policies in this area. With this limitation in mind, the following proxy measures of key
aspects of national mission performance are proposed:
 The share of local content - measured by the percentage of expenditure on local goods and
services to total expenditure on goods and services - captures the contribution of a NOC to the
domestic economy and transfer of technology through creation of backward linkages.
 Domestic output use measures a NOC’s contribution to energy self sufficiency and security of
supplies, as well as domestic value-added processing of crude oil (either in refineries or in
industries further downstream). Domestic supply often comes at a financial cost, as exports
would maximize revenues, but at the same time it indicates stronger forward linkages to the
domestic economy. Domestic output use is measured by the ratio of petroleum product
supply to the domestic market to total domestic consumption.
 The contribution of a NOC to local employment and the creation of a skilled local work force
is measured by three proxy indicators:
- the share of nationals in the NOC workforce, measured by the ratio of the number of local
employees to total NOC employees, indicates local skills levels. However, for some
NOCs, the share of domestic labor may simply represent the ability of the NOC (and
pressures on the NOC) to employ nationals (Stevens 2008);
- the NOC share of its country’s employment. Salaries for employees of NOCs are often quite
high compared to those paid by other publicly- or privately-owned companies operating
in different sectors of the economy. If a NOC accounts for a large share of its country’s
employment, disposable incomes of NOC employees could have noticeable multiplier
effects on the national economy;
- NOC employment growth relative to country labor force growth, which measures the
contribution of a NOC to national employment;
 The contribution of a NOC to its country’s economic growth and diversification is measured
by two proxy indicators:
- the NOC share of noncommercial expenditure to total expenditure captures the relevance of a
NOC’s corporate social responsibility expenditure, which can include malaria awareness
campaigns, the construction of schools, clinics, public roads, and similar projects. In
countries with low public investment management capacity, the NOC is often viewed as
the most competent managerial organization. As such, the NOC is may be asked to
manage projects with little or no relationship to oil or gas. In effect, these NOCs become
contractors on behalf of the government.
52

- the NOC’s share of non-core commercial net income to total net income measures the
contribution of a NOC to the diversification of its country’s economy. For the purpose of
this index, non-core commercial activities may include airlines, banking services,
commercial warehousing, oil logistic services, processing of seismic data, and handling
and shipping services. This is particularly important in countries with strong demand
and limited production linkages, especially when a NOC is able to efficiently perform in
sectors that have high multiplier effects.

52
Stevens (2008) cites the example of Saudi Aramco, which was recently requested to take on the management of
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology at Thuwal, north of Jeddah.


56

 The contribution of a NOC to poverty reduction is measured by the ratio of subsidies to total
revenues. While subsidizing oil and gas prices may not be an effective way to protect the poor,
the policy choice is beyond the control of the NOC. Therefore, for our purposes, it is
considered a transfer of benefits from the NOC to society.

3.2.2 Determination of VCI
For any given NOC, the VCI is calculated annually as the average of three sub-groups of the sub-
components detailed in figure 3.2:


¿ ¿
= =
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
m
i
i
n
j
j
N
n m
I
1 1
1 1
(1)

where I is the composite index,
j
N is a normalized variable and j indicates the number of sub-
components in each sub-group i.
Normalization is necessary to aggregate the different individual indicators, which are measured
on different units and have different ranges. We use the distance from the best and worst performers,
where positioning is in relation to the sample annual maximum and minimum, and the index takes
values between 0 (laggard) and 1 (leader):


min max
min
j j
j
j
j
X X
X X
N
÷
÷
= (2)
Where Nj is the normalized value, Xj

is the original value, and Xj
min

and Xj
max

are the minimum and
maximum values of the annual sample data.
3.3 The value drivers
The value creation model assumes that the state’s historical, political, social, and economic
environment—the state context—largely determines the objectives of its petroleum sector policy. The
state’s administrative capacity, effectiveness, quality of public policy, and accountability, and level of
sector-specific knowledge affect its options with respect to sector organization and governance
arrangements. As owner of the resource, the state can decide how, at what pace, and by whom they
should be developed, thus defining the role of the market and the level of direct intervention through
the NOC. State goals and objectives and sector policy and organization affect the strategy and
corporate governance arrangements of the NOC. Finally, we expect that a country’s resource
endowment, distance to market, and quality of infrastructure—that is, its geology and geography—
affect the state’s objectives and policy choices, as well as the level of competition and performance of
market participants (both NOCs and POCs). These value drivers can be grouped into five categories:
geology, state context, sector organization and governance, NOC governance, and NOC strategy.
Ideally, one measure would exist for each of the theoretically-defined value drivers. Since these
measures do not exist, we estimate them by using proxy variables that capture aspects that we believe


57

to be important for each category. Table 3.1 lists the five value drivers and the proxy variables used to
measure them.
Table 3.1 – Value drivers and their proxy measures
Driver Components
Geology - resource endowment (mmboe)
state context - WB indexes on voice and accountability, political stability, government
effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, corruption control
- HC revenues as % of government revenues
- HC revenues as % of GDP
- WTO membership (yes-1/no-0)
- OPEC membership (yes-1/no-0)
- Net oil exports as % of GDP
- Government budget surplus as % of GDP
- Presence of stabilization mechanisms, such as petroleum funds (yes-1/no-0)
petroleum sector
organization and
governance
- Publicly disclosed national policy addressing hydrocarbon sector issues (yes-
1/no-0)
- Presence of country specific clear objectives and management separation
(ordinal ranking with six categories)
- Non-NOC percentage of oil and gas production
- Non-NOC percentage of refined products production
- Presence of clearly defined, publicly stated objectives ranked by priority and
publicly measured for the NOC (ordinal ranking with five categories)
NOC strategy and
behavior
- NOC upstream capital expenditures as % of total capital expenditures
- NOC refining capital expenditures as % of total capital expenditures
- NOC upstream equity production as % of total NOC refining throughput
- NOC international revenues as % of total NOC revenues
- Joint ventures and other partnerships, (ordinal ranking with four categories)
NOC corporate
governance structure
- Percentage non-government ownership of NOC
- Percentage of members of NOC Board of Directors that are independent
- Appointment authority for chairman of BOD (ordinal ranking with three
categories)
- Independence of NOC capital and budget processes (ordinal ranking with five
categories)
- NOC financial transparency (ordinal ranking with five categories)
- NOC upstream reserves transparency (ordinal ranking with five categories)
Source: Authors

To create a driver variable, each of its underlying proxy variables is transformed into a normalized
variable and the driver variable is the result of the average of the normalized proxy variables.

3.3.1 Selection of proxy variables
a. Geology
A question underlying this research is whether NOC operations and performance vary with a
country’s resource endowments. Some NOCs are based in countries that are net oil and gas exporters,


58

while others mainly serve their home countries’ energy security by reducing import requirements. In
several cases, domestic production does not satisfy consumption even though resource endowments
may be substantial. In other cases, production levels are well above local consumptions needs,
whether because of exceptional endowment (as is the case for many Middle Eastern producers) or
because of the level of local economic development (as for many African producers). The abundance of
petroleum resources may also affect the government’s depletion policy, the commercial conditions for
exploitation, and the NOC’s resource extraction strategy.
The size of a country’s reserves base is also used as a proxy for prospectivity and of the
availability of sector related infrastructure. For example, a country with large proven reserves and
associated production will be more likely to have relevant sector infrastructure (although its quality
would be difficult to capture by a proxy measure).
b. State context
The state context driver comprises 13 proxy variables that aim to capture the institutional and
economic environment in the home country of the NOC.
We expect that stable, predictable, and efficient public policies contribute positively to the creation
of value by NOCs and POCs. We also expect that the lower the stage of socioeconomic development,
the more important the national mission becomes. We use the World Bank Worldwide Governance
Indicators (WGI) to measure a country’s political stability, institutional strength, regulatory quality,
control of corruption, democracy and accountability, and rule of law. While many possible measures
exist for these variables, the use of composite indicators is widely recognized.
We hypothesize that national dependency on the petroleum sector affects the government’s
macro-fiscal and sectoral policy focus and the objectives and goals that are given to the NOC. We use
four proxy measures of dependency: petroleum revenue as a percentage of total government revenue,
petroleum revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), net oil exports as a percentage of
GDP, and government budget surplus or deficit as a percentage of GDP.
Three dummy variables—World Trade Organization (WTO) membership, Organization of
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) membership, and existence of revenue stabilization
mechanisms—aim to capture a country’s trade openness (which in turn affects the level and quality of
competition, transfer of technology, and market opportunities), the presence of constraints on
production levels, and the quality of fiscal policy, respectively.
c. Petroleum sector organization and governance
As the resource owner, the state has a wide range of options with respect to the implicit or explicit
rules and procedures that govern the exploitation of the country’s petroleum resources, including the
objective of sector policy, the role of market participants, the distribution of institutional
responsibilities, and the conditions for exploitation. A country’s fiscal regime, regulatory compliance,
regulatory uncertainty, and quality of environmental regulations all affect POCs’ decisions to invest.
The NOC has no choice as to whether or not to invest in its home country. Hence its ability to create
value partially depends on how favorable its country’s conditions are to investment.
Transparency with respect to the NOC’s institutional responsibilities and mission and objectives
will ultimately improve the efficiency of the NOC. This is particularly true when the government
pursues multiple policy objectives through the NOC. Knowing the relative importance of these
objectives will allow the NOC to devise appropriate strategies, reduce administrative cost, and may
reduce the perception of risk. Three proxy variables are used to assess the country’s willingness to


59

allow the NOC to operate within transparent public policies: the existence of a publicly-disclosed
national policy addressing hydrocarbon sector issues; the existence of clear country-specific objectives
and management separation; and the existence of clearly defined, publicly stated, and measurable
objectives for the NOC.
We hypothesize that the presence of POCs or other countries’ NOCs affects the performance of the
domestic NOC by promoting efficiency and defraying exploration and development risk. Two proxy
variables capture the openness of the petroleum production and refining markets in the NOC’s
country: non-NOC percentage of oil and gas production; and non-NOC percentage of refined
products.
d. NOC strategy and behavior
Like other oil companies, NOCs must make investments in capital to preserve future production
capabilities. A proxy for the kind of strategic behavior that is expected to create value is the NOC’s
capital expenditures as a percentage of total capital expenditures (upstream considered separately
from refining capital).
53

NOCs that are net importers of petroleum products may be more exposed to changes in economic
cycles, especially when they carry the burden of subsidizing prices for domestic consumption. A
measure of the NOC’s self-sufficiency is upstream equity production as a percentage of total refining
throughput measures NOC’s self sufficiency. This is also an indicator for the country’s security of
supplies, which is often part of the national mission of the NOC.
The ratio of international revenues to total revenue captures the NOC’s ability to create value
through access to the international markets. Another proxy for international participation is the
existence of joint ventures and other partnerships, which captures the NOC’s access to international
best practices and technology.
e. NOC corporate governance
The NOC’s corporate governance structure affects the strategic options available to an NOC and
therefore affects its capacity to create value. For example, the technology, competition, and
management techniques in the oil industry are continually changing; successful companies are those
that can anticipate changes, or rapidly adjust their strategy to accommodate them. This requires
nimble decision-making processes that might not be compatible with the reality of a state-owned
enterprise.
We hypothesize that partially privatized NOCs may be more able to create value since they are
subject to market scrutiny and are less exposed to political influence. We use the percentage of non-
government ownership of the NOC and its ownership structure and organization to measure this
dimension. Also, independent boards of directors are thought to be more effective in sheltering the
NOC from political interference (regardless of whether or not the NOC is partially privatized),
allowing it to focus on achieving its goals. The proxies for the independence of the board are the

53
The ratio of upstream production operated by the NOC to total production is an indirect measure of its technical
capacity and business strategy (operator versus financial investor). Another measure, the percentage of NOC
refining production operated by NOC, is meant to capture the NOC’s vertical integration, which allows for greater
value creation, except when the NOC is burdened with the obligation to sell petroleum product at below market
price. However, these indicators were excluded from the list of proxy variables since very rarely they are included
in standard reports by NOCs.


60

percentage of independent board members and who holds the authority to appoint the NOC’s chief
executive officer.
There are many arrangements for allowing the NOC to administer the resources of the state: some
NOCs are given a total vesting of petroleum rights, others are given a partial vesting, while others are
given the nonexclusive right to develop and exploit resources directly or in association with third
parties. These arrangements affect the capital structure of the NOC, its mandate, and its organizational
and financial autonomy. The ability of the NOC to finance its operations is crucial to value creation. If
the NOC is given too little financial and budgetary autonomy from the state, it will likely hamper the
NOC’s efficiency and may increase the cost of doing business. On the other hand, too much financial
and budgetary autonomy may be a disincentive to improve efficiency. Financial transparency and
regular audits allow the state to secure its interests (that is, avoid rent absorption) without excessively
reducing the autonomy of the NOC. The independence of NOC capital and budget process, its
financial transparency, and the transparency of its upstream reserves values are used as proxies for
autonomy and transparency.
3.4 Conclusion
This chapter presents a model of value creation in the petroleum sector, and of NOCs’ contribution to
value creation in particular, which is used in chapter 4 as a reference framework for case study
analysis and for exploratory statistical analysis.
Two categories of variables are hypothesized to affect value creation: (i) variables describing
initial conditions and context (such as the economic situation, political history and ideology,
international obligations, and natural resource endowment); and (ii) variables describing human and
organizational agency (such as NOC objectives, sector and corporate governance choices, and NOC
strategy). Together, the context and agency variables constitute the drivers of value creation:
multidimensional variables that affect value creation by the NOC. These can be grouped into five
categories: state context, sector organization and governance, NOC strategy, NOC corporate
governance, and geology. We expect that the state’s historical, political, social, and economic
environment—the state context—largely determines the objectives of its petroleum sector policy. We
also expect that the petroleum sector organization and governance arrangements in a country are
affected by the state’s administrative capacity, effectiveness, and governance. State goals and
objectives and sector policy and organization affect the strategy and corporate governance
arrangements of the NOC. Finally, we expect that a country’s resource endowment, distance to
market, and quality of infrastructure—that is, its geology and geography—affect the state’s objectives
and policy choices, as well as the level of competition and performance of market participants (both
NOCs and POCs).
The performance of a NOC should be measured with reference to its objective function, which in
turn depends on its shareholder’s policy objectives. Although mission and objectives vary widely
among NOCs, in general they often include one or more of the following: (i) to protect national
hydrocarbon wealth; (ii) to promote economic development; and (iii) to promote the political interests
of the state abroad. A composite indicator – the value creation index – is proposed to measure NOCs
performance. The index, which measures key aspects of short-term operational, financial, and national
mission performance, is not intended to capture all aspects of NOC value creation. But it provides a
simple yardstick to monitor NOC performance over time and facilitates comparisons among NOCs.



61


References
Stevens, P. 2008. ‚A Methodology for Assessing the Performance of National Oil Companies.‛
Background Paper for a Study on National Oil Companies and Value Creation, World Bank,
Washington, DC. www.worldbank.org/noc.
Wolf, C. O. H. 2009. ‚The Performance and Value Creation of NOCs: an Analytical Framework‛.
Background Paper for the Study on National Oil Companies and Value Creation, World Bank,
Washington, DC. www.worldbank.org/noc.





62

4. Case studies and lessons learned

“We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we
excel in those which can also make use of our defects.”
(Alexis de Tocqueville)




This chapter investigates value creation through the experience of a selected group of NOCs with the
objective to derive lessons of wider applicability. Using the analytical framework developed in chapter
3, an exploratory statistical analysis of twenty NOCs is attempted to determine the relevance of the
value drivers identified in the value creation model. In addition, the experience of a smaller sample of
NOCs is analyzed in detail to establish whether there are discernible patterns with respect to value
creation for NOCs with similar strategy and governance structure, and whether certain country
context variables lead to particular corporate governance arrangements and NOC strategies.
4.1 Exploratory analysis of value drivers
This section discusses a preliminary attempt to statistically measure NOC value creation using the
conceptual model presented in chapter 3. In particular, we hypothesize an explanatory relationship
between the VCI and value drivers, and test our hypothesis using data collected on the NOCs listed in
table 4.1 for the period 2004 to 2008. The complete dataset is contained in National Oil Companies and
Value Creation: Data Annex, which can be downloaded from http://worldbank.org/noc.
Table 4.1 – NOC sample for statistical analysis
 CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company), China
 Ecopetrol (Ecopetrol S.A.), Colombia
 ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi S.p.A.), Italy
 Gazprom (Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom), Russia
 GDF (Gaz de France S.A.), France
 KMG E&P (JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production), Kazakhstan
 OGDCL (Oil & Gas Development Corporation Ltd. ), Pakistan
 ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd.), India
 PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela S.A.), Venezuela
 Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos), Mexico
 Petro SA (The Petroleum, Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (Pty) Limited), South Africa
 Petrobras (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.), Brazil
 Petrochina (Petrochina Company Limited), China
 Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad), Malaysia
 PTT (PTT Public Company Limited), Thailand
 QP (Qatar Petroleum), Qatar
 Rosneft (Oil Company Rosneft), Russia
 Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation), China
 Sonatrach (Sonatrach S.A.), Algeria
 Statoil (StatoilHydro ASA), Norway
Source: Authors.


63

As noted in chapter 3, the VCI is not designed to measure all aspects of value creation; it focuses
on key aspects of short-term value creation by NOCs. Following the methodology presented in chapter
3, the VCI is the result of the average of three group averages, with each group average consisting of
normalized proxy variables. This construction results in a unit-less scale. The VCI is a relative measure
in the sense that the assigned score results from a within-sample normalization. While relative in this
sense, the VCI does capture cardinal performance among the NOCs in the sample, albeit in a unit-less
fashion.
54
Given the foregoing, the VCI scale is not relevant and may not be indicative of the total value
created by each NOC. But the index can reveal the relative position of the NOCs in the sample with
respect to the observed value creation measures, and the direction of changes over time.

Table 4.2 – VCI for the sample NOCs

Source: Authors.

4.1.1 Selection of proxy variables
We hypothesize that the five categories of value creation drivers described in chapter 3 section 3.3
stochastically contribute to explaining the VCI. This model can be written as:

where yi is the VCI, the xi are the value driver group indices, the i are the coefficients for each
value driver group index, is an intercept, and i

is a well-behaved stochastic disturbance associated
with each observation.
In addition to the five value drivers, each NOC in the sample is expected to act in an individual
fashion as it creates value. This individual behavior can be expected to fall outside the bounds of the

54
While a score of 0.3 is better than a score of 0.2, and a score of 0.35 is better than 0.3, the reader is cautioned
against assigning too much meaning to the VCI: non-linear proxy variable distributions may adversely affect a
linear interpretation of the VCI scale.
NOC 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 5-Yr Avg
Sonatrach 0.72 0.69 0.67 0.67 0.65 0.68
QP 0.70 0.56 0.56 0.63 0.62 0.61
PdVSA 0.65 0.55 0.66 0.57 0.51 0.59
Rosneft 0.41 0.48 0.43 0.56 0.56 0.49
ONGC 0.50 0.43 0.48 0.53 0.48 0.48
OGDCL 0.52 0.43 0.51 0.47 0.49 0.48
CNOOC 0.52 0.46 0.45 0.47 0.46 0.47
Ecopetrol 0.46 0.39 0.44 0.48 0.45 0.44
Petronas 0.51 0.41 0.42 0.46 0.38 0.44
KMG 0.40 0.30 0.40 0.55 0.53 0.43
Petrobras 0.49 0.41 0.40 0.39 0.35 0.41
Statoil 0.37 0.34 0.45 0.43 0.39 0.40
Pemex 0.39 0.32 0.39 0.45 0.40 0.39
Petrochina 0.46 0.38 0.33 0.35 0.33 0.37
Gazprom 0.39 0.33 0.39 0.35 0.37 0.37
PTT 0.38 0.24 0.30 0.29 0.41 0.32
ENI 0.35 0.27 0.29 0.23 0.27 0.28
GDF 0.31 0.27 0.23 0.26 0.26 0.27
Sinopec 0.30 0.20 0.20 0.30 0.23 0.24
PetroSA 0.09 0.26 0.22 0.23 0.22 0.20
Sample average 0.45 0.39 0.41 0.43 0.42 0.42


64

proposed model. Panel data analysis can partially address this issue as long as multiple observations
for each NOC are available. By including a fixed-effects variable for each NOC to capture these NOC-
specific effects, the model can now be written as:

where the t subscript indicates the t-th observation for each NOC, vi captures the individual effect of
each NOC, and t

captures the time effect of each year. The VCI and the value drivers are calculated
annually for a five-year period starting with 2004 for the 20 NOCs in our sample. Data limitations and
issues are discussed in appendix 4. Explicitly, the model to be estimated using robust standard errors
is:
vciit = + 1geologyit + 2stateit + 3petsecit + 4nocsbit + 5nocgovit +vi + t + it
The model estimations are shown in table 4.3. Before attempting to interpret the result of the
model, it is worth noting that there is a near-perfect correlation between the fixed effects and the
dependent variable, which indicates that much explanatory power stems from the individual NOC’s
behavior, rather than from the model parameters. There are a number of possible explanations,
including: (i) concerns related to data quality and availability; and (ii) the possible misspecification of
the drivers, given the wide use of proxy variables to supplement for the lack of primary data.
Furthermore, the relationship between VCI and drivers hypothesized in our exploratory model may
be too simplistic. A more complex representation may be needed to capture the relationship between
context and agency variables, and their relevance to value creation. However, the current dataset
greatly limits our ability to test more complex model specification.

Table 4.3 – Results of model estimation
Dependent Variable Coefficient P value
Geology -2.511 (0.000)***
State context (state) 0.221 (0.609)
Petroleum sector governance (petsec) -0.446 (0.058)*
NOC strategy and behavior (nocsb) -0.070 (0.510)
NOC Governance (nocgov) 0.277 (0.010)***
Constant 0.953 (0.000)***
Observations
Number of group (NOC)
100
20
Robust p values in parentheses
* significant at 10%; ** significant at 5%; *** significant at 1%
Source: Authors.
4.1.2 Indications from the statistical analysis
The geology value driver has a significant and negative influence on value creation. Larger petroleum
endowments should lead to more value creation if resources are extracted efficiently and revenues
from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and replace reserves. The negative coefficient
suggests that NOCs that enjoy large resource endowments may also have less incentive to produce


65

them efficiently and to maximize the net present value from their extraction, especially when
partnerships and alliances with POCs are not the prevalent business strategy. The negative sign could
also reflect a time lag between the addition of reserves and their exploitation which is not captured by
our model. Indeed, reserves additions, especially for NOCs that have large reserves endowments, are
usually not put into production in the same year as they occur. Since the VCI measures short-term
contributions to value creation, future production from reserves addition is not captured. Therefore,
all other elements of the VCI being equal, an increase in reserves (positive variation of the geology
driver) would not be reflected by an increase in production (positive variation of the VCI).
The petroleum sector value driver is significant. But contrary to expectations, its coefficient is
negative. We expected that more favorable investment environments would improve NOC value
creation directly, through better investment conditions, and indirectly through risk sharing with
POCs. Furthermore competition from POCs should improve NOC value creation by inducing them to
become more efficient. But this effect is indirect and depends on whether or not the government uses
efficiency benchmarks to measure and reward the performance of its NOC. Although the model is not
designed to capture the time lag between changes in sector governance measures and their effect on
value creation, a negative relationship does not seem to be justified. The negative coefficient could be
an indication of misspecification of the driver – namely, the choice of proxies or their measures – or the
result of data limitations. Further investigation would be necessary to refine the proxy measures for
this driver, or to gain a better understanding of the relationship between this driver and value
creation.
The NOC governance value driver is positive and significant. This would indicate the benefit of
market discipline to value creation through financial transparency and private participation in the
NOC’s share capital. This is in line with existing studies on the effect of commercialization on NOC’s
performance (Aivazian et al, 2005). In addition, independent board of directors (BODs) are expected to
help to shelter the NOC from political interference and expedite decision-making processes. These in
turn should improve the NOC’s project efficiency, its ability to fulfill obligations in partnerships, its
capacity to raise capital in the open market, and its ability to make efficient use of assets and
employees.
The state context and the NOC strategy and behavior drivers are not significant; no conclusion can be
drawn on the relevance of these two drivers to value creation.
Overall, the results of the exploratory model parameters cannot be viewed as offering substantial
understanding of NOC value creation. However, understanding the constraints and possible
limitations of the present data set and model will contribute to enhancing future research.
4.2 Case studies
This section analyzes the history and performance of twelve NOCs with the objective to derive lessons
of wider applicability. The case study sample includes NOCs that span the range of experience with
respect to the drivers of value creation. Some belong to countries that are blessed with large resource
endowments (Venezuela and Kazakhstan), while others have limited domestic resources (such as
Ecopetrol, PetroSA, and PTT). Some are key contributors to their countries’ economies (PDVSA,
Pemex, Petronas, and Sonatrach). Some are vertically integrated (Ecopetrol, PDVSA, Pemex, Petrobras,
Petronas, ONGC, Petrochina, Sonatrach, and Statoil), while others focus on one or two steps of the
sector value chain (KMG EP, PTT, and PetroSA). Most are mainly commercial entities, while others
have regulatory functions (PDVSA and Petronas). Some have a domestic focus (Ecopetrol, KMG EP,
Petrobras, Petrochina, Pemex, Sonatrach, and Statoil), while others derive a substantial part of their
revenues from international operations (ONGC, PDVSA, Petro SA, and particularly Petronas and


66

PTT). Some are quoted on domestic and international stock exchanges (Ecopetrol, KMG, Petrobras,
Petrochina, and Statoil), some are only quoted domestically (ONGC, PTT), and others are not quoted
at all (PDVSA, Pemex, Petronas, Petro SA, Sonatrach).
55
Ten of the NOCs in the case study group (and
fifteen of the NOCs included in the statistical analysis) are included in the Petroleum Intelligence
Weekly (PIW) Top 50 ranking of petroleum companies.
56

Table 4.4 provides a quick overview of: (i) the VCIs and drivers of value creation for each NOC in
the case study sample; (ii) the factors that have affected value creation; and (iii) the main conclusions
from the case studies. Detailed case studies and VCI calculations can be found in the data annexes to
this paper – volumes II and III – downloadable from www.worldbank.org/noc.
Table 4.4 – Case studies: overview
COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
Ecopetrol, Colombia

Establishment: 1951
Mission Statement:
To discover new
energy sources and to
transform them into
value for clients and
shareholders by
protecting the
environment and
ensuring process
safety and people's
integrity.


VCI :
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.46 0.39 0.44 0.48 0.45 0.44
Geology: At the end of 2008 proven oil and gas
reserves were estimated at 1.7 billion barrels and
4.4 trillion cubic feet respectively. The Middle
Magdalena Valley is the most explored basin in
Colombia and is still one of the most prolific. But
large parts of the country are under-explored
and have many of the geological features of its
oil-rich neighbor Venezuela.
State context: Despite its history of widespread
violent conflicts, the country has made
significant efforts on issues such as expanding
international trade, strengthening rule of law,
protecting human rights, promoting governance,
and reducing poverty. In 2008 the petroleum
revenue was approximately ten percent of total
government revenue.
Petroleum sector governance: In 2003, the
government opted for the strict separation of
policy, regulatory, and commercial
responsibilities, and transformed its NOC from a
government department to a mixed-share
company.
Corporate governance: Ten percent of
Ecopetrol’s equity is publicly traded in
Colombia and the US. Two-thirds of the BOD
members are independent directors, and the
The major institutional and
regulatory reforms launched by
the government in 2003 were
intended to address the decline
in production levels and reserve
basis, which was affecting the
country’s fiscal sustainability
and its security of supplies.
The reform of the fiscal regime
and the elimination of
Ecopetrol’s mandatory
participation requirement
created the conditions for
increased exploration
expenditure, which will
hopefully result in future
reserves growth.
The promotion of competition
and the partial privatization of
Ecopetrol appear to have
created additional incentives for
the NOC to improve its
performance.
High levels of
commitment and
cooperation
between the NOC
and its government
and fast execution
have proven
critical to the
successful
implementation of
far-reaching sector
and corporate
governance
reforms.

55
Petronas holding is not listed, but some of its subsidiaries, including Petronas E&P, are listed on the Malaysian
stock exchange.
56
PIW's ranking of the world's 50 largest oil companies is based on operational data from over 120 firms. The
criteria that PIW uses are oil reserves and production, natural gas reserves and output, refinery capacity, and
product sales volumes. Companies are assigned a separate rank within each category. The six individual
categories are then combined to determine their overall ranking. As such, the index is similar to the operational
performance sub-index of the VCI.


67

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
NOC’s internal and external governance
structure compares well with other NOCs in our
study sample (see section 4.2).
Strategy and behavior: Ecopetrol is a vertically
integrated company. It dominates oil and gas
production, refining, oil and gas transportation
and petrochemicals in the country. Ecopetrol’s
reserve base is relatively mature. Years of
underinvestment in exploration have hindered
the NOC’s ability to replace its reserves. Recent
international expansion aims at diversifying the
NOC’s portfolio and improving its technical
skills. The NOC’s workforce comprises mainly
nationals. The NOC does not have non-
commercial or non-core commercial activities,
but has made substantial investment in
developing backward linkages.
Kazmunaigaz EP,
Kazakhstan

Establishment: 2004.
Mission Statement:
To build on its
position as a leading
oil and gas company
in Kazakhstan by
increasing its
production and
replacing its reserves
both through
acquisitions in the
short-to-medium
term, and through
exploration in the
longer term.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.40 0.30 0.40 0.55 0.53 0.43
Geology: At the end of 2008 proven oil and
reserves were estimated at 30 billion barrels and
85 trillion cubic feet respectively. Kazakhstan
has a relatively immature but large oil and gas
resource base.
State context: Oil revenue accounts for
approximately 40 percent of total government
revenue. Exchange rate volatility driven by
fluctuations in oil prices, pressing development
needs, and limited implementation and
absorptive capacities are among Kazakhstan’s
key policy challenges. But over the past several
years important reforms have been undertaken
through the adoption of international standards
for the productive, financial and public sectors
and to diversify the economy away from oil and
minerals. Kazakhstan’s Governance Indicators
have been improving over the period 2004-08.
Although within regional average, the control of
corruption and voice and accountability
indicators rank in the 10
th
to 25
th
percentile.
Petroleum sector governance: Policy and
regulatory functions in the hydrocarbon sector
are carried out by the Ministry of Energy and
Mineral Resources. KMG EP and its holding,
KMG, are purely commercial entities. Private
company participation is permitted in the sector.
Corporate governance: KMG EP is 63 percent
owned by parent company KMG (itself wholly
owned by the government of Kazakhstan
through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral
Resources via the holding company Samruk-
By the early 2000s, the oil and
gas industry was the major
driver of the country’s economy
accounting for about 62 percent
of export earnings and close to
40 percent of the government’s
budget revenue. Consequently
the government made two key
policy decisions: (i) to create the
National Fund of Kazakhstan;
and (ii) to created a strong
NOC.
Since the NOC’s initial portfolio
of assets contained mature
fields, the government granted
it a series of commercial
privileges by law, aimed at
providing the NOC with a clear
competitive advantage. These
include: the right of first refusal
on any onshore oil and gas
rights, interests or assets offered
for sale in Kazakhstan;
preferential access rights to
KMG oil and gas transportation
assets; and access to unlicensed
acreage in Kazakhstan without
the need for the government to
run a competitive tender
process. In addition, all new
PSAs post 2004 must include at
least 50 percent participation of
KMG EP, carried through
exploration.
A modern corporate governance
structure was set up, to afford
the NOC the management
As long as
Kazakhstan’s
investment
conditions remain
attractive to private
investors,
protectionist
policies may be one
of the most
effective ways for
the government to
help the NOC
achieve the size
and economies of
scale necessary to
become a fully
fledged oil and gas
corporation.



68

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
Kazyna). Of the NOC’s BOD members, 38
percent are independent.
NOC strategy and behavior: KMG EP is the
second largest Kazakh oil producing company. It
was founded as upstream and Kazakhstan-
focused commercial company, with oil and gas
reserves that were largely mature. In addition it
has supplemented its asset base with ongoing
domestic acquisitions. KMG EP is requested to
contribute to national and regional projects, and
discloses associated costs on its website.
flexibility needed to fulfill its
mission.
The NOC does not have large
non-commercial obligations, nor
it is required to undertake non-
core commercial activities
beyond those acquired at the
time of its creation.

ONGC, India

Establishment: 1994.
Mission Statement:
The NOC has no
publicly stated
mission. The
following was taken
from the 2006 annual
report, which
includes a vision from
the President of India.
‚To be a leader in: (i)
the exploration and
management of
petroleum resources;
(ii) the diversification
of energy sources;
and (iii) technology in
Underground Coal
Gasification. Finding
new ways of tapping
energy wherever it is,
to meet the ever
growing demand of
the country.‛

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.50 0.43 0.48 0.53 0.48 0.48
Geology: At the end of 2008 India’s proven oil
and gas reserves were estimated at 5.8 billion
barrels and 38.5 trillion cubic feet respectively.
Approximately 20 percent of the known
geological basins are moderately to well
explored. The rest is in different stages of
exploration.
State context: With high economic growth rates,
India is a significant consumer of energy
resources. But it lacks sufficient domestic
resources, and is a net importer of oil and
natural gas. A central element of India's foreign
affairs agenda is 'energy diplomacy', which
relates to the need to secure energy supplies to
meet rapidly growing industrial and consumer
demand. The petroleum sector is dominated by
state-owned enterprises, and reforms to reduce
state control have been slow. With the exception
of political stability, India’s Governance
Indicators are above the regional average and
have been fairly stable over the period 2004-08.
But regulatory quality and control of corruption
remain key concerns.
Petroleum sector governance: The Directorate
General of Hydrocarbons, under the
administrative control of the Ministry of
Petroleum and Natural Gas, regulates the
exploration and exploitation of oil and gas
resources and administers bidding rounds. In
1999 the Directorate introduced the New
Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), which
eliminated the obligation for one private oil
company to partner with the NOCs. Since then,
the NOCs have had to compete for acreage with
private companies.
Corporate Governance: It is the larger of India’s
two NOCs. The government controls 84.2
percent of ONGC. The BOD comprises two
ONGC’s strategy to enhance
domestic production and to find
equity oil abroad helped to
stabilize its oil and gas reserves
and production
The NOC’s core expertise is in
the production of shallow water
and onshore fields, which is a
mismatch with India’s
exploration and production
opportunities that are believed
to be in deepwater.
The NOC is a newcomer in the
international oil and gas arena
and faces considerable learning
curve costs and risk.
ONGC bears the largest
petroleum product subsidies
burden among NOCs in our
sample.
ONGC does not seem to attract
as large a proportion of foreign
direct investment as its
competitors in India. This may
reflect of views about corporate
governance, strategy, behavior,
or other management attributes.

ONGC’s core
expertise in
production
activities may be
the natural
response to its
shareholder’s
short-term drive to
increasing
production levels,
but it may pose
threats to the
NOC’s
sustainability going
forward.
Diversification
further down the
oil and gas value
chain and price
subsidies risk
distracting NOC’s
management, and
detract resources
from oil and gas
exploration.
Acquisition of
deepwater
technologies and
strategic alliances
with international
POCs will be
necessary for
sustainable value
creation.


69

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
executive directors and eight non-executive
directors, only two of which are independent.
The President of India appoints the BOD
members.
NOC strategy and behavior: International
production accounts for about 14 percent of total
production. Operates alone in 43 percent of its
international projects and is a joint operator in
an additional 12 percent. Currently has
international production in the Sudan, Vietnam,
Syria, Russia, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil
and exploration projects in Myanmar, Egypt,
and Iran. It is the smallest refiner in India.
Besides substantial price subsidies (the highest
in our study sample), ONGC does not have
special social and economic development
projects.
PDVSA, Venezuela

Establishment: 1975.
Mission Statement:
To ensure the
efficient, profitable,
and dependable
exploration,
production, refining,
transport and sale of
petroleum and
petroleum products;
to promote
technological
independence; to
foster the harmonic
development of the
country; to guarantee
sovereignty of
national resources; to
protect the
environment; and to
serve and benefit the
Venezuelan people.




VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.65 0.55 0.66 0.57 0.51 0.59
Geology: Venezuela has one of the largest
hydrocarbon endowments in the world. At the
end of 2008 Venezuela’s oil and gas proven
reserves were estimated at 172 billion barrels
and 176 trillion cubic feet respectively. The
Orinoco Belt contains one of the largest
recoverable oil accumulations in the world.
State context: The country’s dependence on oil
revenue has grown considerably since 2004. In
2008 oil revenue represented 33 percent of GDP.
Since 1975 the industry and trade of
hydrocarbons for the state. Venezuela scores
poorly in terms of World Governance Indicators,
especially with respect to the rule of Law.
Following the wave of expropriations in 2006,
uncertainty with respect to contractual and
property rights has affected Venezuala’s
attractiveness to FDI.
Petroleum sector governance: Current law
requires PDVSA to have at least 60 percent
participating interest in each joint venture with
POCs. Ministry of Energy formulates policies
and acts as the regulator. The NOC has some
regulatory responsibility.
Corporate Governance: Public limited company,
wholly owned by the state. The BOD comprises
10 members, of which two are not government
officials or NOC executives. The BOD is
appointed by the President of Venezuela. The
NOC has limited financial and budget
autonomy. Since 2005 the NOC has used internal
auditors. The NOC publishes annual reports,
Venezuela saw a considerable
decline in oil production,
especially since the government
imposed restrictions on private
participation in oil production
activities. The NOC’s reserves
replacement rate has been
sharply declining since 2006.
The NOC’s investment in
upstream and downstream
petroleum sectors declined over
the period of the study, perhaps
affected by increasing use of
cash flow for non-core activities
and worsening of the debt to
equity ratio. But the
underinvestment in complex
fields has reduced the NOC
total production costs. This
resulted in short-term
improvements in financial
performance, but long-term
risk.
Substantial petroleum price
subsidies have dampened the
NOC’s financial performance
while inflating demand.
The NOC achieved impressive
results with respect to its
national mission goals.
Noncommercial expenditure
increased significantly over the
study period reflecting the
government’s industrial and
macro-fiscal policy.
The large reserves
base and the
sustained level of
oil prices until
August 2008
allowed the NOC
to support a drastic
change in priorities
and objectives.
However, the
reforms introduced
by the government
have shifted a
larger share of
exploration and
production risk to
the NOC by
reducing foreign
investments and
the NOC’s ability
to partner with
POCs.
Excessive reliance
on the NOC to
achieve national
mission objectives
creates competing
demands on the
NOC. Given the
NOC’s limited
amount of financial
and technical
resources, these
measures may
result in erratic
operational and
financial


70

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
which are no longer submitted to the US
Securities and Exchange Commission.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is
vertically integrated along the petroleum sector
value chain. International investments are minor
but strategic and are mostly limited to the
regional market. E&P activities are limited to
Venezuela. The NOC has some petrochemical
production and power generation. Its national
mission objectives have been substantially
stepped up in recent years. Non-commercial
obligations include the provision of social
services, social safety networks, and subsidized
petroleum products.

performance,
which may
threaten the
sustainability of the
NOC’s national
mission
performance.
Weak corporate
governance and
internal
management
processes appear to
constrain the
NOC’s human
resource capital
and skills,
exacerbating the
impact of
underinvestment.
PEMEX, Mexico

Establishment: 1938.
Mission Statement:
To maintain oil
production at
3.1mmbd until 2012;
to achieve 100 percent
reserve replacement
ratio by 2012/2013; to
achieve R/P ratio of 10
years; to maintain gas
production increases
above demand
growth; to reduce
gasoline imports; to
enact crucial
operational upgrades
in refining and
petrochemicals; and
to reduce investment
leverage.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.39 0.32 0.39 0.45 0.40 0.39
Geology: At the end of 2008 Mexico’s proven oil
and gas reserves stood at 11.8 billion barrels and
17.6 trillion cubic feet respectively. Around 55
per cent of Mexico’s oil reserves are in deep
waters, where over half of the country’s
potential reserves are expected to lie.
State context: Oil revenue represents
approximately 40 percent of total government
revenue. Pemex’s dominance as the largest
single contributor is a key motivator for
government intervention in the petroleum
sector. Mexico’s World Governance Indicators
have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08,
except for control of corruption that shows a
slight improvement.
Petroleum sector governance: The NOC has the
monopoly in the petroleum sector. It has no
regulatory powers. Various government entities
carry out supervision and regulatory functions.
The Department of Energy (Secretaría de
Energía, or SENER) exercises the ownership
rights of the state; Pemex’s budget is authorized
annually by the Department of Finance and
Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito
Público, or SHCP), and approved by Congress.
The Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE)
regulates the natural gas sector. The newly
established national hydrocarbon commission
(CNH) advises the President on energy policy
and interacts with the other federal entities and
The NOC is an efficient
producer of existing reserves
but lacks the capital and
technology to replace those
reserves.
Fiscal contribution to the state is
vital for Mexico’s economic
stability, but strongly constrains
the NOC’s ability to invest in
maintaining production levels
from declining fields, exploring
for new fields, and investing in
technologies and human capital.
Company’s fiscal obligations
have forced it into debt markets,
resulting in a highly leveraged
balance sheet relative to capex
needs, which leaves little room
for further debt expansion.
Recent governance reforms
have improved transparency
and attempted to create at least
some room for the BOD to
participate in operations and
decision making. Further
innovation in its management
structure may be necessary to
lead to sustainable value
creation.

Pemex’s
monopolistic
position provided
the framework for
building a
significant asset
base and
production
expertise. It also
precluded the
participation of
private investors,
however, which
has deprived the
NOC of access to
world-class
technologies and
managerial
expertise. The
impossibility of
partnering with
other companies
has left Pemex to
shoulder the drill
bit risk entirely.
The 2008 reforms
represent an effort
to invigorate and
expand private and
foreign direct
investment flows
into priority
upstream projects,
but the lack of
clarify and slow


71

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
with Pemex.
Corporate governance: Established by the
Mexican Congress as a Public Limited Company
wholly owned by the state. The BOD consists of
15 members. The President of Mexico appoints 6
government officials and 4 professional directors
to the BOD. The Petroleum Workers Union
appoints the remaining 5 directors. The
President of Mexico also appoints the Director
General of Pemex. SENER exercises the
ownership rights of the government.
NOC strategy and behavior: No international
upstream operations. The NOC is an integrated
oil and gas producer, refiner, and distributor
and is diversified in the petrochemical business.
Currently, approximately 74 percent of oil
production comes from offshore, most from a
single large oilfield, Cantarell. Production has
been steadily declining since 2004. Pemex is no
longer a major source of employment or of
substantial direct, non-commercial investment.
Price subsidies, although provided, are well
below the average of the NOCs in our sample.
Pemex’s downstream investment programs have
closed the gap on meeting Mexico’s petroleum
products demand, but the company still does
not meet 100 percent of internal requirements.
Above all Pemex is the largest single contributor
of government revenue, and its financial
management has historically been tightly
intertwined and heavily affected by its owner’s
budgetary needs.
pace of
implementation
may drastically
reduce its intended
effects.
Petrobras, Brazil

Establishment: 1953.
Mission Statement:
To operate in a safe
and profitable
manner in Brazil and
abroad, with social
and environmental
responsibility,
providing products
and services that meet
clients’ needs and that
contribute to the
development of Brazil
and the countries in
which it operates.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.49 0.41 0.40 0.39 0.35 0.41
Geology: At the end of 2008 Brazil’s oil and gas
proven reserves stood, respectively, at 12.8
billion barrels and 12.8 trillion cubic feet. The
country still has a large number of sub-mature
and frontier areas, including the recently
discovered sub-salt province.
State context: Petroleum revenue represents a
relatively small part of total government
revenue. After the sector reform in 1997 the
government has been careful to create a legal
and regulatory framework that ensures the
participation of domestic and foreign investors.
However, since the large pre-salt discoveries in
2007, this policy has been partially reversed.
Except for the rule of law and voice and
accountability, Brazil’s Governance Indicators
have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08.
The NOC is the largest
individual holder of concessions
in Brazil and has a majority
interest in most other
concessions.
The NOC is the largest investor
in research and development
among the oil majors and a
recognized leader in deep and
ultra-deepwater exploration
and production.
Recent discoveries in the deep-
water pre-salt area have largely
improved the NOC’s resource
base and resource potential. But
risk profile has increased, since
pre-salt exploration and
development is unknown,
technologically complex, and
very expensive.
The country has a well-defined
local content policy, and the
Petrobras was
created as state-
owned enterprise
with majority state
participation. The
government
deliberately
granted the NOC
administrative and
financial
independence and
a commercial
mandate.
Although the NOC
was granted a
monopoly in the
petroleum sector
(with the exception
of retail
distribution), the
participation of
domestic and


72

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
Petroleum sector governance: The NOC had a
monopoly on virtually all petroleum sector
activities until the 1997 reform. Conselho
Nacional de Politica Energetica is part of the
government’s executive branch and advises the
President in the formulation of national energy
policy. The Ministry of Mines and Energy chairs
the CNPE and is a member of Petrobras’ BOD.
The MME is responsible for implementing
CNPE recommendations and overseeing the
development planning for the hydrocarbon
sector. The National Petroleum Agency is the
upstream regulator.
Corporate governance: The government owns
40 percent of Petrobras’ outstanding capital
stock and 56 percent of its voting shares, giving
it majority control of the company. The NOC is
quoted on the Brazilian Bovespa, New York,
Buenos Aires, and Madrid Stock Exchanges. The
nine members of the BOD are appointed at the
ordinary general meeting of the shareholders.
Various government ministries are represented
on Petrobras’ BOD, including the Minister of
Treasury, who is the chairman. One board
member represents the minority shareholders of
common stock, and another represents the
holders of preferred stock. In compliance with
Brazilian Corporate Law, the BOD is overseen
by a five member Fiscal Council. The NOC has
considerable financial and budgetary autonomy,
but the capital budget is approved by Congress.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is a fully
integrated petroleum company, diversified in
petrochemicals, fertilizers, power generation,
renewable energy, and biofuels. It dominates
the domestic market in virtually all business
segments, and is active in 27 countries. The
NOC’s national mission objective includes
energy self-sufficiency and the development of
backward and forward linkages.
NOC has a strong track record
of developing the local supply
industry and local skills and
promoting technological
advances.
Since the large pre-salt
discoveries in 2007, the
government has partially
reversed its policy of
cooperative and competitive
participation, granting its NOC
privileges over the prolific pre-
salt basin and paving the way
for increased state participation
in the sector. The bills approved
by the Brazilian congress in
June 2010 present new
challenges and opportunities for
both the NOC and POCs.



foreign private
companies was
never prohibited.
When the NOC
was established,
there was no oil
industry in Brazil.
The country was
not perceived as
prospective, and
costs were higher
than those in more
established oil
provinces. The
NOC had to
develop the
industry without
the benefit of
relying on existing
know-how and
operations.
Investing in
technology, human
capital, and the
development of the
domestic supply
industry was
inevitable and has
allowed the NOC
to develop a strong
competitive
advantage in the
domestic market by
relying on its core
commercial
operations.
Petro China, China

Establishment: 1999.
Mission Statement:
To transform Petro
China into an
international energy
company with strong
competitiveness.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.46 0.38 0.33 0.35 0.33 0.37
Geology: At the end of 2008 China’s oil and gas
proved reserves stood at 14.8 billion barrels and
86.7 trillion cubic feet respectively. While there
are significant onshore gas reserves, China’s
natural gas market is relatively undeveloped.
State context: China’s dependence on oil
imports and the government’s concern about the
security of supplies are important factors’ in
China’s efforts to secure greater access to global
The NOC faces typical learning
curve, risk and cost challenges
associated with sizeable
expansion in unfamiliar
markets. However, this strategy
is likely to yield its benefits in
the medium term. In addition,
the NOC’s profitability has been
under pressure from increasing
costs in its mostly mature
upstream sector.
Prices for refined products were
held below international market
levels from 2005 to 2008. As a
More competitive
fiscal regimes
would attract
foreign investors
and help the NOC
to address
declining
production from
mature assets that
require the use of
advanced
production
technology.
Price subsidies


73

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
oil and gas resources. Government’s loans to and
infrastructure investment in oil producing
countries may have helped to create
comparative advantages for Chinese NOCs.
Except for political stability and voice and
accountability, China’s Governance Indicators
have been steadily improving over the period
2004-08.
Petroleum sector governance: The NOC has no
regulatory functions. A number of agencies and
ministries are responsible for specific aspects of
sector governance.
Corporate governance: CNPC owns 87 percent
of Petro China’s equity, and public shareholders
own the remaining 13 percent. CNPC is traded
on the Shanghai, Hong Kong, and New York
Stock Exchanges. One-third of the members of
the BOD are independent. BOD appoints the
company’s senior management, but the Ministry
of Personnel also involved. A ‚supervisory
board‛ monitors financial matters and oversees
BOD senior management.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is
China’s largest producer of oil and natural gas,
accounting for 60 percent of oil production, 80
percent of gas production, 70 percent of oil and
gas transportation, and 35 percent of refining
capacity. It has interests in various oil and gas
assets in twelve countries including Kazakhstan,
Venezuela, and Peru. The NOC also has
substantial interest in refining, petrochemicals,
and natural gas transportation. Its national
mission is to contribute to the creation of
employment opportunities. The NOC does not
have noncommercial or local content objectives
or obligations, since these are discharged by the
CNPC.
result, the NOC incurred losses
in its refining operations
averaging five percent of
revenues per year. A similar
situation applies to the natural
gas market, where prices are
kept below market levels to
support the development of
fertilizer manufacturers.


reduce the cash
flow available to
the NOC for
reinvestment in its
core business and
may contribute to
delaying the
reforms needed to
create robust
internal market
conditions.
Large, complex
bureaucracies may
create competitive
disadvantages for
the NOC.


Petronas, Malaysia

Establishment: 1974.
Mission statement:
Become an ‚oil and
gas multinational of
choice". Develop a
leading core oil and
gas business in which
Petronas is "capability
advantaged" and
expand these
businesses
internationally. Focus
on profitability and
growth. Develop an
VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.51 0.41 0.42 0.46 0.38 0.44
Geology: At the end of 2008 Malaysia’s oil and
gas reserves stood at 5.5 billion barrels and 84
trillion cubic feet respectively. Most fields have
been producing for over 30 years, and
production levels are declining fast. Remaining
fields are of lower quality, relatively small in
size, and far from existing infrastructure.
State context: Hydrocarbon revenue as a
percentage of total government revenue
increased from 20 percent in 2004 to 44 percent
in 2008. Federal debt is quite modest, which
provides fiscal flexibility. But the government
Petronas’ fiscal burden
increased between 2004 and
2008, likely due to the
progressive features of
Malaysia’s fiscal regime for
hydrocarbons. There is no
indication of different tax
treatment for the NOC and
POCs.
Natural gas price subsidies are
approximately 7 percent of total
revenue.
The NOC’s good financial
performance is generally
ascribed to its low cost
integrated operations.
Focus on
operatorship,
technical skills, and
the development of
the local supply
industry allowed
the NOC to
improve its
efficiency, while
fulfilling its
national mission
objectives.
An attractive fiscal
regime ensures
POCs’ investment,
which in turn helps
the NOC to arrest


74

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
increasingly
international culture
and world class
organizational
management and
business practices
while retaining a
distinct Malaysian
identity. Be a good
corporate citizen in
the areas where the
company operates.


appears to rely on the NOC to provide resources
to the country’s economy at difficult times.
Among Malaysia’s Governance Indicators,
government effectiveness scores very highly. But
voice and accountability and political stability
have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08.
Petroleum sector governance: The NOC was
given exclusive rights and powers over
Malaysia’s petroleum resources since its
establishment. There is no independent
upstream policy/regulatory entity. The NOC
has regulatory powers in upstream and the
Malaysian Prime Minister has considerable
influence over sector policy. The Ministry of
Energy, Green Technology and Water, through
the Energy Commission is responsible for
midstream and downstream hydrocarbon sector
regulation.
Corporate governance: The Prime Minister
appoints the chairman of the BOD, who is also
CEO. The BOD has no independent members.
The BOD has considerable powers, and the NOC
has considerable financial and budgetary
autonomy.
NOC strategy and behavior: At the beginning of
the 1990s, the NOC decided to enter the
international upstream business, probably
driven by the decline of its domestic mature
assets. Today Petronas is an integrated oil and
gas company with interests in petrochemicals
and maritime shipping and logistics. More than
40 percent of its revenue comes from
international operations (mainly Africa), while
export revenue was around 37 percent of total
revenue in 2008. The NOC’s objectives are clear
and publicly stated. Historically it had a central
role for local content development. Natural gas
prices are subsidized.
The NOC is a key vehicle for
local content. Investment in
training and education is an
important element of the NOC
strategy.
declining domestic
reserves.
Although the NOC
has exclusive
powers over the
country’s
petroleum
resources, it does
not seem to have
used it to capture
immediate gains to
the detriment of
long term value
creation. Rather it
seems that the
NOC and its
government have
pursued a strategy
of partnering and
risk sharing with
private companies.
Petro SA, South
Africa

Establishment: 2002.
Mission statement:
To become the
leading provider of
hydrocarbons and
related quality
products by
leveraging proven
technologies and
harnessing human
capital for the benefit
of stakeholders.
VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.09 0.26 0.22 0.23 0.22 0.20
Geology: At the end of 2008 South Africa had
proven oil and gas reserves of 15 million barrels
and 318 billion cubic feet respectively. Exiting
reserves are located offshore southern South
Africa or near the border with Namibia. There is
currently no onshore drilling, and very limited
offshore exploration since 2001. Industry
analysts suggest that hydrocarbon potential may
exist in deep water.
State context: The petroleum sector has played a
minimal role in South Africa’s economy. The
The NOC has consistently
exceeded its national mission
objectives. However, it has
fallen short of its 30 percent
target share of national
production.
Between 2004 and 2008, the
sharp devaluation of the
national currency, the Rand, has
amplified the effect of the
worldwide trend in rising
finding and development costs.
Nonetheless, the NOC has been
able to generate positive cash
flow and to maintain its
exploration budget. But
The Mineral and
Petroleum
Resources
Development Act
of 2002 became
effective in 2004
but was not
applied until 2008.
Implementation of
the reforms
introduced by law
was unclear. The
obligation to
renegotiate pre-
1994 leases to
incorporate new


75

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS


country is a net petroleum importer. The Black
Economic Empowerment policy, which aims to
generate sustainable growth through the
redistribution of wealth and opportunities to
disadvantaged communities, has played a key
role in shaping institutional arrangements and
foreign investment in all economic sectors,
including petroleum. Although a slight
deterioration was recorded for all Governance
Indicators over the period 2004-08, South Africa
scores remain considerably above the regional
average.
Petroleum sector governance: The Department
of Minerals and Energy (DME) has policy setting
responsibilities and oversees various sector
regulators. The National Energy Regulator of
South Africa (NERSA) regulates policy over the
energy industry and is responsible for
implementing South Africa's energy plan. The
Petroleum Agency, a subsidiary of CEP Group,
is tasked with the promotion and licensing of
petroleum exploration and production rights.
The NOC has no regulatory functions.
Corporate governance: The NOC is a public
limited company wholly owned by the state,
through the CEF Group, which is a state-owned
enterprise itself. The DME exercises the
ownerships rights of the state. Of the 15 BOD
members, 5 are not government officials or
company executives. The BOD has ample
authority and power within the limits imposed
by strategic and operational policies and targets
set by the DME. The company is required by law
to pay a certain level of dividends to its
shareholders (the state) on an annual basis. Petro
SA is audited by the Auditor General.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC focuses
on upstream oil and gas exploration and
production, and is a world leader in gas to
liquids (GTL) technology. The NOC has a thin
exploration and production asset base, mainly
relying on gas fields offshore of Mossel Bay. The
NOC sells its products at market price and
receives government subsidies to support its
GTL production and petroleum product
purchases. The NOC aims to become a player
across the entire petroleum sector value chain.
To this end a large refinery project is underway
and is expected to become operational in 2015.
The NOC’s objectives are clear and publicly
known. They include improving South Africa’s
security of supplies, promoting local
development, and employment opportunities
under the Black Economic Empowerment
exploration success has yet to
materialize.
Increased NOC involvement in
refining investment is likely to
trigger more upstream
investment to guarantee
security of supply. To improve
production levels and its
reserves replacement rate, the
NOC has stepped up its
upstream investment, both
domestically and
internationally.
The company relies on
partnerships with POCs, which
lowers its investment risk and
exposes it to international best
practices. This is particularly
relevant when geology and
distance to market present
challenges.
requirements
generated
uncertainty and
affected the level of
investment in the
sector.
National mission
goals, particularly
those related to
energy security,
employment
opportunities, and
local economic
development are
among the main
imperatives for the
company.
However,
operational
performance of the
company has been
deteriorating,
particularly since
2006. Future
sustainability may
require a
rebalancing of
objectives that
create competing
demands on the
NOC’s limited
resources to allow
it to create a
stronger asset base.


76

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
initiative.
PTT, Thailand

Establishment: 1978.
Mission Statement:
To focus on fostering
security of supply
and firm foundation
that would lead to
economic potency
and add value for
Thailand and its
people. Achieve
harmonious balance
between economic,
social, and
environmental
growth. World-class
self-financed
integrated petroleum
and related
corporation in
Thailand and
overseas, aiming for
value maximization
for the ultimate
benefit of the
organization,
balancing commercial
and government
objectives.


VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.38 0.24 0.30 0.29 0.41 0.32
Geology: At the end of 2008 Thailand’s oil and
gas reserves were estimated at 454 million
barrels and 12 trillion cubic feet respectively.
Proliferous petroleum basins are located both
offshore and onshore, but the majority of current
production comes from the Gulf of Thailand – a
mature area with some exploration
opportunities, particularly marginal fields.
State context: The Thai government's policies
and the National Economic and Social
Development Plan aim to support free market,
and to encourage an increasing role for the
private sector in economic and social
development. Thailand is a net importer of both
oil and gas. Energy security is a key policy
driver for petroleum exploration, as well as
energy efficiency and diversification. Thailand’s
Governance Indicators have been deteriorating
over the period 2004-08, particularly the control
of corruption and political stability.
Petroleum sector governance: PTT has no
regulatory functions. The Energy Policy and
Planning Office (Ministry of Energy) oversees
the performance of all state-owned enterprises in
the energy sector. The Ministry of Energy has
policy setting responsibilities. Far-reaching
sector reforms in the upstream sector were
introduced by the Energy Industry Act in 2007,
but these have only been partially implemented.
The Act established an independent regulator,
the Energy Regulatory Commission, with some
regulatory powers over the natural gas sector.
Corporate governance: PTT Public Company
Limited is a joint stock company traded on the
Stock Exchange of Thailand since its partial
privatization in 2001. The government owns 67.1
percent of the company directly and through the
Vayupak fund. The Thai Ministry of Finance
exercises the ownership rights. PTT is governed
by a 15 member BOD, whose members are
appointed by the shareholders pursuant to the
recommendations of the Nomination
Committee. Approximately 87 percent of the
BOD members are government officials,
company executives, or both. The NOC has
financial and budget autonomy. The NOC’s
accounts are audited by the Auditor General of
Thailand.
Thailand has a significant
number of non-state-owned
upstream operators. Oil refining
is also largely competitive, with
POCs controlling two out of five
major refineries. Pricing of
petroleum products is market-
based.
The NOC has a monopoly in the
procurement, wholesale, and
distribution of natural gas in the
domestic market.
PTT has a reasonable level of
budget autonomy from the
government, which allows
streamlining and speeding up
planning and investments.
The NOC is a key instrument
for achieving the government’s
national energy security
objectives, which translates into
the NOC’s strategy of value
creation through integration
along the energy value chain.
The NOC’s efficiency and
financial performance metrics
reflect the complexity and
capital intensive nature of its
integrated business.


Thailand’s
openness to
competition in the
upstream
hydrocarbon sector
allows the country
to advance the
exploration of its
largely unexplored
territory without
relying entirely on
its NOC.
PTT’s corporate
governance is an
example of
compromise
between Asian and
Western
governance
traditions,
balancing the
government’s
strategic priorities
and the need to
improve efficiency
and transparency
in the company’s
business.
Controversy and
delays in the
implementation of
the institutional
and market
reforms introduced
by the 2007 Energy
Industry Act may
affect both sector
and NOC
performance if not
addressed in a
timely manner by
the government.


77

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
NOC strategy and behavior: PTT is a vertically
integrated energy company with domestic and
international operations in exploration and
production, transportation, refining and
petrochemicals, and wholesale and retail
petroleum products distribution. It is the largest
oil and gas producer in Thailand. About 25
percent of current oil and gas comes from its
international ventures. PTT does not provide
petroleum price subsidies. Its corporate social
responsibility agenda is largely defined by the
company, and comparable to that of most POCs.
Sonatrach, Algeria

Establishment: 1963.
Mission statement:
To meet Algeria's
present and future
needs; to maximize
the long-term value of
Algeria's hydrocarbon
resources; and to
contribute to national
development,
primarily by
providing the
required hard
currency revenues.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.72 0.69 0.77 0.67 0.65 0.68
Geology: At the end of 2008 Algeria’s oil and
gas reserves stood at 12.2 billion barrels and
159.1 trillion cubic feet respectively. The
concentration of hydrocarbon accumulations in
the Eastern Sahara reflects current technology
knowledge and the historical evolution of
exploration efforts. Algeria remains both
unequally explored and underexplored.
State context: Petroleum revenue represents
approximately two thirds of total government
revenue. Sonatrach is a major contributor to its
country’s economy. This has at times affected its
ability to reinvest sufficient resources in its core
activities, affecting the pace of exploration and
development. Algeria fares poorly on all World
Governance Indicators. Rankings over the
period 2004-08 have worsened steadily.
Petroleum sector governance: The NOC was
divested of its regulatory powers in 2005. The
Ministry of Energy and Minerals has policy
responsibility. Two independent regulators,
ALNAFT and ARH, are respectively responsible
for: (i) managing national hydrocarbon
resources, including licensing rounds,
concessions and contracts; and (ii) regulation
and oversight of pipeline network access, tariffs
and safety, and environmental regulation.
Corporate governance: The NOC is a public
limited company wholly owned by the State.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals exercises
the ownership rights of the state. Most directors
are government officials or executives. The NOC
budget is subject to approval by the General
Assembly.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC was
initially only responsible for the transportation
and marketing of hydrocarbon products. It has
Amendments to the 2005
Hydrocarbons Law were passed
in 2006. In contrast with the
original reform that aimed to
increase competition in the
upstream oil and gas sector,
Sonatrach was mandated to
participate in all upstream,
midstream and downstream
(refining) projects with a
minimum controlling interest of
51 percent. In addition, the law
introduced a 50 percent
windfall tax when oil price is
above $30.
The recent high oil and gas
prices, and the NOC’s strategic
location with respect to
consumers’ market in Europe,
on the one hand have helped to
support the NOC’s financial
performance.

Political conditions
in Algeria and the
country’s reliance
on Sonatrach's
revenue streams
are such that
Sonatrach's
investment
decisions rest on a
complex set of
political, economic,
and project specific
considerations. For
the NOC to
sustainably create
value, its financial
autonomy and
resources would
need to be
commensurate to
its mission.
The quasi-
monopoly position
of the NOC in key
rent-generating
links of the sector
value chain has
been a deterrent to
company and
market reforms.
This will ultimately
affect the NOC’s
long-term ability to
preserve its
reserves base.
Focus on short
term rent capture
may hamper
NOC’s value
creation, even if
rent extraction
mechanisms target


78

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
evolved into a fully integrated oil and gas
company, diversified in power generation and
renewable energy. The NOC has interests in a
number of non-core commercial activities. It has
limited international exploration and production
ventures (mainly in Africa), and faces a mature
and declining resource base. Sonatrach is tasked
with promoting backward linkages through the
‚Algerianization‛ of the oil and gas sector and
its contribution to socioeconomic programs. The
extent of this contribution is not disclosed.
Petroleum product prices are subsidized.
foreign investment.
In other words, low
return on
investment
compared to other
countries will likely
reduce future
investments, and
low levels of
foreign
investments will in
turn increase the
demand on NOC’s
own resources to
support sector
development.
Ultimately, this is
likely to result in
lower oil and gas
revenue for the
government.
Statoil, Norway

Establishment: 1972.
Mission Statement:
To maximize value
and potential on the
Norwegian
continental shelf
(NCS) while
profitably increasing
international
production. It
includes developing
profitable midstream
and downstream
businesses and
creating a platform
for new energy
sources.

VCI:
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
5-Yr
Avg
0.37 0.34 0.35 0.43 0.39 0.40
Geology: At the end of 2008 Norway’s proven
reserves were estimated at 7.5 million barrels of
oil and 78.2 trillion cubic feet of gas. Production
in the Norwegian continental shelf started 40
years ago, and the area is generally considered
mature or declining. But major portions of the
Barents Sea and the deepwater part of the
Norwegian Sea are still frontier. The coastal
areas of the southern part of the continental shelf
are also relatively immature.
State context: Petroleum revenue accounts for
approximately 35 percent of total government
revenue. But Norway has adopted policies to
mitigate macroeconomic distortions resulting
from the exploitation of petroleum resources.
Norway’s Governance Indicators are above the
regional average, but the control of corruption
and government effectiveness rankings have
been slightly deteriorating over the period 2004-
08. Norway’s culture of transparency and
accountability is considered a key ingredient for
sound and sustainable management of
petroleum resources.
Petroleum sector governance: The ‚Norwegian
model‛ separates responsibilities between the
energy ministry (the Ministry of Petroleum and
Energy, or MPE), Statoil, and independent
regulators that oversee all sector participants
Recognizing the benefits of
private investment in the sector,
the NOC was not granted a
monopoly. The state held shares
in another Norwegian oil
company, Norsk Hydro, and
fully private Saga Petroleum
and international oil companies
were allowed to invest in the
sector.
During the NOC’s first decade
of operations, it was granted the
following privileges: (i)
minimum participation of 50
percent, carried through the
exploration phase, in all
petroleum licenses, implying
veto power on all development
decisions; and (ii) once a
discovery was declared
commercial, the option to
increase participation by up to
30 percent (to a total of 80
percent) based on a sliding scale
linked to production levels.
These privileges were revoked
in the second half of the 1980s.
There were worries about the
influence of Statoil on the
domestic economy and
(potentially) domestic politics.
Over the years, Statoil has
become a more commercially
The NOC owes
much of its success
to the ability of the
Norwegian
government to
adapt its policies to
changes in
geological,
economic, and
market conditions.
These factors,
coupled with good
governance
transparency, an
already developed
industrial sector,
and closeness to
consuming markets
in Europe, were
crucial conditions
for value creation
by the NOC.
The government’s
decisions to open
the petroleum
sector to private
investors and
eventually to
revoke the NOC’s
state privileges
were farsighted
policy measures.
By partnering with
experienced


79

COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN
CONCLUSIONS
(Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, or NPD, and
a safety and environmental authority). State
Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) was established
in 1985 to allow the Norwegian State to
participate in the Norwegian petroleum sector
directly as an investor.
Corporate governance: Statoil was wholly
owned by the state until its merger with Norsk
Hydro in October 2007 (‚Statoil-Hydro‛ referred
to as ‚Statoil‛). Statoil is 67 percent owned by
the Norwegian government and is quoted on the
Oslo and New York stock exchanges. By
international standards, Statoil has a strong
corporate governance structure. The roles and
responsibilities of the shareholders, the BOD,
and Statoil's management are clearly defined.
The BOD is composed of 11 members, of which 3
represent the NOC’s employees. The others are
independent.
NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is
vertically integrated. It is a dominant player in
the domestic market, where it controls 80
percent of total oil and gas production.
Internationally, the NOC carries out upstream
operations in 40 countries. The NOC owns and
operates one of Norway’s two refineries and has
a 10 percent stake in a refinery owned and
operated by Shell in the Netherlands. During the
initial phase of development of the sector, Statoil
played an important role in the development of
local content. In time, this role was phased out.
The NOC is now commercially oriented, and its
relationship with the state is increasingly at
arm’s length. The NOC’s corporate sustainability
programs are comparable to POCs.
oriented business. Two factors
influencing this decision were:
(1) Norway’s entry into
European Economic Area in
1994, (the requirement for non-
discriminatory granting of NCS
licenses resulted in increased
competition from POCs in
Norway); and (2) Statoil looking
to compete internationally and
needing to improve efficiency.
The state did not burden the
NOC with excessive fiscal
burden or non-core non-
commercial obligations.

international
operators, the NOC
was able to
accelerate its
learning curve and
to develop a
portfolio of assets
without having to
take the
exploration risk.
When its privileges
were revoked, the
NOC had to find its
place in the market,
but by then it had
the size, strength,
and knowledge to
do so.

Source: Authors.
4.3 The corporate governance of NOCs
The importance of governance in improving the level and sustainability of state-owned enterprises
(SOEs) performance has been the object of several research papers (see appendix 3).
57
Some authors see
good governance as a prerequisite for effective privatization. This is supported by the recent trend in
SOEs reforms, where better corporate governance has become a priority, including in countries in
which the public sector accounts for a sizable proportion of the economy. But existing research
suggests that the corporate governance of NOCs typically compares unfavorably to private sector

57
In this paper, SOEs or government business enterprises are legal entities created by a government to undertake
commercial or business activities on behalf of an owner government. SOEs have a distinct legal form and are
established to operate in commercial affairs. While SOEs may also have public policy objectives, they should be
differentiated from other forms of government corporations or entities established to pursue purely non-financial
objectives


80

standards or other SOEs, whether it is regarding transparency, accountability, internal financial
controls, commercial oversight, or management structures. Opaque and inefficient corporate
governance mechanisms hinder NOCs’ ability to create value, and in some cases facilitate the
development of corrupted practices.
Drawing from the experience of a selected sample of NOCs, this section investigates whether there
are systemic differences between the corporate governance arrangements of NOCs, and generally
accepted corporate governance standards for SOEs or POCs, and whether these differences may be
ascribed to specific factors that are unique to NOCs.
58

4.3.1 Context variables and NOC corporate governance
From a corporate governance perspective, adequate oversight and control exercised by the owners
seems to be of primary importance in order to reduce information asymmetries and the potential for
managerial rent-seeking. Although generally accepted principles of good corporate governance exist,
the design of oversight and control systems may be affected by the mandate of the NOC, which in turn
depends on a number of context variables, such as a country’s public sector governance, its oil
dependency, and the size of its resource endowment, and affects the NOC’s strategy. Were this to be
the case, NOCs with similar mandates and similar context variables would be similarly organized. To
test this hypothesis, this subsection analyzes the external and internal corporate governance
arrangements of a group of NOCs that reflect a wide range of possible combinations of these variables
(table 4.5).
Table 4.5 – Composition of corporate governance sample

Source: Authors.

58
A detailed discussion of the corporate governance of standards of SOEs, typical challenges and observed trends
is beyond the scope of this paper. An ample body of literature exists on this topic. The following literature has
been used as reference framework for the analysis and conclusions contained in this paper: OECD (2004, 2005a,
2005b, 2005c, 2005d), Reddy (2001), and Robinett (2006).
More than 100 50-100 10-50 Less than 10
Over 50% GDF (France)
ENI (Italy)
PTT (Thailand)
Between 30-50% Petronas (Malaysia)
Between 10-30% PDVSA (Venezuela) CNOOC (China) PetroSA (South Africa)
ONGC (India)
Less than 10% QP (Qatar) KMG EP (Kazakhstan) Petrochina (China) Ecopetrol (Colombia)
Rosneft (Russian Federation) Sinopec (China) OGDCL (Pakistan)
Gazprom (Russian Federation) Pemex (Mexico)
Petrobras (Brazil)
Sonatrach (Algeria)
Statoil (Norway)
Legenda:
Italics indicates NOCs that are not vertically integrated.
Bold indicates NOCs that belong to countries that derive more than 30 percent of their fiscal revenue from oil and gas.
Shaded areas indicate NOCs with special privileges.
Country Resource Endowment (billions of barrels of oil equivalent) NOC Revenue
from Int'l Ops


81

4.3.1.1 External governance
External governance arrangements relate to the relationship between the NOC and the state as its
owner—that is, the ownership structure of the NOC and the organization of state ownership. Table 4.6
provides an overview of the external governance arrangements for the twenty NOCs included in the
corporate governance sample.
With the exception of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI), the states hold the majority share of
voting rights in their NOC. ENI’s organization is no different from that of a POC with a distributed
shareholding base. The Italian Government owns 30.3 percent of the NOC’s share capital. But it
retains considerable control over certain decisions of the BOD though its veto power, which can be
exercised under specific circumstances detailed in the company’s by-laws (the so called ‚Golden
Share‛).
59
The veto power has never been exercised, but its existence permits the government to
exercise considerable influence over the company’s affairs, which justifies ENI’s inclusion in the
governance sample.
For most of the NOCs included in our sample, the ownership function of the government is
exercised either by the ministry of finance or other centralized authority (53 percent of our sample),
especially in countries that depend more heavily on petroleum revenue.
60
The choice does not appear
to be linked to the size of the NOC, the relative importance of its domestic and international activities,
or the size of the country’s resource endowment. Given the relatively small size of our sample, these
finding may not be indicative of a general trend. Nonetheless, is likely that countries that depend more
heavily on petroleum revenue would tend to exert their ownership rights directly or indirectly
through the Ministry of Finance.
Ten out of twenty NOCs in our sample have special privileges granted to them by law, such as the
exclusive right to conduct petroleum activities (solely or in association with POCs), and mandatory
minimum levels of NOC participation in petroleum operations. Countries that give their NOCs special
privileges tend to be dependent on petroleum revenue, while in countries that are net oil importers or
have small resource endowments NOCs tend to have to compete with POCs. This policy choice seems
to reflect the propensity of oil dependent countries to use their NOCs to capture additional rents (in
addition or in preference to the fiscal regime). It may also reflect a government’s desire to control the
pace of exploitation of the resource base through mandatory participation of the NOC in petroleum
activities and legal restrictions on ownership and access to petroleum resources. NOCs that enjoy the
strongest privileges are those that are entirely owned by their government.
The analysis of the external governance arrangements of the sample NOCs did not reveal any
special pattern of ownership compared to other SOEs that operate in strategic or vital economic

59
Golden shares allow governments to privatized companies while maintaining significant control of politically
sensitive operations through a minority shareholding. Combined with the company’s articles of association, the
golden shares typically allow governments to exercise crucial votes on takeovers, reorganizations and board
appointments to block foreign acquisitions or any undermining of government influence. Developed during the
period of privatizations, they were often used by governments to protect sensitive industries. A recent decision of
the European Court of Justice confirms that these arrangements are contrary to EU law since they impede the free
movement of capital (Elias 2010).
60
There are three main models of ownership function organization: (i) the ‚decentralized model‛ where the
responsibility for each SOE is assigned to the relevant line ministry; (ii) the ‚centralized model‛ where the
ownership function is centralized under a single ministry (for example the ministry of finance) or a central
administrative entity; and (iii) the ‚dual model‛ where the ownership function is shared between the line ministry
of the SOE and a central administrative entity. Some countries, such as the UK, Germany, and the Czech Republic,
use more than one model for different SOEs.


82

sectors. But it is possible that the combination of concentrated ownership and special rights shelters
the NOC from competition from POCs and other NOCs, and may reduce incentives to efficiency.
Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs
NOC
Year
incorp
.
Type Listings
% govt.
control
State ownership
function
Numbe
r of
NOCs
Special privileges
CNOOC
Ltd
1982 Joint
stock
Hong Kong
S.E,
New York
S.E.
66.00 The State Owned Assets
Supervision and
Administration
Commission exercises
the ownership right of
the Government
through the China
National Offshore Oil
Corp. (CNOOC-Parent),
itself wholly owned by
the government of
China. CNOOC-Parent
owns 66% of the shares
in CNOOC Ltd through
various internationally-
based subsidiaries.
3 CNOOC Ltd. is the only
company permitted to
operate offshore China,
solely or in association
with other companies
subject to Production
Sharing Contracts
negotiated by CNOOC-
Parent with input from
CNOOC Ltd. CNOOC
Ltd. has the right to take
up to a 51% interest in
any commercial
discovery offshore
China.
Ecopetrol 1951 Joint
stock
Bolsa de
Valores de
Colombia,
New York
S.E.
89.90 Ministry of Mines and
Energy
1 No special rights
established by law.
ENI 1953 Joint
stock
Borsa
Italiana,
New York
S.E.
30.30
(1)
Ministry of Economy
and Finance
1 No special rights
established by law.
Gazprom 1992
(2)
Joint
stock
St.
Petersburg
S.E.,
London S.E.
50.00 The Federal Agency for
State Property
Management (38.373%),
and indirectly through
the Federal Government
ownership in
Rosneftegaz (10.740%)
and Rosgazifikatsiya
(0.889%).
4 No special rights
established by law.
GDF Joint
stock
Euronext
(France)
36.4
(3)
Government
Shareholding Agency
1 No special rights
established by law
Notes:
(1) Eni’s by-laws grant to the Minister for Economy and Finance, the following special powers: (a) opposition to the
acquisition of material interests representing 3% of the share capital of Eni SpA (b) opposition to shareholders agreements or
other arrangements involving 3% or more of the share capital of Eni SpA ; (c) veto power duly motivated by the case of
prejudice to the interests of the State with respect to shareholders resolutions to dissolve Eni SpA, to cause a transfer, merger
or demerger, to transfer the registered office of Eni SpA outside Italy, to change the corporate purposes or to amend or
modify any of the special powers listed in the by-laws; and (d) appointment of a Board member without voting right.
(2) On the 17th of February 1993, pursuant to the Russian Federation Government’s Directive following the Russian
Federation Presidential Decree of November 5, 1992, State Gas Concern Gazprom was transformed into Russian joint stock
company (RAO) Gazprom. In 1998 RAO Gazprom was reincorporated into an open joint stock company.
(3) Until December 2007 the government owned approximately 80 percent of GDF’s outstanding shares. After the merger
between GDF and Suez in 2008, the government owns 35.7 percent of GDF Suez share capital, and 36.4 percent of the voting
rights.
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.


83

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
Year
incorp.
Type Listings
% govt.
control
State ownership
function
Number
of
NOCs
Special privileges
KMG EP 2004 Joint
stock
London
S.E.,
Kazakhstan
S.E
62.00 Ministry of Energy and
Minisera Resources,
through Samruk-
Kaznya (holding
company).
1 Right of first refusal on
any onshore oil and gas
right, interest or asset
offered for sale in
Kazakhstan;
preferential access
rights to KMG oil and
gas transportation
assets; right to ask
KMG to enter into
direct negotiations with
the government for any
unlicensed oil and gas
acreage in Kazakhstan;
50 % minimum carried
participation in
upstream projects.
OGDCL 1997
(1)
Public
limited
company
London
S.E.,
Islamabad
S.E.,
Karachi S.E.
85.20 Federal Minister for
Petroleum, Natural
Resources and
Privatisation
3 No special rights
established by law.
ONGC 1994 Joint
stock
Bombay
S.E.,
National
S.E. of India
84.23 President of India
directly (74.14%), and
indirectly through the
Government ownership
in Indian Oil
Corporation (6.069%)
and the Gas Authority
of India Ltd (1.392%).
14 No special rights
established by law.
PDVSA 1975 Public
limited
company
Not listed. 100.00 Ministry of Energy and
Petroleum.
1 The law mandates the
NOC to have a
minimum 60 percent
interest in any
petroleum producing
activity in Venezuela.
PEMEX 1938 Public
limited
company
Not listed. 100.00 Secretaría de Energía
(SENER)
1 Exlusive rights to
explore for and exploit
oil and gas in Mexico,
and to transport natural
gas through the
national pipeline
system until 2029.
(2)

Notes:
(1) OGDCL was established as a statutory corporation in 1961 and made self-financing in July 1989. The company was
incorporated as a public limited company in October 1997.
(2) POCs can invest in transportation and distribution, and build alternative pipelines to reach their clients.
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.





84

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
Year
incorp.
Type Listings
% govt.
control
State ownership
function
Number
of
NOCs
Special privileges
Petrobras 1953 Joint
stock
Sao Paulo,
New York,
Buenos
Aires, and
Madrid S.
E.
55.7
(1)
Ministry of Finance 1 No special rights
between 1997-2009.
Since 2010: (i) exclusive
operatorship in the pre-
salt province and
selected areas; and (ii)
30 % minimum
participation in these
areas.
Petro
China
1999 Joint
stock
Hong Kong
S.E., New
York S.E.,
Shanghai
S.E.
86.71
(2)
The State Owned Assets
Supervision and
Administration
Commission through
the China National
Petroleum Corporation
(CNPC), itself wholly
owned by the
government.
3 Exclusive rights to enter
into on onshore
exploration and
production contracts
with foreign operators
through CNPC.
Petronas 1974 Public
limited
company
Petronas
Holding is
not listed,
but 4 of its
subsidiaries
are listed
on the
Malaysia
Bursa
(1)

100.00 The Ministry of Finance
(but some rights are
reserved to the Prime
Minister).
1 The Petroleum Act of
1974 gives Petronas
ownership of, and
exclusive rights to
explore and produce,
petroleum onshore or
offshore Malaysia.
Petro SA 2002 Public
limited
company
Not listed. 100.00 Department of Minerals
and Energy, through
the Central Energy
Fund.
1 No special rights
established by law.
PTT 1978
(3)
Joint
stock
S.E. of
Thailand
67.13 The Ministry of Finance
directly through its
51.7% ownership, and
indirectly through the
Vayupak Fund.
1 PTT is the monopoly
purchaser, wholesaler,
and distributor of
natural gas in Thailand.
QP 1974 Public
limited
company
Not listed. 100.00 Emir of Qatar 1 Sovereign guarantee
provided by the
Government.
Notes:
(1) The Brazilian government owns 40 percent of Petrobras' outstanding share capital, but has a 55.7 percent voting share.
(2) CNPC owns 86.42 percent of Petrochina’s outstanding share capital directly, and 0.29 percent indirectly through Fairy
King Investment Ltd.
(1) The traded subsidiaries include Petronas’ exploration and production company, its natural gas transmission company, its
refining company and its petrochemical company.
(2) PTT was partially privatized in 2001.
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.





85

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
Year
incorp.
Type Listings
% govt.
control
State ownership
function
Number
of
NOCs
Special privileges
Rosneft 1993 Joint
stock
London
S.E.,
Moscow
Interbank
Currency
Exchange,
Russian
Trading
System
83.00
(1)
75.16% held by OJSC
ROSNEFTEGAZ,
wholly owned by the
Federal Government;
0.000000009% held by
the Federal Agency for
State Property
Management;
4 No special rights
established by law.
Sinopec
Ltd
2000 Joint
stock
Hong Kong
S.E., New
York S.E.,
London
S.E.,
Shanghai
S.E.
75.80 The State Owned Assets
Supervision and
Administration
Commission through
the Sinopec Corp
(Sinopec-Parent), itself
wholly owned by the
govt.
3 No special rights
established by law.
Sonatrach 1963 Public
limited
company
Not listed. 100.00 Ministry of Energy and
Minerals
1 The 2006 Hydrocarbons
Order reintroduces the
mandatory
participation of
Sonatrach with a
minimum 51 percent
for exploration,
production,
transportation and
refining activities. In
the upstream, the NOC
is carried through
exploration.
Statoil 1972 Public
limited
company
Oslo S.E.,
New York
S.E.
70.83 The Ministry of
Petroleum and Energy
(66.89 percent) and the
State Pension Fund
(3.94 percent).
1 No special rights
established by law.
Notes:
(1) The Federal Government owns 75.16 percent of the outstanding shares, but 9.45 percent are recorded by Rosneft as
treasury shares.


4.3.1.2 Internal governance
Internal governance includes institutional arrangements, such as the composition, structure,
functioning and authority of the BOD, and the NOC’s management processes, such as recruitment,
oversight and replacement of key executives, decision-making process, sources of capital, the degree
of budgetary autonomy, disclosure and transparency standards, the skill base, and human resources
policies. Table 4.7 summarizes the internal governance arrangements for the NOCs in our sample. It is
important to note that publicly available information on internal governance processes is scarce for
most NOCs. Available information generally focuses on budget and financial autonomy, audit
procedures, and disclosures. These are summarized in table 4.8.


86

Almost all NOCs in our sample appear to confirm the general trend observed in SOEs and
privately-owned enterprises towards a reduction in the size of BOD, which aims to improve the
efficiency of the decision-making process.
61
In our sample NOCs, the duties of the BODs are generally
comparable and similar to those usually attributed to the BODs of other SOEs and of companies in the
private sector. But there are differences in level of authority and decision-making power across the
sample. For example, in some NOCs, budget, or investment decisions, or decisions that have a
significant financial impact on the company’s affairs require formal approval by the government or by
parliament. In these cases, the BOD and the general shareholders’ assembly are not the ultimate
governing bodies of the company.
Independent directors with professional and academic backgrounds in the legal, financial,
economic, and technical fields are members of the board in most of the NOCs included in our sample.
This is in line with the general trend observed in other SOEs towards increased professionalization
and empowerment of BODs. In this paper, independent directors exclude government officials,
employees of the company or any of its affiliates, or representatives of employees. The number of
independent BOD members observed for our sample NOCs varies between zero and 80 percent,
generally reflecting the concentration of ownership (although not proportionally). Government
officials from various government levels—including parliament and sub-national governments—are
members of the BOD for most of the NOCs in our sample. In some cases, a high level government
official—often at the minister level—is the chairman of the BOD.
Assessing the true level of independence of BOD members is quite complex, even when
nomination committees are established. While nomination committees can be an effective way to
reduce political interference and to increase the independence of the BOD, the relative voting power of
majority and minority shareholders ultimately affects the choice of candidates and the composition of
the committee, which in turn affects its power and effectiveness. Only thirty percent of the NOCs in
the sample have a nomination committee.
Most of the NOCs in the sample (70 percent) have established audit committees and compensation
committees. While almost all of them have an official corporate governance policy, a few have
established corporate governance committees, ethics committees, or sustainability committees. But this
is probably a new trend for SOEs in general. Eighty percent of the NOCs in the sample use external
auditors and publish their annual reports. NOCs that are quoted on international stock exchanges
prepare their report according to national and international accounting standards.









61
The size of BOD for our sample of NOCs ranged from 7 (Qatar Petroleum and Kazmunaigaz) to 21 members
(Gaz de France) with an average of 11 members. For a discussion on trends in BOD composition and size see inter
alia de Wied and Monsky (2010), Korn Ferry Institute (2008), Daum and Neff (2005), and Board Alert 2004.


87

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
CNOOC 11 5 3 executive directors;
8 non-executive
directors, of which 5
independent
Directors are elected by the
shareholders after
nomination by the
nomination committee.
Independent directors are
appointed by the BOD by
majority decision or
elected by the shareholders
at the general meeting.
The BOD powers include
to: appoint corporate
officers and executive
management; review
operating and financial
performance; approve
financial statements;
appoint independent
auditors; approve debt
issuance; declare
dividends; approve
registration of securities;
evaluate management
performance; set
compensation levels; and
monitor compliance with
the code of ethics.
Audit;
Nomination; and
Remuneration
committees, each
staffed with non-
executive
directors with a
majority of
independent
director.
All
independent
directors are
professionals
or scholars
with
experience in
legal,
economics,
financial and
investment
matters.
3 years
renewable
Ecopetrol 9 6 Directors include the
Minister of Finance,
the Minister of
Mines and Energy,
and the Director of
the National
Planning Agency.
Except for the 3
government appointees,
the BOD members are
elected by the general
assembly at annual
general meeting.
The BOD has sufficient
power to enforce the
codes of conduct, engage
in high level decision
making, and has direct
impact on the activities of
the company.
Audit;
Nomination; and
Corporate
governance. All
members of the
audit committee
and at least one
member of the
other two
committees must
be independent.
All
independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
engineering,
legal and
financial
matters.
1 year
renewable
ENI 9 3 The company by-
laws mandate that at
least 3 independent
directors be
members of the BOD
when the BOD
members are more
than 5 (at least 1
independent director
otherwise). There are
no government
officials in the BOD.
Qualified directors are
elected by the general
assembly at annual
general meeting. The
appointment of directors
is implemented by means
of lists presented by
shareholders that
represent at least 1% of
the ordinary shares with
voting rights.
The lists must specify the
candidates possessing the
independence pre-
requisites
The BOD powers include
to: define corporate
governance rules;
establish internal
committees; define
organizational,
administrative, and
accounting guidelines;
define the strategic
guidelines and objectives
of the NOC; approve
annual budgets; approve
any transaction with
significant impact on the
NOC’s results and
liquidity.
Internal controls;
Compensation;
and Oil and gas
and energy.
These
committees are
currently staffed
with non-
executive
directors.
All directors
are
professionals
or scholars
with
experience in
the legal,
economics,
financial and
investment
matters.
3 years
renewable
Gazprom 10 2 Directors include the
Deputy Minister of
Energy. In line with
the Federal
Commission for the
Securities Markets,
members of the
governing bodies
account for ¼ of the
BOD.
Directors are elected by
the shareholders at the
annual general meeting.
The Federal Government
has the right to elect 5
directors.
The BOD powers include
to: develop company
strategy; approve annual
budgets and investment
programs; decide on
changes in the NOC’s
share capital, and
buyback of shares and
bonds; open or close
subsidiaries; set the
compensation of the
management committee;
and appoint and
terminate management
committee’s members.
Audit; Human
resources; and
Remuneration.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
legal and
financial
matters.
1 year
renewable
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.



88

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
GDF 21 9 Government
representatives
include the Ministry
of Energy, the
Ministry of Economy
and several
government
agencies.
11 directors are appointed
by the shareholders at the
annual general meeting;
the state appoints 6
directors by decree; 3
directors represent the
employees.
The BOD powers include
to: develop company
strategy; approve annual
budgets and investment
programs; decide on
changes in the NOC’s
share capital, and
buyback of shares and
bonds; open or close
subsidiaries; set the
compensation of the
management committee;
and appoint and
terminate management
committee’s members.
Audit; Ethics;
Environment
and sustainable
development;
Strategy and
investment;
Compensation;
and Nomination
committees, each
chaired by an
independent
director.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
economics and
financial
matters.
4 years
renewable
KMG E&P 8 3 Government
representatives are
also executives of
NC KMG, itself
wholly owned by the
government through
Samruk-Kaznya.
5 directors are appointed
by Samruk-Kaznya; the 3
independent directors are
appointed by the BOD
and approved by the
shareholders at the
annual general meeting.
The powers of the BOD
include to: define the
strategy and long-term
objectives of the NOC;
monitor the
implementation of
approved policies;
approve internal
procedures and monitor
their implementation; and
manage internal conflicts.
Strategy and
planning; Audit;
Remuneration;
and Nomination.
Independent
directors chair
the Strategy and
the Audit
committees.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
financial affairs
and oil and gas
exploration
and
production.
3 years
renewable
OGDCL 11 8 The director general
or Petroleum
Concessions, the
Chief of Economics
and Finance of the
Ministry of
Petroleum, a
member of the
provincial assembly
of Balochistan, and
the chairman and
CEO.
The directors are elected
by the shareholders at the
annual general meeting.
The powers of the BOD
include: to design
strategies and evaluate
projects which may
provide the NOC with a
competitive; and to
supervise the
implementation of all
corporate policies and
codes of ethics to ensure
efficiency and
transparency.
Human
resources;
Finance;
Technical; and
Audit. The latter
comprises 4 non-
executive
directors.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
petroleum
operations,
financial and
economic
matters.
n/a
ONGC 17 8 2 government
officials from the
Ministry of
Petroleum are non-
executive BOD
members.
All directors are
appointed by the
President of India.
The power and authority
of the BOD appear to be
limited, and influenced by
the government through
the tight control of
appointments.
Audit and ethics;
Remuneration,
Shareholders and
investors
grievance;
Human
resources; Health
safety and
environment;
Financial
management;
and Project
appraisal.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
business
administration
and energy
matters.
2 years
renewable
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.








89

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
PDVSA 10 0 The Minister of
Energy and Mines is
the CEO and
Chairman of the
BOD. All but 2 BOD
members are
directors of PdVSA.
There are 2 external
directors: the
president of
Compañía Anónima
Venezolana de
Industrias Militares,
and an LNG expert
adviser to the
Ministry of Energy.
All directors are appointed
by the President of
Venezuela.
The BOD is responsible
for: preparing and
presenting the NOC
operational results;
formulating and
executing the operational,
financial and social
strategies; and convening
annual and special
meetings of shareholders.
Partnerships with other
companies are proposed
by the BOD, but require
the National Assembly's
approval.
n/a n/a 2 years
Pemex 15 0 Secretary of Energy,
Secretary and
Undersecretary of
Finance and Public
Credit, Secretary of
Economy, head of
the President's
Office, and Secretary
of Public Function.
The President of Mexico
appoints 10 directors (6
government officials and
4 professional directors),
and the petroleum
workers’ union appoints
5 directors.
The BOD powers include
to: provide leadership and
strategic management; in
accordance with the
Energy Sector Program,
establish production,
marketing, technology,
general administration,
and finance policies; issue
intercompany guidelines
on financial, credit, tax,
accounting, security,
budgetary and similar
matters; monitor the
operating risk
management system
established by the
Director General; monitor
the performance and
approve the business plan
of the NOC; approve
material transactions;
approve the
appointments and
removal of key
executives; and approve
the annual financial
reports.
Audit and
performance
evaluation;
Investment
strategy;
Payment; Leases,
works and
services;
Environment
and sustainable
development;
Transparency
and
accountability;
and Technology
and research and
development.
n/a n/a
Petrobras 9 2 The State Minister of
Mines and Energy,
the Executive
Secretary of the
Ministry of Mines
and Energy, the
military commander
of the Southeast, a
member of the
National Energy
Policy Council, and
the president of the
National
Development Bank.
The government appoints
the CEO and 6 directors.
Minority shareholders elect
at least 1 director.
Preferred shareholders can
elect 1 director if, together
and excluding the majority
shareholder, they hold at
least 10 percent of the
NOC’s equity.
The BOD determines the
long term strategy of
Petrobras and oversees
the acts of the Executive
Board, which directs
operations and manages
the company.
Audit;
Compensation
and succession;
and
Environment.
Independent
directors have
experience in
corporate
finance, and
quality of
spending in
private and
public
organizations.
1 year,
renewable
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.



90

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
Petro
China
14 5 The CEO and
Chairman are
executive directors.
Directors are elected by
the shareholders at the
annual general meeting.
The authority of the BOD
includes: convening
shareholders' general
meeting; implementing
the resolutions passed by
the shareholders;
determining the NOC's
business plans and
investment proposals;
formulating the NOC's
financial budgets; and
formulating the NOC's
dividends and loss
recovery proposals. An
external supervisory
board monitors financial
matters and actions of
senior management.
Audit;
Investment and
development;
Evaluation and
remuneration;
Health safety
and
environment;
and Supervisory.
Independent
directors have
professional
experience in
finance,
economics and
engineering.
3 years
renewable
PTT 15 1 Deputy Permanent
Secretary for Energy
(Chairman),
Secretary General of
the Office of
National Economic
and Social
Development Board,
Director General of
the Department of
Mineral Fuels,
Deputy Permanent
Secretary for Foreign
Affairs, Permanent
Secretary of the
Office of the Prime
Minister, Director
General of the
Department of
Lands, Deputy
Permanent Secretary
for Finance, and
Chief Financial
Officer and President
and CEO of PTT
PLC.
The Annual General
Meeting of shareholders
elects qualified directors
who have previously
been selected and
nominated by the
Nomination Committee
(based on certain criteria).
The duties of the BOD
include: to define the
NOC’s vision, directions,
and strategies; to endorse
major strategies and
policies, including
objectives, financial
targets, and operating
plans; to establish
corporate accounting,
financial reporting, and
financial auditing policies;
to manage conflicts of
interest; to define
comprehensive risk
management guidelines
and to establish efficient
risk management systems
and process; and to
establish senior
management’s
compensation policies.
Audit;
Nomination;
Corporate
governance; and
Remuneration.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
finance,
economics,
engineering,
and business
administration.
3 years
QP 7 0 The BOD includes:
the Minister of
Energy and Industry
and representatives
of his office, and
economic experts
from the Office of
the Emir.
Directors are appointed
by the Emir of Qatar.
n/a n/a n/a n/a
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.








91

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
Rosneft 9 3 The BOD includes:
the Deputy Prime
Minister of the
Russian Federation;
the Minister of
Industry and Energy
of the Russian
Federation; and the
Head of the Federal
Agency for State
Property.
Directors are elected by the
shareholders at the annual
general meeting.
The BOD has full
decision making powers.
Human
resources and
remuneration;
Strategic
planning; and
Audit.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
finance,
economics, and
business
administration.
7 years
Sinopec 11 3 The BOD does not
include government
representatives. A
Supervisory Board (9
members), which
reports to the
General Assembly,
oversees the BOD.
The Supervisory
Board includes 4
employees’
representatives, and
1 independent
member.
Directors are elected by
the shareholders at the
annual general meeting.
The chairman and vice-
chairman are directors of
the NOC and are elected
and removed by a
majority vote by the BOD.
Candidates for non-
independent directors are
nominated by Sinopec’s
BOD, the supervisory
committee, or
shareholders who hold
5% or more of the NOC’s
voting shares.
The BOD has power and
authority to: elect
corporate officers and
executive management;
review operating and
financial performance;
approve financial
statements; appoint
independent auditors;
approve debt issuance;
declare dividends;
approve the registration
of securities; set
compensation levels;
and recruit key
executives.
Audit;
Compensation;
Supervisory; and
Strategic
Planning.
Independent
directors are
professionals
with
experience in
accounting,
economics, and
engineering.
3 years
renewable.
Independe
nt
directors
may not
hold office
for more
than 6
years.
Sonatrach 13 0 The BOD comprises
representatives of:
Ministry of Finance
(2), Central Bank (1),
and Ministry of
Energy and Mines
(2). In addition to the
President and
General Manager of
the NOC, there are 4
executive directors, 2
employees’
representatives, and
1 external appointee
with expertise in oil
and gas operations.
The General Assembly,
chaired by the Minister of
Energy and comprising
the Minister of Finance,
the Governor of the
Central Bank, the
Commissioner General
for Planning, and a
representative of the
Presidency, is the highest
governance body. The
Minister of Energy has
extensive powers: it
appoints Sonatrach's
President and General
Manager (PDG), who is
also the Chairman of the
BOD, and provides prior
consent to the
appointment by the PDG
of the executive
committee.
The powers of the BOD,
the Chairman and PDG
are provided for in the
company’s by-laws,
which are approved by
presidential decree. The
powers of the company
are very wide and
concern all activities.
Ethics,
Executives,
International
Projects
Coordination,
Projects Review
n/a n/a
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.









92

Table 4.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC
BOD
size
Indep.
dir.
Structure Appointment authority Duties of the BOD
BOD
committees
Expertise of
independent
directors
Term of
service
Statoil 10 7 There are no public
officials, and no
company
representatives on
the BOD, other than
employee’s
representatives.
Directors are elected by
the Corporate Assembly
(CA), on the
recommendation of the
Nomination Committee.
The CA has 20 members:
12 are elected by the
shareholders and 8 are
elected by employees.
The Nomination
Committee, which
comprises 3 independent
directors and the Director
General of the Ministry of
Petroleum and Energy,
also recommends
individuals to be
considered for the CA.
The annual general
meeting of shareholders
elects the Nomination
Committee, the external
auditor and approves all
financial reports.
The BOD appoints the
president and CEO, and
defines their mandate,
powers of attorney and
terms and conditions of
employment. The duties
of the BOD include:
corporate strategy issues,
approval of business
plans, approval of
quarterly and annual
results, monthly
performance reporting,
management
compensation issues, CEO
and top management
leadership assessment
and succession planning,
health, safety and
environment review,
project status review,
people and organization
strategy and priorities,
enterprise risk evaluation
and an annual review of
the BOD's governing
documentation.
Audit; and
Compensation.
Independent
directors have
experience in
the oil and gas
industry,
corporate
governance,
finance, and
legal affairs
2 years
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.

Table 4.8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs
NOC Budget Autonomy Financial Autonomy Audit Process and Disclosures
CNOOC The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans, but government entities
participate at various stages of budget
preparation and approval.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters, but
must obtain government approval
for certain investments and foreign
borrowing.
External auditors. Reports filed on relevant
stock exchanges.
Ecopetrol The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors. Material information
disclosure policy in accordance with
Colombian and US Securities and Exchange
Commission’s (SEC) standards.
ENI The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors. Reports filed on relevant
stock exchanges.
Gazprom The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors. Reports filed on relevant
stock exchanges.
GDF The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors. Reports filed on relevant
stock exchanges.
KMG E&P The BOD has decision making authority on
budget and investment plans, but government
approval is required at various stages.
The BOD has modest decision
making powers on financial matters.
External auditors. Reports according to
national accounting guidelines.
OGDCL The BOD has decision making authority on
budget and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors.
ONGC The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
External auditors.
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.





93

Table 4.8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC Budget Autonomy Financial Autonomy Audit Process and Disclosures
PDVSA The Minister of Energy and Petroleum
establishes the NOCs overall policies, and
approves annual production levels, captital
expenditures and operating budgets.
Partnerships with POCs require the National
Assembly’s approval.
The BOD has modest decision
making powers on financial matters.
Dividend policies linked to the
government's financial needs.
External auditors. Since 2005 the NOC no
longer submits audited financial reports to
the SEC. Annual reports are published by
the NOC.
Pemex The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans, but budget must be
approved annually by Congress.
The BOD has modest decision
making powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors.
Petrobras The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans, but Congress approves
investment budget.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors. The NOC reports
according to IFRS. Reports filed on relevant
stock exchanges
Petro
China
TThe BOD has decision making powers on
budget and investment plans, but must obtain the
approval of the National Development and
Reform Commission for a broad range of
investment projects.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters, but
must obtain government approval
for certain investments and foreign
borrowing.
Uses external auditors. Reports filed on
relevant stock exchanges.
Petronas The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors. Reports according to
national accounting guidelines.
PetroSA The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans., but budget is subject to
approval by the Ministry of Energy and the
Parliament
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
The Auditor General of South Africa.
Reports are publicly disclosed.
PTT The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Financial statements are always audited by
the governmental Office of The Auditor
General of Thailand with reports filed in
Bangkok.
QP All budget decisions are executed through the
office of the Emir in concert with the BOD.
The BOD has modest decision
making powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors.
Rosneft The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors. Reports filed on
relevant stock exchanges
Sinopec The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors. Reports filed on
relevant stock exchanges
Sonatrach The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plan. Budgets are approved by
the General Assembly.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses internal auditors. Reports according to
national accounting guidelines and US
GAAP since 2006
Statoil The BOD has decision making powers on budget
and investment plans.
The BOD has decision making
powers on financial matters.
Uses external auditors. Reports filed on
relevant stock exchanges
Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.

4.3.2 Selected NOCs corporate governance scorecard
Compared to the corporate governance standards for a sample of large oil and gas corporations
examined in another study, the NOCs in our sample appear to have reasonably sound institutional
arrangements (M&E 2008). Table 4.9 compares the corporate governance standards for our sample
NOCs to the result of the M&E study for the criteria surveyed in both studies.
62


62
The Management & Excellence (M&E) ranking measures oil and gas companies’ compliance takes into account
387 international standards related to sustainability, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, ethics
and transparency. The standards are derived from institutions such as the US Securities and Exchange
Commission, Sarbanes-Oxley, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Global Reporting Initiative, International Labour
Organization, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, and the UN Global Compact among others. The 2008
study reviews the performance of 20 major international and national oil companies, namely Statoil/Hyrdo, ENI,
Petrobras Pemex, Petrochina, ADNOC, Gazprom, Saudi Aramco, PDVSA, ENAP, Total, BP, Shell, ConocoPhilips,
ExxonMobil, Marathon, Repsol, Chevron, OMV, and Lukoil.


94

Table 4.10 provides a comparison of internal and external governance arrangements for the NOCs
in our sample. We have assessed the sample NOCs against a set of dimensions that reflect the OECD
guidelines and the latest trends in corporate governance of large corporations. Although these criteria
do no capture all dimensions of good corporate governance, they represent an important subset and
are objectively measurable.
Table 4.9 – Governance standards: sample NOCs vs. large oil and gas companies.
Criteria M&E
survey’s
results
Sample
NOCs
Company has an official corporate governance policy 85% 85%
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the BOD are
different persons
60% 80%
Compensation Committee 70% 70%
Corporate Governance Committee 45% 20%
Nomination Committee 55% 30%
Ethics Committee 35% 20%
Sustainability Committee 15% 25%
Board directors are re-elected annually 25% 20%
Source: Authors, M&E 2008.

Table 4.10 – Governance scorecard for selected NOCs

Source: Authors.
Note: Percentage scores – last column – are calculated by dividing the governance indicators observed for each NOC by the
total numbers of indicators (15). The last line shows the percentage of the sample NOCs for which the relevant governance
indicator was observed.

Nr. %
Ecopetrol √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 10 66.67
OGDCL √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 10 66.67
GDF √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 10 66.67
ENI √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 9 60.00
ONGC √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 9 60.00
Pemex √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 9 60.00
Petrochina √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 9 60.00
Statoil √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 9 60.00
CNOOC √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 8 53.33
Gazprom √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 8 53.33
KMG √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 8 53.33
Sinopec √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 8 53.33
Petrobras √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 8 53.33
Petronas √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 7 46.67
PTT √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 7 46.67
Rosneft √ √ √ √ √ √ 6 40.00
Petro SA √ √ √ √ 4 26.67
QP √ √ √ 3 20.00
Sonatrach √ √ 2 13.33
PdVSA 0 -
No. of observations 17 16 6 13 4 10 14 14 4 6 4 5 10 4 16
% of total 85.00 80.00 30.00 65.00 20.00 50.00 70.00 70.00 20.00 30.00 20.00 25.00 50.00 20.00 80.00
Score
Official
CGpolicy
CEO and
chairman
different
persons
Stock
exchange
listing
Mainly
indep.
directors
Directors
are re-
elected
annually
NOC
Extenal
auditor
No
external
approval
needed
No Govt
officials
on the
BOD
Committees of the BOD
Audit Compens.
Corporate
governance
Nomination Ethics Sustainability
Strategy
or
equivalent


95

At least in terms of legal and institutional arrangements, our review of the corporate governance
arrangements of the sample NOCs did not reveal significant departures from generally accepted
standards for SOEs or POCs. But a word of caution is in order: the institutional structure (that is, the
organization of governance) is only one element of good corporate governance. The procedures and
processes that govern the functioning of such structure can be more critical for the quality and
strength of corporate governance than the structure itself. Therefore, although on paper NOCs appear
to fare well on corporate governance, the practice is difficult to assess. For example, the role played by
board committees with respect to improving the quality and transparency of the BOD’s decision-
making processes largely depends on the skills of the committee’s members (that is, whether the
members are experts in the subject matters that are assigned to the committee), the composition of the
committee (that is, whether the members are mostly independent and non-executive directors), and
the weight of minority shareholders. Ethics committees that are staffed with executive directors or
government appointees may lack the credibility of more balanced ones. Similarly, nomination
committees that are largely controlled by the majority shareholder are less likely to be free to make
objective suggestions. The assessment of the overall quality of corporate governance of the NOCs
included in our sample would require access to information that is often not publicly available and
would entail a certain level of subjectivity. This was not attempted in this paper.
Given the relatively small size of our sample, our finding may not be indicative of a general trend.
Nonetheless, it seems that resource dependent countries and countries that depend on imports to
satisfy most of their energy needs opt for the centralized model of ownership. In these countries, the
state often hold the totality or the majority of the voting rights in the share capital of the NOC, and
tends to influence the decision making power of the NOC directly through the appointment of
government officials on the BOD, or indirectly through external approvals for decisions that have
strategic or sizable financial implications. NOCs that derive a considerable part of their revenue from
international operations tend to have faster decision making processes. The state tends to exert more
influence over NOCs that enjoy special privileges.
Cultural differences across countries also play a significant role in explaining why similar
corporate governance structures may function is a very dissimilar manner. Sam provides an
interesting analysis of cultural differences between Asia and the United States and their impact on
corporate governance arrangements (Sam 2007). The author notes that, while the Anglo-American
model of governance is characterized by diluted ownership and clear separation of ownership and
control, the Asian business system is based on patriarchal cultures. As a result, in many Asian
corporations, the minority shareholders have limited power to overturn the decision of the majority
shareholders. In other words, ‚The real problem is misalignment of interest between majority and
minority shareholders, and not between investors and executives as found in Anglo-Saxon countries.‛
Hence, in these markets, the issue of corporate control cannot be expected to play a significant role,
and companies are less likely to appreciate the benefit of undergoing costly reforms. For some firms,
the adoption of Western practices and adjustments to international norms is deemed necessary for
reasons of legitimacy to gain access to international markets and global finance (Ahlstrom and others
2004; Carney 2005). But even the most internationally oriented companies have to deal with domestic
reality. In practice, this may require the development of a hybrid system of governance that allows the
company to achieve its objectives while maintaining its ability to interact with its domestic
environment. The Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Russian, and Kazakh NOCs are examples of cultural
adaptation, where Anglo-American corporate governance systems are fused with stricter bureaucracy
and more centralized decision-making.


96

4.4 Lessons learned
In addition to the maximization of the net present value of the economic rent, governments often
pursue a variety of development and socioeconomic objectives, including inter-temporal equity, the
promotion of backward and forward linkages, the promotion of bilateral trade, energy self sufficiency,
and security of supplies. These objectives and their relative priorities, together with each country’s
unique constraints and concerns, determine the types of policies and tools available to policy makers.
Since the NOC is only one of these tools, it is important to ensure coherence and coordination between
the NOC and other policy tools, in particular the petroleum rights allocation system, the fiscal regime,
and other tools such as market regulation.
Whether a government chooses to establish a NOC or to rely on POCs to achieve the objectives of
its petroleum sector policy, its primary concern should be to maximize the social benefits derived from
such policies. But defining what constitutes maximum social welfare is essentially a political question,
which helps explain the variety of objectives pursued (and policy tools used) by governments over
time.
NOCs are often the product of a political choice for direct government intervention in the sector,
usually motivated by the strategic relevance of petroleum or its importance to the country’s economy.
Economic considerations, such as the desire to address market deficiencies or inefficiency or to
maximize rent capture, are seldom the primary reason for establishing the NOC. This implies that
subjectivity is unavoidable when comparing the relative benefits of the NOC and other policy tools.
Although there are established criteria to guide policy formulation in cases that involve a certain level
of value judgment, in practice deciding whether or not establishing the NOC maximizes value creation
is a matter of political choice.
63

NOCs are used to achieve a wide range of policy objectives. But in some cases other policy tools
may be more effective.
64
For example, to stimulate the development of a local supply industry or the
creation of forward linkages fiscal incentives or market regulation may be more effective and
sustainable than relying on the NOC. Allocation systems and fiscal regimes may be more effective
than direct state participation to maximize the size and value over time of the rent captured by the
government. In particular, through the allocation system can be designed to: (i) ensure that petroleum
exploration and production rights are awarded to the most efficient operator; (ii) reduce the possibility
of collusion among bidders; and (iii) increase the level of competition (Tordo 2009). Progressive fiscal
regimes can correct inefficiencies at allocation due to asymmetry or lack of information on the real
value of petroleum resources that will be extracted from a particular area. Moreover, depending on the
type of fiscal regime, the government’s direct participation through the NOC, especially on
concessional terms, may have an impact on the attractiveness of the country to POCs and on the
government take.
65


63
See for example Pareto (1927), Kaldor (1939), Hicks (1939), Bergson (1938), Hayek (1945), Samuelson (1947), and
Webb (1976).
64
A detailed discussion of value creation through the design of allocation systems, fiscal regimes, and market
regulation is beyond the scope of this paper. Ample literature exists on these topics. See for example Garnaut and
Ross (1975), Chu U Kalu (1994), Baunsgaard (2001), Johnston (2003), Tordo (2007), and Tordo (2009).
65
‚The impact on project economics of the government’s participation through the NOC deserves special
consideration. If concessional conditions apply to the government back-in interest (if the government does not pay
its way in, or pays it only partially) this would have implications for the net present value of project cash flow
accruing to the POCs. In addition, since the POCs are usually allowed to recover project expenses (including the
share that accrue to the NOC) with a limited or unlimited carry forward, this may result in an implied borrowing


97

In principle, if the fiscal system is efficient in allocating risks and sharing benefits between the
state and the private investors, there would be no economic justification for the participation of the
NOC if its economic efficiency is lower than that of private investors. This argues in favor of policies
that foster the NOC’s efficient behavior, including corporatization, commercialization, and the
elimination (or at least limited use) of special privileges and other discriminatory practices.
Whatever the reason for establishing the NOC, its role, objectives, and governance need to be
tailored to reflect the set of objectives, constraints, and concerns that are unique to each country. These
define the boundary conditions for value creation by the NOC. Figure 4.1 provides a simplified
representation of this approach.
Figure 4.1 – Value creation flow chart

Source: Authors.

Since social and political objectives, constraints, and concerns are often country specific, it is
difficult to identify general principles for NOC value creation that apply to all countries in all
circumstances. Therefore, drawing from experience of the NOCs analyzed in sections 4.2 and 4.3, this
section focuses on policies and measures that aim to achieve economic objectives. These are
summarized below:
 Special privileges granted to the NOC by its home government do not necessarily translate into value
creation. To be successful, petroleum exploration and development activities require specific

rate for the host government that is higher than its marginal borrowing rate. Unrecovered expenses affect the
calculation of project profitability indices, which in turn may affect the level of government revenue when profit
sharing or taxes are determined on these bases‛ (Tordo 2007).
Policy tools
Country’s objectives
• Political
• Economic
• Social
Country’s constraints
• Geology and geography
• Structure of the economy
• Energy sources
• Institutional and regulatory
framework
• Ownership of and access to
reserves
• Market regulation
Exogenous factors
• Oil and gas price
• Economic cycle
• International sanctions
Sector policy and institutional
framework
Pace of
exploitation
Sector
participation
Institutional
responsibilities
Local content
requirements
NOC
Social Value Creation
Allocation
system
Fiscal
regime
Other
Degree of
regulatory
intervention


98

knowledge of the relevant geological basins, technological competence, project management
expertise, and the ability to bear and manage associated risks. All of these factors are a direct
function of experience, which need not necessarily be acquired in the specific country or the
specific petroleum basin. This means that newly established NOCs are likely to be
disadvantaged compared to experienced POCs or NOCs from other petroleum producing
countries owing to information asymmetry, insufficient scale of operation, and inefficiency
arising from excessive risk aversion.
66
To overcome these deficiencies, many petroleum
producing countries choose to grant special privileges to their NOC, ranging from the
monopoly over all or some petroleum activities, to the exclusive right to conduct petroleum
activities (solely or in association with POCs), to mandatory minimum levels of NOC
participation in petroleum operations. In some cases, special privileges are granted to the
NOC through constitutional provisions that reserve the ownership and exploitation rights
exclusively for the state. The preferential treatment of the NOC can be an effective tool to
address information and capacity asymmetries. In principle, protectionism shelters the NOC
from competition, allowing it to focus on developing the necessary competence and
economies of scale. However, like many forms of industrial policy, special treatment of the
NOC is most effective when it is granted on a temporary basis. If the NOC knew that it could
rely on special privileges forever, it would have limited incentives to become efficient and
competitive. Furthermore, although scale is an advantage in the oil and gas business, the
marginal benefit associated with it becomes negative after a company reaches a certain
optimal size. Box 4.1 illustrates the opportunities and pitfalls of special privileges.

Box 4.1 – The grant of special privileges to a NOC: opportunities and pitfalls
Statoil (Norway). During its first decade of operations, Statoil benefited greatly from two key privileges: (i) minimum
participation of 50 percent, carried through the exploration phase, in all petroleum licenses, implying a veto power on
all development decisions; and (ii) once a discovery was declared commercial, the option to increase the participation
by up to 80 percent based on a sliding scale linked to production levels. In the second half of the 1980s, the Storting
(Norwegian Parliament) revoked these privileges. There were worries about the influence of Statoil on the domestic
economy and potentially domestic politics. However, by then Statoil had already developed solid technical competence
and a large domestic portfolio of assets. Following this decision, Statoil became more commercially oriented, and its
relationship with the state became increasingly arm’s length. Ultimately, the decision to revoke Statoil’s special
privileges proved to be advantageous for both the state (which could rely on efficient exploitation of its non-renewable
resources) and the NOC (which wanted to become an international operator and needed to improve its efficiency and
reduce its operating costs to do so).
KMG EP (Kazakhstan). The NOC was only recently created in 2004 through the merger of two exploration and
production companies, JSС Uzenmunaigas and JSС Embamunaigas. In 2005 KMG EP was partially privatized. The
NOC’s parent company, NG KMG, is an integrated oil and gas company wholly owned by the government of
Kazakhstan. Since KMG EP’s initial portfolio of assets contained mature fields, the government granted it a series of
commercial privileges by law, aimed at facilitating its future growth. These included: (1) the right of first refusal on any
onshore oil and gas rights, interests, or assets offered for sale in Kazakhstan; (2) preferential access rights to NG
KMG’s oil and gas transportation assets; (3) the right to ask NG KMG to enter into direct negotiations with the
government for rights to any unlicensed oil and gas acreage in Kazakhstan without a competitive tender process; and
(4) the right to acquire those rights from NG KMG. These policies gave KMG EP a clear competitive advantage.
Special privileges are not the only component of the government’s ownership strategy. The government wanted its
NOC to have a modern corporate governance structure to give its management the flexibility needed to execute its
non-organic growth strategy (that is, growth by acquisition as oppose to growth through the drill bit). KMG EP does not
have large noncommercial obligations and is not required to undertake non-core commercial activities beyond those

66
Policy makers are normally reluctant to take the political risks of petroleum exploration. If exploration results in
commercially viable discoveries, the decision is rewarded. On the other hand, if the state loses money because
exploration is unsuccessful, the conventional wisdom is that public criticism is harsh. Risk aversion therefore likely
translates into increased levels of bureaucracy and slow decision making, which affects the operational freedom
and efficiency of the NOC.


99

acquired at the time of its creation. Thanks to the coherent set of policies adopted by the government, along with good
geology, KMG EP became the second largest Kazakh oil producing company in 2009. The government is pleased with
KMG EP’s results and has not explicitly indicated its intention to lift the special privileges granted to it. However
effective this strategy has proved in helping KMG EP rapidly build an asset portfolio and economies of scale, it has not
quite helped the NOC to achieve competency in the management of petroleum exploration activities. The assets
acquired by the NOC are maturing, but as long as the government’s protectionist policy remains in place, there may be
no real incentive for the NOC to diversify its portfolio internationally or to assume exploration risk.
Sonatrach (Algeria). When Algeria gained independence in 1963, Sonatrach was created with the initial intention to
fast-track the resolution of contentious pipeline issues and later to be the instrument of state control over the industry.
The industry was nationalized at the beginning of the 1970s. But the fall in oil prices in the 1980s and state’s increased
dependence on petroleum revenues underpinned a partial policy change. A law was passed in 1986 that partially
liberalized the upstream petroleum sector. Foreign companies could carry out upstream activities but only with a
minimum 51 percent participation by Sonatrach. Although the reform did not produce the results that the government
was hoping for, Sonatrach was able to replenish its hydrocarbon reserves at a time when the NOC had extremely
limited financial and technical resources. By 2001 oil prices were low again, and the countries’ petroleum production
was starting to decline. Once again the government considered changes in the special privileges policy to attract
foreign investors. After a long debate, a law was passed in 2005 to restructure the sector The NOC was relieved of its
regulatory powers, and its special privileges in the upstream sector were to removed, leaving the NOC with the option
to participate up to 30 percent in exploration and production contracts with other state and private companies. Oil
prices were starting to rise and the country’s stability had improved. The reform seemed well timed. Except it was not.
It was indeed hard for the NOC to let go of its special privileges once its cash flow started to increase again.
Furthermore, the NOC was seen as a national champion with a considerable role in social and economic development.
In 2006, when oil prices were rapidly surging and nationalization sentiments were growing in several producing
countries, the law was partially amended. The NOC was mandated to participate in all upstream, midstream, and
downstream (refining) projects with a minimum controlling interest of 51 percent. Sonatrach was able to retain key
special privileges. But it also has to shoulder the burden of maintaining its share of producing assets while stepping up
exploration efforts in declining economic conditions and investors’ confidence.

 The NOC can be instrumental to the promotion of forward and backward linkages. But the results
depend on policy design. Especially in developing countries (and in developed countries in the
early stages of development of the sector), NOCs tend to be given a primary role in advancing
local content. This may range from the creation of backward linkages to processes and
activities aimed at creating forward linkages and in some countries may go beyond the oil
and gas sector value chain. More often than not, however, NOCs have little control over their
government’s local content policies, either in terms of policy objectives or implementation
choices. The economic efficiency and the effectiveness of a local content policy depend more
on its design than they do on who implements it (the government, the NOC, the POCs, or all
of them). Chapter 1 outlined the elements of good local content policy design. In particular,
the policy should: (i) aim to achieve clear and measurable targets; (ii) set realistic objectives
that take into account the degree of technological strangeness; (iii) gradually maximize local
value added; (iv) focus on the development of local capabilities that can be transferred to
other sectors; (v) provide for the assessment and disclosure of progress towards targets; (vi)
be coherent with other government policies and tools; and (vii) be flexible and dynamic.
Policies that disregard these principles risk creating long-term inefficiency and distortions,
and in some cases even corruption. In terms of implementation, the NOC may well be given a
prominent role among other stakeholders. But the government needs to avoid overburdening
the NOC with non-core non-commercial objectives that may be at odds with other functions
of the NOC. This is particularly relevant in countries where the NOC is the only company
authorized to carry out petroleum activities and thus has limited possibilities for sharing the
exploration and development risk with other parties, since this strategy requires, among other
things, a superior level of operational efficiency and the ability to prioritize core business
investments. Furthermore, oversight and enforcement of local content policy—a role that
belongs to the state— should be separated from the facilitation and implementation of the
policy—a role that can be played by both the NOC and POCs. Box 4.2 contains examples of


100

NOCs that have played a prominent role in promoting local content in their country and
assesses their impact on NOC value creation.

Box 4.2 – Local content policies and NOC value creation
Brazil and Malaysia have some similarities when it comes to the design of local content requirements and the role
played by their NOCs, Petrobras and Petronas, in policy implementation. For both countries, “increasing the
contribution of the sector to local economic development” is among the objectives of their petroleum sector policy. To
this end, minimum local content requirements are encouraged through the licensing process. Malaysia mandates
local incorporation of foreign companies and a minimum share of domestic equity holding and requires petroleum
companies to acquire all materials and supplies locally or to purchase them directly from the manufacturer when not
locally available. Brazil awards petroleum rights in competitive licensing rounds on the basis of three parameters:
cash bonus, work program, and local content. Brazil’s regulator, Agencia Nacional do Petroleo, determines the
minimum acceptable share of local content, which differs depending on the location of the block and the phase of
development. Given that the Petroleum Act of 1974 gives Petronas exclusive rights and powers over Malaysia’s
hydrocarbon resources, the NOC has been the main vehicle for its country’s local content policies, which translate
into contractual obligations under petroleum sharing contracts that Petronas negotiates and enters into with
participating POCs. In addition, Petronas has invested in creating a skilled workforce, developing technology, and
supporting the local supply industry. By comparison, Petrobras does not have to enforce its government’s local
content policies, since this is the task of the regulator. However, Petrobras has adopted local content as its own
operating strategy. Contrary to Petronas’ experience, when Petrobras was established, there was no oil industry in
Brazil. The country was not perceived as prospective, and costs were higher than those in more established oil
provinces. This situation left Petrobras no choice but to develop the industry from scratch. Investing in technology,
human capital, and the development of the domestic supply industry was inevitable. This choice allowed the NOC to
build a strong competitive advantage and to reduce its own operating costs and remains at the core of Petrobras’
business strategy. Petrobras is well known for its superior technology and operating experience in deepwater and
ultra-deepwater exploration and production. This capability was developed domestically, building on existing industrial
capability and shipbuilding expertise. Similar to the behavior of the Malaysian government toward Petronas, the
Brazilian government did not impose specific targets or interfere with Petrobras’ strategic and operating decisions,
even when they generated less revenue for the government. For both countries the hierarchy of objectives was clear:
backward linkages were important, but energy security was paramount. As a result, the two NOCs were able to define
local content policies that suited both their government’s objective to use the petroleum sector as a springboard for
growth and economic development and their own business and value creation strategies.
Heading for a change? One thing that Malaysia and Brazil do not have in common is geology. Most Malaysian fields
have been producing for over 30 years, and production levels are declining. The remaining fields are of lower quality,
relatively small in size, and far from existing infrastructure. This not only affects Petronas’ business strategy and its
government’s energy policy, it also affects the extent to which local content policy can be used to further Malaysia’s
economic development and the type of local content requirements that should be chosen going forward. By
comparison, although Brazil is a large oil producer, only 60 percent of its proved reserves are developed. The country
still has a large number of sub-mature and frontier acreage, including the sub-salt province. Brazil has strongly
enforced local content policies in the past. But it may have good reason to relax some of its local content
requirements in the future. Petrobras' domestic success with the drill bit is likely to further strain the regional oilfield
services industry, which is already under pressure because of the government's insistence that more of the
equipment used offshore be owned by Brazilian firms or built in Brazil. The Brazilian government would need to be
watchful to avoid choking local capacity, as this would result in increased costs and delays for Petrobras and other
operators and ultimately slow the pace of development of the pre-salt deposits and the value created from their
exploitation.
South Africa’s local content policy is different from other petroleum producing countries, in that the country aims to
address both technological disadvantages and broader societal issues. The country has opted for a local content
requirement mandated by law to fast-track equitable access to and sustainable development of South Africa’s mineral
and petroleum resources. The recently introduced Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy requires minimum
equity holdings by previously disadvantaged parts of the population. It also includes employment and procurement
requirements. Owing to the strong domestic focus of its operations, Petro SA employs primarily South Africans and
relies on local companies and suppliers for the majority of its procurement needs. Petro SA’s asset ownership
strategy tends to be geared towards sustainable national growth. The criteria for investing include job creation and
poverty alleviation. This includes opportunities for local participation. For example, the decision to locate the Coega
refinery in one of the poorest provinces in South Africa was largely guided by social development considerations. But
South Africa and Petro SA are not blessed with good geology, and the NOC has to import petroleum to satisfy its
country’s consumption needs. Petro SA has a track record of overperformance in local content development and BEE
implementation. However, production is declining and no major discoveries have been made. Petro SA’s operational
performance has been deteriorating since 2006. To support future growth, the NOC has been stepping up its
exploration expenditure and aims to pursue a strategy of vertical integration to mitigate project risk. The NOC’s
strategy and investment choices reflect an attempt to balance the need to invest efficiently and secure supplies with
domestic economic development and wealth redistribution objectives. The financial crisis and related credit crunch
have increased demands on Petro SA to extend financial assistance to its domestic suppliers to fulfill the


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requirements of the government’s local content policy. At the end of 2008, Petro SA had sufficient funds to carry out
its planned investment program. But if new discoveries are not made soon, the government may have to consider a
more flexible mix of commercial and social objectives that leaves the NOC with sufficient resources to build a more
solid portfolio of producing assets.

 Sector reforms that have a long gestation period generate uncertainty and hamper value creation. All
countries reviewed in this section have a long history of government attempts to reorganize
their petroleum sector or their NOC in pursuit of efficiency, higher levels of activity, greater
control, improved governance, and other political or economic objectives. These reforms have
had mixed results. In some cases, they exhibit a predictable and evolutionary pattern towards
a consistent long-term goal. In others, they tend to change direction and appear to respond
more to short-term circumstances instead of a long term vision. Setting aside differences in
policy objectives and tools, the clarity, pace of implementation, and consistency of political
commitment also vary widely across the sample countries. In general, creating value at sector
and NOC levels is easier when sector and NOC reforms follow a clear trajectory and are
philosophically consistent over time, or if the time lag and direction of changes can be
reasonably anticipated. This is particularly relevant in the oil and gas sector, which is
characterized by long project cycles and high levels of capital investment. Complex reforms
that require a long implementation period are at particular risk of being derailed from their
intended objectives or from achieving their intended results, particularly when the
institutional environment exhibits a high level of overlapping responsibility among
government entities. Based on the experience of the countries and NOCs reviewed in this
section, a critical success factor for sector and NOC governance reforms is the length of the
gestation period—that is, reforms that take a long time to get off the blocks tend to generate
uncertainty, which affects the ability of the NOC and POCs to create value. Box 4.3 explores
the experiences of two countries with sector and NOC reforms.

Box 4.3 – Consistency and speed of government reforms and NOC value creation
Ecopetrol (Colombia). When Ecopetrol was established in 1951, and up until 2003, it was a wholly state-owned
industrial and commercial company responsible for administering Colombia’s hydrocarbon resources. Prior to 1955,
Ecopetrol’s role was administrative and regulatory, and it oversaw POCs that carried out exploration and production
activities under a concessionary system established in the 1920s. By the 1970s, oil and gas production had grown, and
Ecopetrol’s role had evolved accordingly. The NOC participated in upstream activities with private companies
operators and owned the two largest refineries in Colombia. Following the often observed pattern that links government
dependence on petroleum sector to increased government control, in 1974 Colombia reformed its petroleum sector
and redefined Ecopetrol’s role. Petroleum sharing contracts were introduced, and POCs were required to associate
with Ecopetrol. The NOC had a minimum 50 percent interest carried through exploration. Although the fiscal terms
were rather unattractive to private investors, the large discoveries of the 1980s were sufficient to generate interest.
Colombia’s crude oil reserves reached their maximum in 1994 and have been declining since. In an effort to improve
production levels and exploration activity, the government decreased Ecopetrol’s minimum carried participation to 30
percent, which resulted in the signing of 32 new contracts (Palacios 2002). But reserves kept declining while
production increased. The political conflict and violence that had afflicted Colombia since the early 1950s had been a
barrier to sector development. Indeed, Colombia’s petroleum sector policy options were limited, and its choice to
increase the involvement and role of Ecopetrol over time was probably necessary. By the early 2000s, however, the
security situation had greatly improved. At the same time, reserves and production were declining, and Colombia was
risking the loss of its self-sufficiency and its exporter status, with obvious economic consequences. The government
and its NOC did not waste time. In 2003 the government lifted the minimum NOC equity requirement in preparation for
a more radical reform of Ecopetrol, which by then had 76 exploration and production sharing agreements with POCs.
The fiscal regime was relaxed to attract foreign investment. Ecopetrol was relieved of its regulatory and policy
responsibilities, and an independent regulator, the National Hydrocarbon Agency, was created. In 2006 the
government authorized the capital increase of Ecopetrol, which could issue shares on the Colombian stock exchange
provided that state ownership did not drop below 80 percent. By 2007 the NOC was debt free thanks to the IPO, the
proceeds of which it was allowed to fully retain. Changes had also been made to its internal governance arrangements.
The NOC was given financial autonomy and no longer had to compete for resources under the state budget.
Ecopetrol’s board of directors was restructured to include a majority of professional board members, and a new


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corporate governance policy was established. In September 2008, Ecopetrol’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs)
began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Although it is too early to assess whether the measures taken by the
government and its NOC will be sufficient to reverse the trend in reserves and production, the average rate of decline
for the period after the reform until 2009 was 2 percent, compared to 9.3 percent between 2000 and 2003. After all, the
vast majority of Columbia’s sedimentary basins are still underexplored. Hence, these reforms could have important
long-term effects. Columbia’s experience would seem to indicate that political commitment and cooperation between
the NOC and its government and fast and coherent execution are critical to the implementation of far-reaching sector
and corporate governance reforms.
Petro SA (South Africa). South Africa’s petroleum prospectivity is generally considered low, with upside potential in
deep water. This perception may be due to insufficient investment in exploration due to the gradual withdrawal of
POCs during the 1970s and 1980s as a result of political sanctions. Petro SA’s current production of oil and gas is
used for domestic consumption. Led by concerns over the increasing cost of oil import, rapidly declining oil and gas
reserves, and unequal access to opportunities for large swath of its population, in 2002 the government set out to
reform its petroleum sector once again. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 included a
complex set of social and sector reforms, and paved the way for the introduction of new regulatory bodies in addition to
the already thick network of agencies and state companies involved in the oil, gas, and energy sectors. The measures
envisaged by the 2002 Act required important institutional and market adjustments. Although the direction of the reform
was reasonably clear, there was uncertainty over how it would be implemented. The 2002 Act, which did not become
effective until 2004, did not apply until 2008. The law mandated holders of leases that were granted before 1994 to
renegotiate the terms of their leases to incorporate the new requirements. Uncertainty over the final terms of their
leases led investors to invest cautiously. Petro SA, whose strategy is to partner with POCs to mitigate exploration and
operational risk, was affected by the decrease in activity, which was exacerbated by rising equipment and operational
cost across the industry. Petro SA’s operational performance and value creation capability has been suffering in the
past few years. The government’s choice to move forward with the reform was clearly linked to the broader need to
address historical inequalities. But the timing and bureaucratic complexity of the reform hampered the achievement of
its objectives.

 Good geology does not always translate into value creation. Government control over and
intervention in the petroleum sector is generally linked to a country’s dependence on
petroleum revenues, which in turn is linked to the size of the petroleum sector compared to
the rest of economy. Countries that have large oil and gas resource endowments are more
exposed to the risk of ‚Dutch disease,‛ where the inflow of foreign currency and its impact on
the country’s foreign exchange rate have destructive effects on the non-oil tradable sectors.
This decreases competitiveness and further increases the country’s dependence on the oil
sector. The size of a country’s resource endowment may also affect its resource extraction
strategy, including policy decisions about industry participation, licensing strategy, and the
pace of exploitation (Tordo 2009). In general, there appears to be a negative correlation
between oil dependence and sector openness, and this dependence is often linked to a
country’s oil exporting status. A study on the behavior of oil producing countries in Latin
America carried out by Palacios (2002) concludes that oil exporters have been less prone to
liberalize than oil importers. Earlier in this section we suggested that countries and NOCs that
enjoy large resource endowments may have fewer incentives to produce them efficiently and
to maximize the net present value of their extraction, especially when partnership and
alliances with POCs are not the prevalent business strategy. Based on the experience of the
NOCs in our case study sample, NOCs that belong to countries with small resource
endowments and complex geology can generate value as efficiently, if not more efficiently,
than those with more favorable geology. This would suggest that institutional and behavioral
factors can mitigate initial conditions. Box 4.4 contains two examples of NOCs’ experience
with value creation in different geological contexts.






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Box 4.4 – Geology and NOC value creation
PDVSA (Venezuela). Venezuela has one of the largest hydrocarbon endowments in the world, ranked second behind
Saudi Arabia in proved oil reserves and eighth in proved natural gas reserves at the end of 2009. It is a net exporter of
both crude oil and natural gas. However, much of Venezuela’s resource endowment consists of extra-heavy crude oil
and bitumen deposits (most of which are situated in the Orinoco Belt), which require specialized and costly refining
processes in order to obtain desirable end products such as gasoline and aviation fuel. Besides having the largest
resource endowment of the countries in the case study sample, Venezuela is also one of the most dependent on oil
revenue. Government policies have not been particularly effective in addressing the Dutch disease.
Oil exploitation in Venezuela started in the early 1900s. At the time, exploration and production activities were carried
out by multinationals under concessions agreements. The first integrated petroleum law was enacted in 1943 and
reflected the 50-50 fiscal regime that had been launched by AGIP (the Italian NOC) in Egypt (see chapter 2). Sixteen
years later, Venezuela established its first NOC, which had to compete for concessions with POCs. The sector
underwent gradual restructuring until the early 1970s, when declining reserves and production levels triggered a
change of policy that increased the level of government control over and direct participation in the sector. PDVSA was
created in 1975, following the nationalization of the oil industry. The law imposed restrictions on the participation of
domestic POCs in the sector, and foreign investment had to be authorized by congress. PDVSA was tasked with the
development of the petroleum resources and with providing revenue to the government for economic development and
social welfare needs. By the early 1990s, the government’s dependence on oil revenue had grown, and more demands
were placed on PDVSA, which at times affected the NOC’s ability to invest in its operations. Sovereignty in the
Venezuelan case was motivated more by a desire to capture oil rents than to control the production of resources,
which explains the sometimes tense relationships between the state, PDVSA, and the POCs (Palacios 2002). Indeed,
the latest set of reforms (2006-07) appeared to be triggered by rising oil prices and the government’s desire to increase
rent capture. Following the reform, PDVSA’s mandatory minimum participation in exploration and production activities
is 60 percent. The government does not reserve the right to natural gas and refining activities. But since the domestic
price of products is below market price, Venezuela has no private refiners. Since the start of the reform, PDVSA’s
mission has evolved to include a wide range of social and developmental services. This seems to have taken a toll on
the NOC’s operational efficiency (see full case study analysis in part II of this paper) and its ability to create value in
core business activities. Perhaps PDVSA is an example of the challenges of managing very large resource
endowments.
Petronas (Malaysia). At the end of 2009, Malaysia’s reserves were about 5.5 billion barrels of crude oil (0.4 percent of
world crude oil reserves) and 88 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (1.3 percent of world crude oil reserves). Oil production
in Malaysia is declining fast. The majority of its fields have been producing for over 30 years, and remaining fields are
of lower quality, relatively small in size, and far from existing infrastructure. In the 1960s, significant oil resources were
discovered in Malaysia’s Sabah, Sarawak, and Terengganu regions and developed by foreign oil companies under a
concessionary system. In 1974 the government launched the reform of its oil sector to increase its control over a
strategic commodity. Petronas was created and given exclusive power to develop the country’s petroleum sector
resources.
Although the NOC was (and still is) subject to considerable government control through the Prime Minister’s office,
from the very beginning the government gave it a clear commercial and profit-oriented mandate. Since the NOC had
decision-making power over the development of the sector, one of the first measures it took was to introduce
petroleum sharing contracts, following Indonesia’s example. POCs were initially reluctant but eventually accepted the
new regime. In 1978 Petronas started exploration and production activities. By the early 1990s, Malaysia’s resource
base had matured, and Petronas decided to look for oil and gas abroad. The decision was controversial, but the
government, concerned with energy security, did not interfere. Almost seventeen years later, Petronas’ revenue from
international operations reached 40 percent of total revenue and surpassed export revenues. Petronas has a dominant
position in Malaysia, but a significant amount of petroleum production—35 percent—comes from POCs.
Although Petronas has exclusive privileges in the petroleum sector, the government and its NOC have taken a long-
term view to sector development and have pursued a strategy of partnering and risk sharing with private companies.
The NOC strategy focused on operatorship, developing technical skills, risk sharing with POCs, and supporting the
local supply industry to improve its efficiency and its value creation capacity. Finally, unlike Venezuela, the organization
of Malaysia’s hydrocarbon sector has been stable since the nationalization in 1974 despite the periodic reorganizations
of ministries and regulatory entities. More importantly, the NOC’s and government’s objectives and actions have been
aligned for the most part. A comparison of operational and financial performance of Petronas and PDVSA over the
period 2004-08, adjusted to take into consideration differences in economies of scale, reveals Petronas’ superior value
creation capability. Thus, Petronas is an example of the incentives that come from having to rely on small and complex
resource endowments to create value.

 Risk sharing and competition have positive effects on NOC value creation. The exploration,
development, and production of petroleum entail various activities, ranging from
undertaking geological surveys and identifying hydrocarbon resources to commercially


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exploiting them. These activities involve different levels and types of risks and uncertainty. It
is difficult to determine the existence and size of oil and gas resources, their quality, potential
production levels, finding and development costs, and future prices in advance. Therefore,
petroleum exploration has the highest level of risk of all activities in the value chain.
Although the chance of exploration drilling success has been steadily rising over the last 50
years—mainly driven by advances in seismic imaging technology—exploration remains risky.
The average exploration success rate worldwide is approximately one in three wells. In the
1960s the average was one in six (Tordo 2009). Risk management is an important feature of
the oil industry, and deciding who should take the risk and in what measure are important
policy (and operational) decisions. If a government chooses to develop the resource directly or
to hire POCs to develop the resource on its behalf, it will have to bear the risk of exploration
and development entirely. This is the case in countries that have very strict access-to-resource
policies, where the NOC has exclusive rights to explore and produce petroleum and limited
capacity to partner with POCs or other NOCs. Risk is not, however, the only challenge that
governments, their NOCs, and POCs must face. Petroleum exploration and development
activities require specialized, high-tech equipment and skills that are often not available (or
available in limited quantities) in the host country. Capital investment is usually high, and the
largest investments occur several years before production. As a consequence, ‚governments
and investors are much more likely to observe higher levels of activity (and ultimately faster
economic growth and higher profits) if they can spread their investment over several projects
through partnering with other market participants‛ (Tordo 2009). POCs and NOCs use
partnering to lower the risk and improve efficiency of operations, improve return on
investment, and achieve higher growth rates. By choosing the right partners, POCs and NOCs
can also improve their technical and project management skills. Risk and financial leverage
management are even more crucial for NOCs that are not allowed by their government to
operate internationally, or do not enjoy sufficient levels of budget and financial autonomy.
This is often the case for NOCs in oil dependent countries. Box 4.5 explores the relationship
between sector openness and NOC value creation.

Box 4.5 – Openness and NOC value creation
Pemex (Mexico). Mexico is the most restrictive of the case study countries regarding access to petroleum reserves. In
the early 20th century, POCs accounted for the majority of Mexican oil exploration and production. Like in most other
countries, Mexico’s constitution asserted state ownership of the subsoil, but the petroleum sector was not reserved to
the state. By 1917 approximately 90 percent of all oil properties were foreign-owned (de la Vega-Navarro 1998). In
1920 Mexico was the second largest producer after the United States, and the largest exporter in the world (El Mallakh
and others 1984). But ten years later, new discoveries in the United States and in Venezuela, and harsher fiscal terms
in Mexico, shifted investors’ interest away. Due to the lack of investment, production levels declined by 80 percent in
the period 1929-32 (Palacios 2002). Tensions between the unions and uncompromising foreign investors led to
litigations, which were settled by the ruling of the Mexican supreme court and were the trigger for nationalization. In
1938, an amendment to article 27 of the constitution provided for the inalienability and imprescriptibility of ownership
rights to petroleum resources vested in the state. The NOC, Pemex was established with monopoly rights over the
exploitation, refining, transportation, processing, and distribution of oil, gas, and products. Dissatisfied with the decision
of the supreme court, international oil companies began a boycott of Mexican oil, which made the establishment of the
national oil industry even more challenging for Pemex. The government did not have the expertise or capacity to
manage the newly nationalized petroleum sector. Improper reservoir management in producing fields and low levels of
exploration followed. In the meantime, the government proved unable to contain the pressure of the workers’ union,
and the NOC’s employment levels swelled beyond proportion.
By the 1950s, the situation was dire. POCs were invited to help Pemex through service and risk contracts. The trend in
production levels quickly reversed, but by then Mexico’s internal consumption had also increased. Since price controls
were in force in the domestic market, the reduction in export volumes was particularly hurtful for Pemex. Furthermore,
in the mid-1960s Mexico started importing oil, which Pemex had to sell in the domestic market at subsidized prices.
Insufficient investment clearly contributed to Mexico’s loss of exporter status, but it was not the only factor. Risk
contracts with foreign companies were abolished by the late 1950s. Pemex was relying on domestic drilling


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contractors, which proved to be extremely costly, and it was investing part of its scarce financial resources in
petrochemicals (Bermudez 1976). Unable to contain its costs and subjected to increasing demands from the
government, Pemex had to borrow heavily to finance its operations.
Large discoveries in the second half of the 1970s allowed the country to once again become an exporter. This was a
curse, however, as Pemex began to generate revenue, which allowed the government to sustain its expenditure and
development patterns and to postpone badly needed macroeconomic and sector reforms. The interests of Pemex and
the government became increasingly misaligned. The pattern of excessive rent capture, underinvestment, and
inefficient operations has continued to this day.
In October 2008, a new reform attempt was made. The Mexican Congress approved ten bills, which included changes
to the NOC’s corporate structure to improve its efficiency and decision-making process and changes to the fiscal
regime to attract private investors in high-priority projects. Unfortunately, implementation has been slow and
controversial. More drastic reform would be needed to reverse production declines, but this may not be possible given
Mexico’s institutional and political environment. Pemex’s experience speaks to the importance of risk sharing and
partnering strategies, even when the NOC benefits from a large resource endowment. The impossibility of partnering
with other companies has deprived Pemex of access to technologies and managerial expertise and left it to assume
the drill bit risk entirely. Government interference and excessive fiscal take further compromised Pemex’ ability to
create value.
Among the case study countries, Pemex’s faces unique limitations. Every other NOC in our study group uses some
form of risk sharing and partnering. PDVSA, whose country also limits foreign participation, has never excluded POCs
from participating in petroleum operations. In fact, PDVSA relied on POCs to develop its more complex heavy oil fields.
Its most recent nationalization reform intended more to increase rent capture than to increase government control over
petroleum operations. Sonatrach has exclusive rights over its country’s petroleum resources, and since 2006 it has
had majority participation rights in all upstream, midstream, and downstream activities. Since the nationalization of the
oil industry in Malaysia, Petronas has exclusive rights over the country’s petroleum resources, which it exploits
through production sharing contracts with POCs. Finally, KMG EP and PetroChina, which are also endowed with
special privileges, pursue a strategy of collaboration and risk sharing with POCs and other NOCs.

 Corporate governance matters to value creation. But some aspects are more relevant than others. An
important underlying assumption of the conceptual model described in chapter 3 is that
governance affects the strategic options available to NOCs and is therefore important to value
creation. The case studies suggest that the level of technical and managerial competence of the
NOC is a distinguishing factor for value creation, together with the extent of government
interference in the management and decision-making processes of the NOC. The latter
appears to be more closely related to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the
petroleum sector to the specific country than it is to the percentage of independent BOD or
BOD committees members. Indeed, independent professional members of the BOD can
enhance the quality and transparency of NOC decisions, but they have limited impact on
policy decisions made by the majority shareholder. All other things being equal, the quality
and skills of human resources is crucial to NOC value creation, particularly in cases where
market discipline weak. In most countries in our sample group, changes in NOC governance
that had a positive impact on value creation were triggered by changes in the balance between
domestic supply and demand. On the other hand, important new petroleum discoveries or
particularly high commodity prices have often triggered changes in the level of government
intervention and interference in the management of their NOC, in some cases leading to the
reversal of previous corporate governance reforms. The histories of PDVSA, Pemex,
Sonatrach, and, more recently, Petrobras are examples of this tendency. In net importing
countries that face increasing domestic energy demand, NOCs tend be given a commercial
focus, with limited government interference in strategy and financial management even when
the BOD mostly comprises government officials. In some cases, strong government support
provides the NOC with a competitive advantage over POCs and other NOCs. But there are
risks associated with government support. Judging from the ratings produced by Standard &
Poor’s (S&P), capital markets view the creditworthiness of a NOC more positively if its
government is clearly prepared to provide financial support in times of stress. The stronger a
government’s commitment as perceived by ratings analysts, the more favorably the NOC is


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rated. Fifteen of the NOCs analyzed in this paper are rated by S&P. Among those NOCs, eight
benefit from indications that their governments would provide extraordinary support if
needed and six NOCs from indications of strong and almost certain support by their
government (appendix 5). In general, the higher the government dependence on the
petroleum sector, the wider the support afforded to the NOC. Nevertheless, government
support is not always beneficial for the NOC. Clearly governments are unlikely to provide
critical support to the NOC without representation on or control over the BOD and decision-
making processes. Therefore, the larger the credit safety net offered by the government, the
less autonomy it grants the NOC. The strongest evidence of this trend in our case studies, and
in S&P’s ratings reports, comes from the NOCs and countries that have the largest and most
lucrative resource endowments. In these cases, NOCs are viewed to be critical to their
governments as major sources of funding and to the country’s economic growth and
diversification. NOCs from importing countries (such as China and Thailand) may enjoy
similar levels of government support due to their strategic critical role in ensuring their
country’s energy security. Similar to the special privileges discussed above, this type of safety
net may in some cases become a deterrent to efficiency and innovation for the NOC. Box 4.6
explores examples of the relationship between corporate governance and NOC value creation.


Box 4.6 – Corporate governance and NOC value creation
Petrobras, Petronas, and Statoil are often offered as examples to demonstrate the relationship between value creation
and technological advantages and managerial prowess, much of which was internally generated as the companies
evolved. Each company benefits from the freedom to enter into partnerships and joint ventures with POCs and other
NOCs and operates in a petroleum sector that is relatively open to competition. These features have always characterized
their strategy, even when their governments have afforded them special privileges. In fact, special privileges were granted
to these NOCs with the objective of fast tracking economies of scale by allowing the NOC to build a portfolio of assets and
technical and managerial skills through mandatory participation in contracts or concessions operated by POCs.
Consequently, since their establishment, the respective governments have granted their NOCs administrative and
financial independence and given them a commercial focus. The three countries wanted to use the petroleum sector as a
springboard for economic development and diversification. Although local content policies were mandated by law, and the
NOCs were given a special role in promoting them (this no longer formally applies to Statoil), they were tailored to the
development of backward linkages that would benefit the NOC and the country as a whole. The policies were designed to
enhance existing capacity, and had feasible objectives for the creation of new capacity and therefore were not a burden to
their NOCs. Since a strong local supply industry would decrease outflows of foreign currency as well as the cost of
operations, the interests of the government and those of its NOC were aligned. The three NOCs adopted a similar
strategy with respect to investment in technology and human capital. Managerial and technical competence provided
them with a dominant position in their domestic markets, allowing them to improve efficiency and develop competitive
advantages, which would not have occurred had the NOCs passively relied on their special privileges. Competent
management meant that, notwithstanding the prevalence of government officials on their BOD, the government generally
did not interfere with the NOC’s strategy and operational management.
What triggered changes in corporate governance for these NOC?
Brazil and Petrobras were pursuing energy self-sufficiency when the NOC was partially privatized, and its corporate
governance was reformed to reflect the requirements of a joint stock quoted company. At the same time, the government
revoked Petrobras’ special privileges. The NOC had to compete with POCs for access to petroleum resources. However,
Petrobras had already developed a knowledge of domestic geological basins and deepwater technology that gave it a
natural advantage over other market participants. Indeed by that time special privileges were useless and
counterproductive to the rapid development of Brazil’s resource base. More private investment was needed to leverage
the NOC’s capacity. After the recent large discoveries in the pre-salt area, the situation has changed. Brazil is no longer
chasing energy self-sufficiency. Control over the pace of exploration of the large pre-salt resources and increased rent
capture motivated a further change in Petrobras’ corporate governance. Special privileges have been chosen to protect
and exploit the newly-found resources. Hopefully the government will look to the experience of other large resource
owners and avoid the pitfalls that come from excessive self-reliance, interference with the NOC strategy and
management, and poor macro-fiscal management.
When the Storting decided to partially privatize Statoil, it was against the backdrop of decreased profitability due to the oil
price crash in 1998, and significant cost overruns by the NOC. Its privileges had been revoked almost 14 years earlier
over concerns about the growing influence of Statoil on politics and the domestic economy. By that time, Statoil had


107

developed a large portfolio of domestic assets and operational knowledge that mitigated the loss of privileges.
Regardless, its privileges would have been revoked in 1994 when Norway decided to join the European economic zone,
which required adherence to non-discriminatory market policies. With partial privatization in mind, the government initiated
a series of sector and governance reforms aimed to improve checks and balances and to pave the way for increased
competition. Prior to privatization, Statoil was hoping to receive part of the petroleum assets managed by the State Direct
Financial Interest (SDFI), which was also restructured. The NOC already had a dominant position at home, but wanted to
expand internationally, and it hoped to limit the cost of acquiring participation in new assets through a license swap. It did
eventually receive the majority share of SDFI’s divested assets. A few years after privatization, with rising oil prices and
falling production levels, Statoil was looking to fast-track its international expansion. A consolidation with Norsk Hydro
seemed ideal. The government favored the merger and asked the Storting to approve it. State ownership in the combined
entity dropped to 67 percent (from 80 percent), but the new entity was bigger and stronger. The trigger for the merger was
not rent capture or control over the industry. Rather it was Norway’s declining fields, stiffer competition for international
acreage, and the need to strengthen Statoil’s position in the Norwegian Sea and the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea,
an environmentally harsh deepwater region of the Arctic that may hold large hydrocarbon deposits.
Petronas is wholly owned by the government of Malaysia. Three of its subsidiaries are listed on the Malaysia Bursa.
Petronas’ corporate governance arrangements do not rank particularly high on the governance scorecard shown in table
4.10 primarily because of the level of government presence in the corporate structure and the absence of external checks
and balances that are associated with quoted companies. But these deficiencies do not appear to have significantly
affected the NOC’s performance. On the contrary, a symbiotic relationship has developed over time between the NOC
and its government. Petronas’ strategy of helping to create forward and backward linkages, promoting energy self
sufficiency, and seeking diverse sources of energy has played an important role in the Malaysian economy. Its role was—
and remains—so indispensable to the economy that through several governments and various price cycles the NOC
managed to keep its tax contribution below 30 percent until the early 1980s, and it now fluctuates around 35 percent,
which is one of the lowest tax takes in the NOC study sample. Petronas’ experience suggests that the corporate
governance structure may be less relevant to value creation than the procedures and processes that govern the
functioning of such structure.









108

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110

5. Conclusion

Are certain corporate governance structures more likely than others to affect positive value
creation?
One of the premises of our research was that corporate governance matters because it affects the
strategic options that the NOC has to create value. External governance – the ownership structure and
organization of ownership – influences the NOC’s mission and objectives and the presence of
incentives that promote cost efficiency and innovation. In general, NOCs that are wholly owned by the
state tend to have larger national missions objectives and fewer incentives to improve efficiency than
partially privatized NOCs. All other things being equal, internal governance mechanisms – the
procedures and processes that govern the functioning of the institutional structure of governance – are
more critical for value creation than external governance mechanisms. Particularly in the petroleum
sector where prices, technology, competition, and management techniques are continuously changing,
nimble decision-making processes and budgetary, financial autonomy, and high levels of technical
and managerial competence are crucial to value creation, regardless of whether or not the NOC is
wholly owned by the state.
Government interference in the NOC decision making processes seem to be more closely related
to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the petroleum sector to the specific country, rather
than the percentage of independent BOD or BOD committees members. Assessing the independence
of BOD members is a complex endeavor, especially in companies with high concentration of
ownership. On the other hand, independent professional members of the BOD can enhance the quality
of NOC decisions, as well as their transparency, but they have limited impact on policy decisions
made by the majority shareholder.
Cultural differences across countries play a significant role in explaining why similar corporate
governance structures may function is a very dissimilar manner. The adoption of Western practices
and adjustments to international norms is often deemed necessary for reasons of legitimacy, to gain
access to international markets and global finance. But diluted ownership and clear separation of
ownership and control – that are characteristic of the Anglo-American model of governance – may
work in a different way in countries that have a tradition of bureaucracy and more centralized
decision making processes, and where minority interests do not receive same levels of protection.
Is it easier to create value for NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments?
In theory larger petroleum endowments should lead to more value creation. In practice, many
technical, economic, and institutional factors affect the efficiency of resource exploitation. The
geological properties of a basin, the physical qualities of the resource, and its location affect the cost of
exploitation. For example, the Orinoco belt in Venezuela contains the largest heavy crude oil reserves
in the world. But the production, transportation, and refining of heavy oil poses special challenges
compared to lighter quality oils. This has implication for the cost of production as well as the price of
crude oil extracted which, owing to its characteristics, trades at a discount to lighter quality oils. Hence
owners of heavy crude oil reserves are more exposed to downswings in oil prices since their operating
leverage is, ceteris paribus, higher than that enjoyed by owners of lighter quality crudes. Setting
technical considerations aside, intuitively the exploitation of large petroleum fields and large resource
endowments enjoys the advantage of economies of scale, which in turn lead to more efficient value
creation.


111

Empirical evidence suggests that government control over and intervention in the petroleum
sector is generally linked to a country’s dependence on petroleum revenues, which in turn is linked to
the size of the petroleum sector compared to the rest of the economy. In other words, countries that are
blessed with good geology tend to adopt more restrictive access policies than countries with smaller
endowments. Often the NOC is the custodian of the country’s resource wealth, and in some case the
sole company authorized to explore for and exploit the resource. Countries that take this development
model to the limit choose to bear all risks associated with extraction. Although the chance of
exploration drilling success has been steadily rising over the last 50 years, exploration remains a risky
business. Furthermore, the decision to carry out sole risk operations has consequences, including
limited access to technology and knowledge sharing, and funding limitation. This in turn affects the
efficiency, cost, and pace of extraction, and eventually value creation. The experience of the NOCs
analyzed in this paper would seem to indicate that large resource endowments are a disincentive to
efficient production and the maximization of the net present value of their extraction, especially when
partnerships and alliances with POCs and other NOCs are not the prevalent business strategy.
Countries that have large oil and gas resource endowments face a more difficult task when it
comes to macroeconomic management. It is more difficult to guard against the risk of Dutch disease
when the inflow of foreign currency is very large. Also public knowledge of the presence of large
reserves makes it difficult for governments to maintain a rigorous fiscal policy stance. Dutch disease
further deepens the country dependence on oil revenue, which in turn leads to further government
control and political involvement over the exploitation of the resource and the NOC decision making
processes. Countries that exhibit high levels of oil dependency are more likely to impose higher
financial burdens on their NOC or to use their NOC to finance budget gaps. When this behavior
becomes entrenched, a cycle of negative value creation starts, in some cases displacing vital
maintenance and exploration investment and endangering the long term sustainability of the NOC.
Ultimately, the political, institutional, and societal qualities of a country – more than the actions of
its NOC – are critical to determining to what extent the gift of nature will translate into value creation.
In other words, the size of the resource endowment matters to value creation, but the manner in which
it is exploited matters more. Large resource endowments lead to higher value creation if the resource
is extracted efficiently and revenues from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and
replace reserves. Given the complex network of often conflicting interests between efficiency of
exploitation and state needs, following this approach may be harder for NOCs that belong to countries
with large resource endowments, than it is for their peers in less endowed countries.

Can restrictions on access to petroleum activities be effective policy tools to enhancing value
creation by the NOC?
Most petroleum producers have used some form of restriction to the participation of the private
sector in petroleum activities, ranging from granting their NOC the monopoly over all or part of the
petroleum sector value chain (although restrictions on downstream or midstream activities are less
frequent) to mandating minimum state ownership or minimum state participation in all or some type
of petroleum activities. In some cases restrictions on private participation stem from constitutional
provisions that reserve certain strategic sectors to the state. Alternatively, the policy may be motivated
by the desire to increase rent capture, or to exercise a stronger control over the exploitation of the
resource, or simply by country circumstances that make the participation of the private sector a
difficult proposition (think of Colombia during the guerrilla period). The motive for imposing
restrictions on access, existing capacity at country level, and the country’s international obligations


112

affect the policy options that are available to the government to achieve the desired results. The chosen
policy in turn affects the strategies that the NOC can pursue to create value.
Among the countries surveyed in this paper, many impose, or have imposed, some form of
restriction on the participation of the private sector in petroleum (in some cases limited to crude oil)
exploration and production activities by granting special rights to their NOC. Generally these
privileges have taken the form of mandated association between the NOC and POCs, with minimum
levels of state participation. This formula is often used by countries and NOCs that are new to the
petroleum sector with several aims: (i) fast tracking the learning curve through the association with
experienced industry participants; (ii) reducing information asymmetries between industry
participants and the state; (iii) increasing rent capture; (iv) reducing exploration risk; and (v)
accelerating the exploration and production of the country’s resources while maintaining control over
sector activities.
Full exclusion of industry participation in petroleum exploration and production activities is rare.
Among the NOCs analyzed in this paper, only Pemex has monopoly rights. This policy decision was
driven by political and philosophical reasons more than by economic considerations. Given the
number of factors that interact to create value, it would be difficult to point to ‚monopoly‛ as the
single most important contributor. Nonetheless, setting aside considerations related to risk
management, NOC financial autonomy, operating and financial leverage, transfer of technology and
expertise, and optimal depletion strategy, it can be noted that there are decreasing marginal gains
from economies of scale beyond a certain optimal size even in the petroleum sector where size is
important. Hence, from a purely economic view point it would seem that NOCs and their country
would derive less advantages from the adoption of a policy of prohibited access to exploration and
production activities than they would from a policy of limited access.
Well designed restrictions on access – that is those that take into consideration the characteristic of
the resource, domestic capacity, the fiscal regime, and market structure – can be very effective tools to
address information and capacity asymmetries. Sheltering the NOC from competition helps it to focus
on developing the necessary competence and economies of scale. However, this policy has decreasing
effects on value creation over time and, unless granted on a temporary basis, may discourage the NOC
from developing efficient and competitive processes.
Does the pursuit of national mission objectives hamper the creation of value by the NOC?
What constitutes ‚the national mission‛ is country specific, but it usually includes the creation of
some kind of backward or forward linkages – such as fostering the transfer of technology, creating
employment opportunities, increasing local ownership and control, and promoting economic growth
and diversification – and may include energy security and energy self sufficiency. It is often argued
that the pursuit of national mission objectives imposes costs on NOCs, and might reduce their
incentive to maximize profits, which in turn hinders the NOCs’ ability to raise capital on the financial
market, and leaves their home States’ treasuries to bear the burden of inefficient capital allocation.
When it comes to NOCs there is hardly such thing as a ‚purely commercial mandate‛. It is mostly
a matter of degrees. For some NOCs national mission objectives constitute a large part of their
mandate, and do create demands on scarce resources that would otherwise receive a different
allocation. For others, the national mission is lock step with the NOC’s core business, and does not
create competing demands on its resources. On the contrary, it enhances NOC value creation. This is
often the case for NOCs that belong to importing countries which are concerned with energy security
issues. Typically these NOCs would receive support from their government, including actions that
shore up the NOC’s outbound investments, and the grant of wider decision making, and financial and


113

budget autonomy to the NOC. NOCs that operate only in the domestic market are often required to
invest in creating a skilled workforce, develop technology, and support the local supply industry. But
this should be part of the NOC’s strategy to lower the cost of operations and obtain the ‚social license
to operate‛. The requirement to develop forward linkages is more challenging since developing
industries that make use of the oil and gas sector’s output requires large scale operations and
technology that is not available in all petroleum producing countries. When conditions are in place,
forward linkages enhance value creation by capturing the advantages of vertical integration.
It is clear from the experience of the NOCs analyzed in this paper that national mission objectives
hamper value creation when their pursuit is in conflict with other key value added functions of the
NOC, such as the efficient and sustainable conduct of activities related to the exploration and
exploitation of petroleum resources. Defining proper national mission objectives for the NOC is thus
critical to value creation. This is particularly relevant in countries where the NOC is the only company
authorized to carry out petroleum activities, with limited possibility to share the exploration and
development risk with other parties, since this strategy requires, inter alia, a superior level of
operational efficiency and the ability to prioritize core business investments.


114



Appendixes




115

Appendix 1– Key stages of the value
chain

This appendix provides a brief technical introduction to the key stages of the value chain, illustrated in
figure A1.1, and describes their connections.
Exploration and production
The principal hydrocarbon resources are crude oil and gas. Crude oil is not a homogeneous material;
its physical appearance varies from a light, almost colorless liquid to a heavy viscous black sludge. Oil
can therefore be classified along several dimensions, of which density and sulfur content are two of
the most important. Density is measured according to guidelines set by the American Petroleum
Institute (API): light crudes generally exceed 38˚ API, while heavy crudes have an API gravity of 22˚ or
less. If the sulfur content is less than 1 percent, crudes are usually described as sweet; if it exceeds that
level, sour. The quality of a crude oil is reflected by its price, relative to other crude oils (Bacon and
Tordo 2005).
Gas can be found either in separate accumulations from oil (nonassociated gas), or in combination
with or in solution in crude oil (associated gas). The composition of gas produced at the wellhead
varies widely, but in most cases it contains pure natural gas (also known as methane, which is
colorless and odorless); natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane, butane, propane, iso-butane, and
natural gasoline; and a number of impurities, including carbon dioxide and water. Dependent on the
NGL content, gas is described as either wet or dry. Within the reservoir, gas is also often associated
with condensate, a light oil that is gaseous under reservoir conditions. Over the past decade, efforts to
find gas have been stepped up considerably; previously, much gas had been found by chance when
the real exploration target was oil. Since gas has to be moved by pipeline or by dedicated liquefied
natural gas (LNG) vessels, developing new markets for it is much more expensive than for oil. This
has led to a large amount of ‚stranded gas‛— that is, gas that has little or no commercial value
because it has no identifiable market.
Suitable sedimentary basins for oil and/or gas exploration are usually identified using relatively
simple means such as aerial and satellite photography, as well as magnetic surveys. More detailed
information about specific locations is then obtained through seismic surveys, which are considerably
more expensive. Through complex computer analysis, the data are interpreted to create images of
geological formations and possible deposits of hydrocarbons. Exploratory drilling using rigs suitable
for the specific environment (that is, land, shallow water, or deep water) is the next step. Much
ancillary equipment, products, and services are associated with drilling, and many petroleum
companies typically contract an outside services company for these purposes. The market for drill rigs
and drilling services is considered a reliable lead indicator of the industry’s overall activity and
investment levels. Figure A1.1 shows the evolution of the active drill rig count index over the past 20
years.


116

Figure A1.1 – Global active drill rig count, 1990–2009

Source: Baker Hughes.
If hydrocarbons have been found in sufficient quantity, the development process begins with the
drilling of appraisal wells in order to better assess the size and commercial viability of the discovery.
This is followed by drilling for full-scale production, and the building of infrastructure to connect the
wells to local processing facilities or evacuation routes. Onshore infrastructure tends to be less
complex and much cheaper than offshore infrastructure.
The speed at which the pressure in the reservoir forces the petroleum upward is known as the
flow rate; it depends, for example, on the properties of the reservoir rock and, in the case of crude oil,
on the viscosity—in short, on the reservoir’s characteristics. Natural (primary) pressure typically
recovers much less than 50 percent of oil and 75 percent of gas. In order to boost flow rates and overall
recovery factors (the percentage of hydrocarbons recovered for commercial purposes) in the face of
inevitable natural decline rates, various methods can be used. Secondary recovery methods include
the injection of water or gas into the reservoir, and the installation of surface-mounted or submersible
pumps. Tertiary recovery methods (or enhanced oil recovery, EOR) involves the use of sophisticated
techniques that alter the original properties of the oil. The decision as to whether—and which—
secondary or tertiary recovery methods are appropriate for a certain reservoir often involve trade-offs
between commercial considerations (significantly increased production costs can accelerate and
possibly increase overall output) and geological considerations (aggressive production can damage a
reservoir and lead to lower overall recovery factors).
Even on a standard upstream project it is not unusual for five years to pass between the initial
exploration stages and full-scale commercial operations. For projects with challenging access,
geological, or infrastructure requirements, the lead times can be longer still. These time horizons,
coupled with the fact that sudden changes in well-flow management can damage underlying
reservoirs (see the section on production/depletion management below), result in structural rigidities
in petroleum supply, which often exacerbate price swings.
Most observers agree that the oil and gas industry is a maturing one.
67
Although there appears to
be no danger of hydrocarbons running out in the foreseeable future (Lynch 2004; Mitchell 2004; Mabro
2005; Greene, Hopson, and Li 2006; and Watkins 2006), the most traditional onshore and shallow-
water offshore fields are rapidly depleting, leaving projects that are more technically complex (for

67
Adelman (2004), however, has long emphasized the importance of price incentives and technological progress,
pointing to the industry’s track record of defying ‚gloomy‛ predictions.
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
4000
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117

example, deep-water offshore reservoirs or those in remote areas with challenging climates and no
existing infrastructure links) and thus more costly (Goldman Sachs 2003; UBS 2004; Douglas-
Westwood 2008).
Transportation and storage
From a production site, crude oil and gas need to be transported to the appropriate processing facility;
from there they are distributed or marketed. Petroleum can also be stored at various points along the
value chain for reasons that include securing supply and price hedging/speculation.
Crude oil is stored in large-diameter holding tanks and is transported by pipeline, truck, railroad,
and/or tanker to refineries for processing. Well-known long-distance pipelines include the Druzhba
pipeline from Russia to Europe, the Trans-Alaskan pipeline, and the recently opened Baku-Tbilisi-
Ceyhan pipeline (which connects the Caspian with the Mediterranean Sea). But ocean tankers are the
most common medium of intercontinental transport. Many key export ports are in or close to the
important petroleum-producing regions of the world: for example, Saudi Arabia’s Ras Tanura facility
in the Persian Gulf is the world’s largest offshore oil-loading facility, with a capacity of approximately
6 million barrels per day. Major import and trading hubs, each with extensive storage and loading
facilities, include the Houston Ship Channel, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, Rotterdam, and
Singapore. Refineries, which usually are located near major import hubs to limit additional transport
charges, purchase crude on the open market or directly from producers.
68
Having completed the
refining process, oil products can be distributed by the same means as crude oil. Road transport is
most common, but extensive networks of product pipelines can be found around the world.
69

Natural gas may be stored underground in a variety of methods, most commonly in depleted
reservoirs, aquifers, or salt caverns. The transport options for gas depend on its physical state. NGLs
can be transported either by pipeline or by tanker truck, but dry gas (methane) can only be transported
by pipeline, and even then not across the seabed of deep oceans. The prohibitive cost of the necessary
pipelines severely limits the trade of natural gas around the world. An option for long-distance gas
exports is LNG, which is described in more detail below.
Piped gas has to be transported all the way from the production site to the final destination (a
power station, industry, or domestic consumer, for example) using multiple types of pipelines and
pipeline networks along the way. By adjusting the degree of pipeline compression, such networks can
also be used as additional storage facilities.
70
The physical balancing of an integrated gas network to
enable scheduled transits (and, possibly, short-term trading as well) is a highly complex task. In
nonexporting countries, the gas producers do not usually own major parts of the gas pipeline
infrastructure (transmission grid) and instead sell the gas at the entrance point to the main gas grid.
But in major gas-exporting countries, such as Russia and Norway, the state-backed producers
frequently hold long-term supply agreements as well as an equity stake in the gas pipelines serving
international target markets.
Major pipeline projects require substantial up-front investment, and are not viable without clearly
identifiable (and ideally long-term and committed) users, a sound revenue/tariff model, and tailored

68
In recent years, in a bid to capture a greater share of the petroleum value chain, some producers have
strengthened their refining business, increasing their share of product export versus crude export.
69
As an illustration, a map of all Western European refineries and crude oil and oil product pipelines can be
downloaded at http://www.concawe.be.
70
Powerful compressors are required to force the gas through a pipeline, otherwise it would just sit inside without
moving forward. When storage is unavailable, and current gas flow exceeds market demand, compression can be
lowered or stopped until a change in the market or available storage capacity occurs.


118

financing. When more than one country is involved, such projects are also subject to geopolitical
considerations (Victor, Jaffe and Hayes 2006). As with any supply or evacuation infrastructure, sunk
costs are a substantial risk, but once they have been made they can dramatically improve the economic
viability of many actual and potential petroleum projects in the vicinity.
Refining and marketing
Crude oil almost always needs to be refined into oil products prior to consumption, with the main
product categories being fuel oil, gas oil, jet/kerosene, gasoline, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG). Gas oil and jet/kerosene are often described as ‚middle distillates,‛ and gasoline and naphtha
as ‚light distillates.‛ The three main energy-related uses for oil are transport, power generation, and
heating. There are also nonenergy or process uses, such as feedstock for the petrochemicals industry.
The different end uses differ markedly in their vulnerability to fuel substitution. The transport and
nonenergy markets have a low vulnerability, making them relatively captive markets for oil. For
power generation and heating, however, the markets can easily switch among fuels (especially among
gas, coal, and oil), so their price elasticity tends to be higher (UBS 2000).
Oil refining is the process of separating the hydrocarbon molecules present in crude oil and
converting them into more valuable finished petroleum products.
71
Refineries can consist of a number
of different process units that undertake the separation, conversion, and treatment of oil. The initial
stage of a refinery run involves the heating and separation of crude into its constituent parts in a
distillation column. Then the different fractionations are directed to conversion units to be chemically
altered through the introduction of heat, pressure, catalysts, or hydrogen. The output of these
conversion units is then treated or blended. Refineries are usually categorized by size and
configuration. The configuration or sophistication of a refinery depends on its technical capability to
process different kinds of crude feedstock into a large number of different products.
Because of their chemical properties different crude oils produce very different yields when
refined. Crudes that are lighter (in terms of density) and sweeter (in terms of sulfur content) naturally
produce a higher yield of lighter, more valuable products such as gasoline and a smaller one of lower-
value products such as residual fuel oil,
72
but even these trade at a premium in the market. Refiners
strive to process an optimal mix of crude oil (crude slate), depending on each refinery’s individual
configuration of process units, current and anticipated product prices, desired product mix (product
slate), and the relative price of the crude oil available.
The key driver of oil product demand patterns is a country’s or region’s level of economic
development. While in developing countries heavy fuel oil is still in considerable demand for
industrial uses, developed countries—with their service economies and focus on personal mobility—
require mostly middle and light distillates. Oil product demand usually follows a seasonal pattern: it
is interesting to note, though, that the United States is the only major consuming market where
seasonal demand peaks in summer. This is due to the exceptionally high demand for gasoline relative
to other oil products (motor and aviation gasoline account for 46 percent of oil product demand in the
United States, but only for 22 percent in the European Union) and the fact that summer is a so-called
‚driving season‛ in the United States. In other countries of the northern hemisphere, the importance of

71
Preston (1998) provides a good introduction to the history of refining as well as key technical terms, and sources
of operational information.
72
Fuel oil has long been used as an energy source in heavy industry but has become unpopular in developed
countries for its high pollution and undesirable combustion levels. It can also be processed into petroleum coke
and asphalt/bitumen.


119

heating oil, propane, and kerosene as heating fuels create a winter peak in the seasonal demand
pattern (UBS 2000; BP 2008).
Refining is a global, highly cyclical business in which profitability is sensitive to marginal changes
in product supply and demand. The principal measure of profitability is the gross refining margin
(GRM), which is calculated as the difference between the revenues received and the cost of feedstock
plus other cash costs such as labor, maintenance, and working capital. The GRM excludes noncash
costs such as depreciation, so a positive GRM may still translate into an accounting loss. The margin
after noncash costs is the net refining margin. Both margins are usually expressed on a per-barrel
basis. Although refining margins are unique for each plant, refineries in the same region tend to
experience similar margins because their output markets share the same product prices, the same
availability of crude grades, and, therefore, often similar technical configurations. The three primary
refining centers in the world, for which refining margins are typically quoted, are the U.S. Gulf coast,
northwestern Europe, and Singapore.
Marketing refers to the distribution and sale of refined products, whether through wholesale or
retail. Road transportation fuels are primarily distributed at retail stations, heating oil is usually
delivered to residential and industrial customers, kerosene is purchased directly by individual airlines
and airports, and residual fuels are also sold directly to shipping companies, utilities, and industrial
plants. Marketing margins (pretax pump prices less spot prices for oil products) tend to be more stable
than refining margins, and the overall profitability of retail stations is further enhanced by the ever-
increasing nonfuel sales of items such as convenience goods.
Gas processing and marketing
Many petroleum companies are involved not only in the production of gas but also in its processing
and marketing. Usually, gas must be processed in dedicated plants (so-called fractionators) to become
suitable for pipeline transportation: NGLs and impurities are extracted from the gas and the NGLs are
further fractionated into their constituent parts and sold. In addition to piped natural gas and NGLs,
LNG is a third, core ‚gas product‛; gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology might also have significant future
market opportunities.
The distribution of piped gas to the end consumer is usually done by utility companies, but
petroleum firms are involved in longer-distance transmission and in direct deliveries to industrial
users, power plants, and so on. NGLs are also sold to industrial, wholesale, and retail clients (in the
latter case usually through stations). The GTL process converts natural gas into a range of high-
quality, colorless, odorless, and biodegradable products normally made from crude oil; these include
transport fuel, naphtha, and oils for lubricants. Although so far the technology has been largely
applied in smaller demonstration plants, Qatar is now building several world-scale GTL facilities in
order to diversify its gas commercialization strategy.
Of the total production of 2,940 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2007, only 550 bcm (18 percent)
was traded internationally by pipeline and only 226 bcm (8 percent) was traded in the form of LNG,
implying that about three-quarters of global output was consumed domestically (BP 2008).
73
But due
to declining indigenous production and the expected increased significance of gas in the future, the
trade in LNG is projected to grow strongly over the following years and decades. At the moment,
Japan and South Korea still account for more than half of all LNG imports, but the market is bound to
become more geographically balanced over time.

73
The BP Energy Review does not provide a breakdown for NGLs and GTL, but it is plausible that NGLs are
largely consumed domestically and that GTL output is still insignificant.


120

The technical process of producing LNG involves three stages: first, the processed natural gas is
progressively cooled to minus 160˚C, when it becomes liquid at atmospheric pressure and shrinks to
one six-hundredth of its gaseous volume. The liquefaction process is done in dedicated LNG plants
close to the wellhead and gas-processing plant. The LNG is then stored in insulated tanks before being
loaded into dedicated cryogenic tankers for shipment. At the destination, it is received at an LNG-
receiving terminal, where it is regasified and injected into the local gas grid. LNG projects are capital
intensive, and it is common practice to enter into at least a 20-year supply contract in order to reduce
project risks and justify investment. Traditionally, the LNG plant and export terminal were owned by
the upstream petroleum company, whereas the import terminal and tankers were owned by the
receiving company (in most cases an electric utility). Because of the increasing competition among
LNG-producing sites worldwide, however, major oil and gas firms increasingly hold an equity stake
in the receiving facility to ensure that they benefit from their LNG production.
Petrochemicals
Petrochemicals are chemicals made from crude oil and natural gas; they account for approximately 40
percent of the world’s chemical market. The two main groups of primary or base petrochemicals are
olefins (including ethylene, propylene, and butadiene) and aromatics (including benzene, toluene, and
xylene). Chemical products based on these base materials include polyethylenes, polyvinyl chloride,
styrene, and polystyrene, as well as polypropylene, which in turn are the basis for a wide range of
everyday products such as pipes and tubing, plastic bags and bottles, telephones, coffee pots,
electronic components, and car tires.
The oil industry became involved in petrochemicals from the 1920s, since naphtha (from
refineries), natural gas, and NGLs constituted the principal feedstock. Because of the inherent
advantages, refineries and petrochemicals plants are often situated close to each other and are often
linked by pipeline. The most common profitability measure for petrochemicals is the cash margin per
ton, usually reported for the two main ‚upstream‛ products, ethylene and propylene.




121

References
Adelman, M. A. 2004. ‚The Real Oil Problem.‛ Regulation 27 (1): 16–21.
BP. 2008. Statistical Review of World Energy 2008. London: BP plc.
Douglas-Westwood. 2008. The World Offshore Oil & Gas Production and Spend Forecast 2008–2012.
Goldman Sachs. 2003. Global Energy: 50 Projects to Change the World. London: Goldman Sachs Global
Equity Research.
Greene, D. L., J. L. Hopson, and J. Li. 2006. ‚Have We Run Out of Oil Yet? Oil Peaking Analysis from
an Optimist’s Perspective.‛ Energy Policy 34 (5): 515–31.
Lynch, M. 2004. ‚A Review of Expectations for Long-term Energy.‛ Journal of Energy Literature 10 (1):
3–21.
Mabro, R. 2005. ‚The International Oil Price Regime: Origins, Rationale and Assessment.‛ Journal of
Energy Literature 11 (1): 3–20.
Mitchell, J. 2004. Oil and Gas Reserves. Oxford: Oxford Institute for Energy Studies/Chatham House.
Preston, K. 1998. ‚Refinery Statistics.‛ Journal of Energy Literature 9 (1): 28–43.
UBS. 2000. An Introduction to the Oil Industry. London: UBS Warburg Global Equity Research.
———. 2004. Global OilCo: Cost Challenges Postponed. London: UBS Investment Research.
Victor, D. G., A. M. Jaffe, and M. H. Hayes, eds. 2006. Natural Gas and Geopolitics. New York:
Cambridge Univ. Press.
Watkins, G. C. 2006. ‚Oil Scarcity: What Have the Past Three Decades Revealed?‛ Energy Policy 34 (5):
508–14.



122

Appendix 2– Examples of local content
policies

In 1973, the United Kingdom’s Offshore Supplies Office provided financial assistance to the local
supply industry to increase local participation in the supply of goods and services to the oil industry.
The office also monitored purchases made by oil companies. While no legal sanctions were imposed
on companies with low local content, there was a general expectation that these companies would find
it more difficult to be successful in a licensing round (Cameron 1986). At the time, local firms initially
supplied technically simple products and services, and oil majors relied mostly on established foreign
suppliers. Between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, the rise in oil prices and increasing production
intensified local demands for government intervention through incentives and local content policies.
When prices started falling and oil majors started to rationalize their business and cut costs, there were
fears that local suppliers would find it difficult to survive. These fears proved overblown, and local
firms adjusted to the new environment through diversification to cater to different sectors, regional
concentration, and investment in research and development (Chapman et al 2004). This happened
while the government was stepping down local content requirements owing to increased pressure
towards fair competition from the European Union. To paraphrase Auty, the UK experience would
seem to indicate that local content policies may be redundant (Auty 2008).
Norway is known for its approach to the development of strong local service and construction
sectors related to oil exploration and development. Local participation ranged from favoring the NOC,
Statoil, in licensing rounds—on the premises that this would increase the chances of developing local
suppliers—to encouraging the use of locally produced goods and services and leveraging the
country’s expertise in shipbuilding and marine services. In 1972 local content polices were formalized
in legislation, and the Goods and Services Office was established to: (i) support the local supply
industry through joint ventures and encourage research and development and transfer of technology;
(ii) review tendering procedures to ensure that local companies are given a fair chance to participate;
and (iii) establish minimum local content requirements and monitor their implementation. In 2006
Statoil merged with Norsk Hydro, a private-public company in which the Norwegian government had
held a 44 percent share since 1999.
74
Even before the merger, Statoil’s responsibilities had gradually
changed over the previous 30 years, and its role as an instrument for local content development
gradually disappeared. Statoil has expanded internationally both upstream and downstream, and it is
now operating in 25 countries (Olsen 2002). However, the Petroleum Act (Sections 8, 23, and 54) lays
down requirements regarding oil companies’ purchasing policy: (i) competitive Norwegian suppliers
shall be given genuine opportunities to secure orders; (ii) operating companies are required to inform
the Norwegian supply and contractor industry in advance of the bidding process; and (iii) the

74
Norsk Hydro was founded in 1905 by Norwegian entrepreneurs Sam Eyde and Kristian Birkeland as Norsk
Hydro-Elektrisk Kvaelstofaktieselskap (Norwegian Hydro-Electric Nitrogen Corporation). The company
originally exploited waterfalls to generate electricity used in the production of nitrogen fertilizers. Gradually the
company expanded its business into other sectors. In 1971 the Norwegian government increased its stake in the
company to 51 percent. By the 1990s, the company's size justified a decentralized organization plan grouping the
company into four business segments, each serving as the strategic and financial center for its composite divisions:
agriculture, oil and gas, light metals, and petrochemicals. In 1999, Hydro acquired Saga Petroleum ASA, and the
government of Norway's stake was reduced to 44 percent. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-
histories/Norsk-Hydro-ASA-Company-History.html .


123

operators have a duty to perform in Norway at least 50 percent of all research and development
required by field development.
The entry of the United Kingdom and Norway into the European Economic Area in the 1990s
affected their ability to continue granting preferential treatment to local companies. By this point,
however, these countries had already developed a solid base for the local supply and contractor
industry. Furthermore, the World Trade Organization (WTO), embodying a set of multilateral
liberalization agreements, has had a profound global impact as a norm setter (WTO 2007). While
membership in WTO and other international trade bodies is often a high priority for governments, it
also restricts the use of preferential policies that can increase local content. In addition, some countries
have entered a number of bilateral agreements that affect trade. Since WTO rules focus on the bidding
phase, many countries have adapted their local content strategies to overcome WTO’s restrictions.
Malaysia’s NOC, Petronas, has been a key factor in the development of local capabilities and an
industrial base to support oil and gas exploration and production since the 1970s. The development of
a local supply sector was encouraged through licensing requirements, which included: (i) mandatory
local incorporation of foreign oil companies and a minimum share of domestic equity holding; and (ii)
the obligation to acquire all materials and supplies locally or to purchase them directly from the
manufacturer when not locally available (Klueth and others 2007).
Requirements for the use of local goods and services are common in petroleum contracts in
Nigeria. These requirements mandate the use of local goods and services if they are of equal quality
and availability to imported ones and if their prices are no more than 10 percent higher than imported
goods and services. In addition, training and local employment obligations are common. These
requirements were strengthened in the 2000, 2005, and 2006 licensing rounds during which, among the
criteria for award, bidders were asked to commit to the development of Nigerian expertise and know-
how. Local content requirements became more stringent in the 2005 marginal fields licensing round:
bidders were required to associate their bids with local content vehicles in the form of Nigerian
companies (that is, locally incorporated companies with a majority—usually 60 percent—of Nigerian
shareholders). The Nigerian company would provide local goods and services, while the international
company would be the technical partner. However, the low uptake by the market may be an indicator
that the restriction was too stringent given local capacity levels (Tordo 2009). The Nigerian Oil and Gas
Industry Content Development Bill was approved on April 22, 2010. The Bill further strengthens the
requirements for developing the local industrial and services sectors and introduces mechanisms to
coordinate and monitor implementation. The law requires all oil and gas explorers, producers,
transporters, and exporters to use a greater share of indigenous Nigerian service companies and
personnel in their project development plans. Furthermore, in a move designed to boost local
investment funds, every multinational company must hold a minimum of 10 percent of its annual
profits in a Nigerian bank. The country’s NOC, NNPC, operates a Nigerian Content Division that
promotes local content in the oil and gas sector by training engineers and welders, scaling up of local
steel plate and pipe manufacturing, and increasing the availability of low-interest loans to local
contractors. A three-year grace period is provided to allow foreign companies to adjust their
procurement and investment strategies. However, long-term investment is needed to build local
capacity. According to some industry observers, this may be a challenging policy objective since the
continuous instability in the Niger Delta has driven many investors to consider exiting the country
(BMI 2010).
In 1997 Venezuela launched its third licensing round in the oil and gas sector. Twenty fields were
offered under operating service agreements, while five fields were reserved for Venezuelan companies
or consortia with a Venezuelan operator (Tordo 2009). The Venezuelan government has relied on its
NOC, PDVSA, to fund and implement a heavily interventionist strategy. The latest oil price rally


124

allowed the government to direct a considerable share of oil revenues to improve social conditions.
But the pursuit of this strategy has weakened PDVSA’s ability to invest in the oil sector, endangering
its capacity to generate revenues. In the long term, this is likely to affect the sustainability of
Venezuela’s local content policies. In addition, the government’s price controls have concealed
underlying imbalances within the Venezuelan economy. Sustained increases in social spending have
brought about only modest social benefits (Hults 2007).
Angola’s NOC, Sonangol, has been the main vehicle for enhancing local participation in the oil
and gas sector. By leveraging its important role as concessionaire, Sonangol has created a strong
network of service companies, more or less directly linked to the oil sector, through joint ventures with
international service companies. In addition, Sonangol recently widened the scope of its business to
include an airline, banks, and insurance companies. Overall, Sonangol’s national mission includes the
promotion of local content in many sectors.
In Trinidad and Tobago, economic sustainability has been the major driver for the development of
a local content and participation policy for the energy sector. The surpluses derived from this sector
have been targeted for the development of other sectors and the diversification of the country’s
economic base. International oil and service companies are encouraged to share their expertise
through education and training, the employment of nationals, contracting of local companies, and the
use of local capital (Ministry of Mines and Energy 2004). The Ministry of Trade’s green paper on local
investment in Trinidad and Tobago lays down the targets of the government’s industrial policy and
the measures planned for the period 2007-12 (Ministry of Trade and Industry 2007).
In 1987, Brazil opened its petroleum sector to companies other than its NOC, Petrobras. By then
the development of Brazil’s industrial and services sectors was already advanced. The liberalization of
the sector allowed the country to accelerate the exploration and development of its petroleum
resources. At the same time, it maintained firm control of the sector through regulation and the direct
participation of the NOC. Petrobras’ extensive knowledge of and operating experience in Brazil’s
petroleum basins allows it to remain the largest individual holder of concessions and to maintain a
majority interest in most other concessions. But the eight licensing rounds aimed to further reduce
Petrobras’ market advantage by limiting the number of concessions that could be awarded to the same
operator in specific basins. The policy objectives of the Brazilian government were: (i) to encourage the
exploration and production of the country’s petroleum resources to remain self-sufficient in oil
production and to reduce natural gas imports, and (ii) to increase the contribution of the sector to local
economic development. Cash bonus and local content were the only bidding parameters for the first
four licensing rounds. The bid evaluation criteria used in the most recent licensing rounds assign a 40
percent weight to each cash bonus and work program, and a 20 percent weight to local content broken
down between exploration and production phases (Tordo 2009). In the first licensing round in 1999,
the average local content was 25 percent during the exploration phase and 27 percent in the
development phase. These percentages increased gradually, reaching 69 and 77 percent, respectively,
in the ninth licensing round held in 2007.
75

South Africa’s post-apartheid Black Economic Empowerment program, which offers preferential
training and employment to black communities, mandates minimum levels of local content for all
sectors of the economy. But formal legislation specific to oil and gas is still in its early stages. The
South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA) is a non-profit organization established by the provincial
government of the Western Cape to support and promote the growth of local industry in the upstream

75
These numbers are provided by the Brazilian Government at http://www.brazil-
rounds.gove.br/portugues_topo/resumo_geral.asp# .


125

oil and gas sector. SAOGA is also the membership organization for approximately 170 local upstream
suppliers. The three main strategic imperatives of the organization are to: (i) build local industry by
facilitating infrastructure projects and access and through skills development and training programs,
suppliers development and certification programs, and public policy intervention; (ii) carry out
marketing and business development activities on behalf of member companies by organizing trade
missions and conference trips, running networking and matching events, publishing a suppliers
directory, and identifying opportunities through market research and liaison with procurement
managers; and (iii) promote investment in South Africa by attracting international upstream supplier
companies to establish local branches or partner with local companies.




126

References

Auty, R. M. 2008. ‚Improving the Beneficial Socio-Economic Impact from Hydrocarbon Extraction on
Local/Regional Development in Caspian Economies.‛ In The Economics and Politics of Oil in the
Caspian Basin, 159-175. Najman, B., Pomfret, R.W.T., and Raballand, G. London: Rutledge.
BMI (Business Monitor International). 2010. ‚NNPC Accuses Chevron of Failing to Meet Local Content
Requirements‛. Business Monitor International, Daily Oil and Gas Alerts, June 23.
Cameron, P. 1986. ‚The Oil Supply Industry: A Comparative Study of Legislative Restrictions and
their Impact‛. London: Financial Times Business Information Ltd.
Chapman, K., MacKinnon, D., and Cumbers, A. 2004. ‚Adjustment or Renewal in Regional Clusters: A
Study of Diversification among SMEs in the Aberdeen Oil Complex‛. Transactions of the Institute of
British Geographers 29: 389-96.
Hults, D. 2007. ‚Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.: The Right-Hand Man of the Government.‛ Working
Paper 70. Stanford University.
Klueth, U., Pastor, G., Segura, A., and Zarate, W. 2009. ‚Inter-sectoral Linkages and Local Content in
Extractive Industries and Beyond – The Case of Sao Tome and Principe.‛ IMF Working Paper
WP/07/213, International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.
Ministry of Mines and Energy. 2004. ‚Local Content and Local Participation Policy and Framework.‛
Government of Trinidad and Tobago. http://www.energy.gov.tt/content/72.pdf
Ministry of Trade and Industry. 2007. ‚Trinidad and Tobago Investment Policy 2007-2010.‛ Green
Paper, Government of Trinidad and Tobago.
Olsen, W.H. 2002. ‚Petroleum Revenue Management: an Industry Perspective.‛ World Bank
Workshop on Petroleum Revenue Management. Washington, D.C.
Tordo, S. 2009. ‚Exploration and Production Rights: Allocation Strategies and Design Issues.‛ World
Bank Working Paper No. 179. World Bank, Washington, DC.
WTO (World Trade Organization). 2007. ‚How Can the WTO Help Harness Globalization‛. World
Trade Organization.



127

Appendix 3– Overview of key research
on NOCs

Until recently, researchers had largely neglected national oil companies (NOCs) and their
performance. A number of important papers on oil resource ownership were written in the 1980s and
early 1990s. Thereafter, however, the industry received limited attention: oil prices were low, supply
seemed secure, and the fall of communism opened new opportunities for the major international oil
companies (Wolf 2008). It was not until the early 2000s that the transparency, governance, and
efficiency of NOCs started to interest the research community, policy makers, and the general public.
The following sections contain a brief review of some of the most salient literature on state-owned
enterprises (SOEs)—particularly NOCs—and provide a background for this paper.
What do we know about state-owned enterprises?
Most of the existing literature on the theoretical basis for state intervention in the economy and its
comparative advantage vis-à-vis private ownership was produced between the 1960s and the early
1990s. Empirical analysis during this period was mainly concerned with investigating the effect of
ownership on the performance of SOEs. To identify the drivers of performance, researchers frequently
used cross-sectional analysis of ownership effects and longitudinal analysis of pre- and post-
privatization performance of SOEs in various sectors of the economy. The results were generally
consistent and indicative of underlying trends and causes common to all industries. But no sufficient
evidence was provided as to the superiority of state ownership or the effect on performance of country
specific or sector specific factors. As discussed below, this has been partially addressed in more recent
work on the effects of macroeconomic and corporate governance reforms on SOEs performance.
Do ownership and control affect the performance of SOEs?
The relationship between institutional structures and the performance of SOEs has been the subject of
intense debate in the economic literature. Research in this area mostly relates to the effect of internal
governance mechanisms (mainly the ownership structure of the firm) and external governance
mechanisms (capital market monitoring and the legal and institutional systems) on the performance of
SOEs.
A number of authors have reviewed the theoretical arguments related to the differences between
state and private ownership,
76
but no conclusive evidence exists of the superiority of one or the other
in promoting economic efficiency. Similarly, empirical literature has so far provided mixed evidence.
One group of analyses compares the pre- and post-privatization performance of a wide range of
companies privatized through public share offerings.
77
The findings are generally consistent across

76
For a review of these arguments see Williamson 1964; Jensen and Meckling 1976; Laffont and Tirole 1993 (agency
theory), Alchian 1965; Alchian and Demsets 1972 (property rights), Tullock 1965; Buchanan 1968; Niskanen 1971
(and public choice theory), Milgrom and Roberts 1988; Pollit 1997 (theory of influence of activities) and Sappinton
and Stiglitz 1987; Perotti 1995; and Pollit 1997 (the notion of privatization as a credible government commitment to
reduced future interference).
77
Megginson et al. (1994); Boubakri and Cosset (1998); D’Souza et al (2005), Jia et al (2005), Gupta (2005).


128

industries and countries: privatized companies show a significant increase in profitability, efficiency,
investment, dividend payments, and output and a decrease in financial leverage.
Boubakri, Cosset, and Guedhami (2005) suggest that changes in performance vary with the extent
of macroeconomic reforms and the business environment—particularly the relative development of
the stock market and the protection of property rights—and the effectiveness of corporate governance.
In particular, ‚economic growth is associated with higher profitability and efficiency gains; trade
liberalization is associated with higher levels of investment and output; and financial liberalization is
associated with higher output changes. The relinquishment of control by the government is a key
determinant of profitability, efficiency gains, and output increases.‛ The authors argue that there are
important differences between the sources of post-privatization performance in developed and
developing countries. In particular, for all economic sectors, internal governance mechanisms appear
to be more relevant in developed countries, while external factors, such as economic growth, trade
openness, financial liberalization, stock market development and protection, and enforcement of
property rights, appear to be more relevant in developing countries.
The effects of the separation of ownership and control on performance are investigated by Gupta
(2005), who analyzed data on partial privatizations for 339 manufacturing and service sector firms
owned by the central and state governments in India. He finds that listing on the stock market
improves profitability, while transferring management control improves labor productivity. Although
preliminary, these results provide useful input to the design of partial privatizations in similar
institutional environments.
For most of the 1990s, reform of SOEs focused on privatization, which was seen as the most direct
solution to the problems of state ownership. However, SOEs with uncapped environmental or other
liabilities have no real hope of attracting private buyers. Furthermore, some countries lack the
competitive marketplace, private capital, and legal and regulatory system needed to make
privatization successful. Even if privatization is possible, governments may choose to own enterprises
if they are natural monopolies, have strategic value, or provide important public services. There may
also be strong political and labor opposition to privatization. Recognizing that privatization is not
always a viable option for SOEs, some authors began to investigate the effects of corporatization on
SOEs performance. Aivazian, Ying, and Qiu (2005) looked at the effect of corporatization without
privatization on performance in China. They argued that the sources of efficiency can be traced to the
reform of the internal governance structure of these firms, suggesting that it may be optimal for
governments to corporatize SOEs before privatization.

Do ownership and control matter to the performance of NOCs?
Despite the economic importance of NOCs, there is surprisingly little empirical research on the effects
of ownership type in the petroleum sector. The first comparative efficiency analysis of NOCs and
privately owned oil companies (POCs) was carried out by Al-Obaidan and Scully (1991) using various
frontier analysis methods. The authors analyzed the behavior of 44 companies during the period 1976-
82 and attempted to measure differences in allocative, scale, and technical efficiencies. They concluded
that if NOCs were converted to private, for-profit enterprises, they could satisfy demand with nearly
less than half of their current resource inputs.
78


78
Looking at the efficiency of integrated NOCs the authors concluded that ‚SOEs’ managers serve many principals
and are required to pursue multiple goals, many of which are inconsistent with economic efficiency.‛ They found
that ‚on average state-owned enterprises are 61 to 65 percent as technically efficient as private, for-profit firms.


129

Using both nonparametric and parametric techniques on a sample of 80 companies for the period
2002-04, Eller, Hartley, and Medlock (2007) argue that the relative technical inefficiencies of NOCs and
POCs, determined on the basis of commercial objectives only, are largely the result of governments
exercising control over the distribution of rents.
79

Victor (2007) also analyzes the relative efficiency of NOCs and POCs in converting hydrocarbon
resources into production and revenue. Using a univariate linear regression on a sample of 90
companies observed in 2004, the author finds that on average NOCs produce nearly two-thirds less
per unit of reserves than the largest POCs, and generate significantly less revenue per unit of
production.
Researchers at the University of Texas compared the performance of five NOCs relative to their
stated commercial goals using business analysis, and compared their social and economic
development performance against explicit and implicit targets (CEE, 2007).
80
The researchers also
analyzed the commercial frameworks for NOCs, focusing on public sector governance, corporate
governance, fiscal regimes, commercialization, and hydrocarbon regulation. Their findings provide
some evidence that corporate governance structures, flexible fiscal and capital budget regimes, and
upstream competition contribute to the performance of both NOCs and their countries’ hydrocarbon
sector.
Using a dataset of 60 public share offerings by 28 NOCs between 1977 and 2004, Wolf and Pollit
(2008) show that privatization is associated with comprehensive and sustained improvements in
performance and efficiency. Many of these improvements are realized in anticipation of the initial
privatization date, accrue over time, and level off after the initial change in ownership. The authors
argue that partial privatizations in the oil sector may capture a significant part of the performance
improvement associated with private capital markets without the government having to relinquish
control of its NOC.
Wolf (2008) further investigates the effects of ownership on performance using data from the
Petroleum Intelligence Week’s Top 50 oil and gas companies over a period of twenty years. The author
finds that: (i) non-OPEC NOCs underperform their private sector counterparts in terms of labor and
capital efficiency, revenue generation, and profitability; (ii) OPEC NOCs show higher efficiency
metrics than the private sector; and (iii) all NOCs produce a significantly lower annual percentage of
their upstream reserves than their private counterparts. The author hypothesizes that the adoption of
more conservative reserve management policies by NOCs, and the use of different reserves valuation
criteria may partially explain these differences.
In March 2007, researchers at Rice University completed one of the most comprehensive studies
on the changing role of NOCs in the international energy market. The study aimed to provide a

Alternatively, ceteris paribus, with the same level of input, output could be increased by 55 percent to 63 percent,
or for the same level of output, costs could be reduced by a similar amount by converting state owned enterprises
into private, for-profit firms. Given the enormous resources utilized in the petroleum industry the relative
technical inefficiency of SOE is hardly a trivial problem.‛ (Al-Obaidan and Scully, 1991). The definition of the
variables and the fact that their data base covers the period 1979-82—the height of the ‚second oil shock‛—may
have affected the measure of relative efficiency, but their conclusions appear to agree with more recent research.
79
Their results, although based on high level operational and financial data covering a short period of time (2002 to
2004), are in line with the theoretical predictions developed by Harley and Medlock (2007).
80
The authors select Pemex, PetroChina, CNOOC, Petrobras, and Statoil for the data availability (all companies
provide easily accessible, good quality, and comparable data in their annual filings of the US Securities and
Exchange Commission) and use of comparable accounting principles. The sample also permitted the authors to do
a preliminary analysis of the effects of countries’ economic structures on NOCs’ performance (CEE-UT 2007).


130

reference framework for analyzing the strategies, objectives, and performance of NOCs, with
particular reference to their impact on international oil supply, pricing, and geopolitics. The study
included case studies on the history and formation of fifteen state-owned oil companies and two
economic modeling studies assessing the operational efficiency of NOCs. The researchers also
analyzed the consequences of noncommercial objectives on operational efficiency and the effect that
NOC operations abroad have on the societies in which they work. The authors concluded that: (i)
national goals are important to NOCs and go well beyond the maximization of returns on capital to
shareholders;
81
(ii) in some cases, national priorities interfere with the NOC’s ability to maximize the
value of their oil resources, replace reserves, expand production, and perform in a technically efficient
manner;
82
and (iii) certain institutional and regulatory structures help the NOC to focus efficiently on
its core business. The efficiency of NOCs, the authors argued, will influence the future availability of
oil and future pricing trends. To reduce the vulnerability to changes in NOCs’ investment patterns, the
authors argued that oil importing countries would need to make major policy changes to their energy
strategies, including promoting free trade, adopting measures to improve the efficiency of NOCs,
promoting market competition, and curbing political interference in NOC’s commercial investment
decisions.
In March 2008 a group of researchers at Chatham House published a report on investment trends
in foreign oil projects by companies from China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Malaysia (Chatham
House 2008). The authors observed that, for most of these companies, overseas investments are part of
their countries' wider thrust into the world economy and are often supported by governments to
increase bilateral economic and political relations.
One of the difficulties in evaluating NOCs stems from the complex interaction between
commercial and noncommercial objectives (such as job creation, technology transfer, and local
development), which leads them to depart from classical profit-maximizing behavior. In 2006
researchers at Stanford University launched a study on NOCs’ strategy, performance, and implications
for global energy markets. The research, which is still ongoing, has produced a number of important
contributions towards explaining the organization and performance of NOCs and the complex
interaction between NOCs and their countries’ governments. One of the most recent findings relates to
the exportability or desirability of the institutional separation of policy, regulatory, and commercial
functions—the so called ‚Norwegian Model‛ (Thurber and others 2010). The authors suggest that the
separation of functions is most useful and feasible in cases where political competition exists and
institutional capacity is relatively strong. When technical and regulatory talent is particularly lacking
in a country, better outcomes may result from consolidating these functions in a single body until
institutional capacity has further developed. Countries like Nigeria with vibrant political competition
but limited institutional capacity pose the most significant challenge for oil sector reform: consolidated
control over the sector is impossible, but separation of functions is also difficult. In such cases, the
authors conclude, reformers should focus on making incremental but sustainable improvements in
technical and institutional capacity.

81
As defined in the study, national goals include oil wealth redistribution to society at large, wealth creation for
the nation, industrialization and economic development, energy security, foreign and strategic policy and alliance
building, and participation in national level politics.
82
On average, for the sample of NOCs analyzed, those that both are fully government-owned and sell petroleum
products at subsidized prices are only 35 percent as technically efficient as a comparable firm that is privately-held
and has no obligation to sell refined products at discounted prices. While firms vary in efficiency, on average the
efficiency of government held firms is only 60 to 65 percent that of the privately held international oil majors
(Eller, 2007).


131

Do better corporate governance and transparency affect the performance of SOEs?
The corporate governance of SOEs has been the subject of several papers, which suggest that corporate
governance directly affects the level and sustainability of SOEs’ performance. Wong (2004) argues that
in many countries, previous SOE reform efforts failed to deliver sustained improvements in
performance because they did not fully address the core governance deficiencies of public
enterprises— multiple and conflicting objectives, excessive political interference, and opacity. The
author suggests that clear objectives, transparency, and political insulation are preliminary conditions
for improving SOEs’ efficiency and proposes a set of governance reforms for two classes of SOEs:
those with a singular focus on value maximization and those with a mixture of commercial and social
objectives.
The OECD Guidelines on the Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (2005) provide a
benchmark to help governments assess and improve their ownership of these enterprises. The
guidelines offer suggestions on how to solve typical corporate governance challenges. Among the key
recommendations for improving the competitiveness and transparency of SOEs, the guidelines
underline the importance of (i) the strict separation of the state's ownership and regulatory functions;
and (ii) the centralization of ownership functions in an ownership entity or the effective coordination
of ownership entities, which should act independently and in accordance with a publicly disclosed
ownership policy.
Fremond O. et al (2006) review the corporate governance arrangements in a number of SOEs in
emerging market economies. They conclude that effective corporate governance provides a coherent
and tested framework for addressing key weaknesses in SOEs that is consistent with indefinite state
ownership or continuing privatization.
The governance structure of NOCs has not been widely investigated. In a position paper on good
governance for NOCs, Marcel (2005) argues that good governance requires (i) a clear definition of the
NOC’s mission, role, and responsibility to the state; (ii) objective and effective decision making; and
(iii) transparent performance measurement systems. A report on good governance in the petroleum
sector (Lahn et al, 2007) further investigated Marcel’s findings. The report summarizes the lessons
learned from the experience of thirteen petroleum producing countries presented at a meeting held
under the Chatham House rule. The participants emphasized the importance of the national context
on systems of governance at sector and NOC levels. Successful changes in governance of the national
petroleum sector depend on the following national elements: (i) the national culture, and particularly
the way power and authority is exercised and the patterns of behavior that are encouraged or
incentivized; (ii) institutional capacity—that is, the adequacy of existing skills and abilities to adapt to
new institutional settings; (iii) dependence of the economy on petroleum revenue, which affects local
content policies and the level of political interest in the sector; and (iv) the level of a country’s general
development, system of government, and administrative structure. The report advocates the
separation of policy, regulation, and commercial responsibilities. In countries where the NOC has
sector oversight responsibility, it must demonstrate a capacity to effectively demarcate its roles as
operator and regulator.




132

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134

Appendix 4 – Exploratory statistical
model: data limitations and issues

VCI Data limitations and issues
In calculating the VCIs we faced challenges due to missing data. Initially, the period of analysis was to
cover 10 years. But lack of data forced us to restrict the sample to 5 years. Even so, only 84 percent of
the necessary data could be found. Most of the missing data relate to measures of national mission
performance. In particular:
 Data necessary to calculate the Reserves Replacement Ratios (RRR) could not be found for
OGDCL, and QP. For PTT and Sonatrach, the RRR could only be calculated for one year.
 There are several missing values on share of nationals in company workforce and other
employment criteria but every NOC had at least some of these data.
 Data on non-commercial expenditures could not be found for OGDCL, Petronas, PTT, QP and
Sonatrach.
 Data on non-core and noncommercial activities could not be found for ENI, KMG, OGDCL,
PdVSA, Petro SA, Petrobras, Petronas, and Statoil. This might be due to the fact that these
NOCs do not have non-commercial or non-core activities. In contrast, some NOCs
specifically note the absence of non-core and noncommercial activities in their reports
(CNOOC, Ecopetrol, ONGC, Pemex, Petrochina and Sinopec).
 No data on subsidies borne by OGDCL and QP could be found. Subsidies were assumed to
be zero for CNOOC, ENI, Gazprom, GDF, KMG, Rosneft and Statoil based on country policies
or given the clear information provided in company publications.
 Local content data could only be found or estimated reliably in some years for a handful of
NOCs: Ecopetrol, ENI, Gazprom (one year), GDF, KMG (one year), Petro SA, Petrobras,
Petrochina, Rosneft (one year) and Statoil.

VCI Driver Data limitations and issues
Chapter 3 table 3.1 lists the five value drivers and the proxy variables used to measure them. As
previously noted, proxy variables were used extensively due to the lack of publicly available data
and/or available measures. To create a driver variable, each of its underlying proxy variables is
standardized, and the driver variable is the result of the average of the standardized proxy variables
for each NOC-year with a complete set of data.
Several potentially useful proxies were excluded due to a lack of data. The Fraser Institute’s
survey results on fiscal systems, regulatory compliance, regulatory uncertainty and environmental
regulation were considered as proxies for the NOC sector strategy and behavior driver, but the survey
data were available for only two years of our study period and did not cover all countries. The share of
domestic production operated by the NOC was not included in the NOC sector strategy and behavior
driver, since it was only available for 50 percent of our sample.


135

Missing data for certain NOCs also affected driver creation. PTT has no data on NOC upstream
equity production as percentage of total NOC refining throughput. QP, ONGC, and PetroSA have no
data on capital expenditures. About 15 percent of the sample has missing data on NOC international
revenues as percentage of total NOC revenues. While enough proxies are included in each category to
warrant the creation of each driver group, these data difficulties have led to less than ideal
measurements of the drivers of NOC value creation.



136

Appendix 5 – Relevance of government
support to the credit rating of NOCs


Company Very
important
Somewhat
important
Not very
important
Not
rated
CNOOC \
Ecopetrol \
ENI \
Gazprom \
GDF \
KMG EP \
OGDCL \
ONGC \
PDVSA \
PEMEX \
Petrobras \
PetroChina \
Petronas \
PetroSA \
PTT \
QP \
Rosneft \
Sinopec \
Sonatrach \
Statoil \
Total 8 6 1 5
Source: CEE-UT, University of Texas, based on data from Standard &
Poor’s Global Credit Portal Ratings Direct.






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W O R K I N G

P A P E R

National Oil Companies and Value Creation
Silvana Tordo with Brandon S. Tracy and Noora Arfaa

Volume I

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.1................................................. The petroleum sector value chain ...................................................................2 2........1 1.........................................................................1............................ 16 1............................................ 16 Licensing and petroleum contracts .......................................... 38 Economic cost of political control ..............................3 1..................................1......1..................... 19 Local content policies and value creation ................................................................................... 31 A new agenda: liberalization and privatization .............................................................................. 27 2............................1............................................... 36 Petroleum rent maximization ..................... 13 Policy decisions affecting value creation ......1 2...................................................... 32 The end of history? ..................................1..................................................... 30 The reaction of consumer states ..2 2..................................................................... 18 Value creation through integration ............................................................................................................................... 27 2................... 28 OPEC revolution and post-colonial world .... 17 Depletion policy ............................................3. 13 1...................2.............2............................................................ Industry participation ...2 1............................ 37 2................................................. 35 Efficiency and monitoring of operations ..........5 2............................................................3 2.................................. vii Executive summary ........................... 35 The importance of the petroleum sector .......................................1 2................ ix 1........................................................................................................................................................................................................3..............6 Historical context ...... 33 Developments since 2000 . 38 iv ....................4 2.....1.......2...4 1...............1 1...................................Contents Acknowledgments ... 17 Taxation .....3 2..............................................................................................1...................................................................7 2.1............ 37 2................................................. 20 Conclusion .......2 Overview of the value chain..........................................5 2................................................ 23 The establishment of a NOC: advantages and issues ..................................................................1 A brief history of NOCs .............................................................................1....................................2................................................3 1.......................2 Industry participation ........................................ 36 Socioeconomic issues and priorities ..........................1 2............................................................................................................4 1..................................................................................................................... 34 2..........................2..................................................................5 2...............3 Practical difficulties and setbacks with NOCs ........1................................4 2................ 27 The emergence of NOCs .................... 35 Political gains from state control.....2 Historical context and ideology .......................2.................................6 2..... 34 Arguments in favor of NOCs ...

................................... 80 External governance .............................................................3....2 Context variables and NOC corporate governance ..................................................................................................3 2..................................................................................................................................................... 50 Measuring the performance of NOCs: the value creation index ................................2..2 3.................................... 57 3............3 Proxy measures used in VCI .......................7 2..................................... 62 4.................................... 52 3.............................................................................. 41 Conflict of interests and balance of control ............................................................................... 60 Case studies and lessons learned ........................3..........................3.. 85 Selected NOCs corporate governance scorecard .................2 4. 40 Weak corporate governance .................................................... 50 3......... 42 Conclusion .......................................... 63 Indications from the statistical analysis ...................1 Exploratory analysis of value drivers ........................................................................................................................................................6 2........... 56 3...... 122 Appendix 3– Overview of key research on NOCs ..................................5 2...... 53 Determination of VCI ........................ 56 The value drivers ...............3.................3................................................3................................................................................................1 4............................................................1.................................................................................................................. 96 Conclusion ..... 79 4.............................3............ 43 The performance and value creation of NOCs: a conceptual model .................3... 136 v .................1..............4 3.3................ 65 The corporate governance of NOCs .............................3 Selection of proxy variables ....................................................................................2 A conceptual model of value creation....1....................... 115 Appendix 2– Examples of local content policies ................................................2..................................... 62 4.................................. Operational inefficiencies ..........................................................................................2 4.................................1 Selection of proxy variables .............................. 127 Appendix 4 – Exploratory statistical model: data limitations and issues ....................1..................................................................4 4........................ 110 Appendix 1– Key stages of the value chain ............................................................... 64 Case studies ............................2...................3.............1 3................................................................. Lessons learned . 40 Subsidies and noncommercial objectives ..........2 4.....................................................................3........... 41 Funding strategy and requirements ......................................................................................................1 4...................................................................................4 5...1 3.......................................................8 2........ 134 Appendix 5 – Relevance of government support to the credit rating of NOCs ...... Conclusion ..... 39 Lack of competition ............................................... 93 4.4 2.............................................................................................1 4........................................ 81 Internal governance ..

....6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs ______________________________ 82 Table 4.2 – Components of the VCI .... 53 Figure 4...4 – Case studies: overview _________________________________________________________ 66 Table 4...............................................1 – Value drivers and their proxy measures __________________________________________ 57 Table 4..........................................................5 – Composition of corporate governance sample _____________________________________ 80 Table 4.Tables Table 2....2 – VCI for the sample NOCs_______________________________________________________ 63 Table 4.............................7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs ___________________________________ 87 Table 4.....2 – Local content policies and NOC value creation _____________________________________ 100 Box 4....................1 – Petroleum value chain ......... 51 Figure 3.......................8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs __________________________________ 92 Table 4... 16 Figure 3.................3 – Consistency and speed of government reforms and NOC value creation _______________ 101 Box 4...........................................4 – Geology and NOC value creation ________________________________________________ 103 Box 4.1 – Founding dates of selected NOCs ________________________________________________ 29 Table 3................................. large oil and gas companies.....1 – Value creation flow chart............9 – Governance standards: sample NOCs vs.............1 – NOC sample for statistical analysis ______________________________________________ 62 Table 4.......... 97 vi ..6 – Corporate governance and NOC value creation ____________________________________ 106 Figures Figure 1.........................1 – Petroleum sector value creation ......... 14 Figure 1...................1 – The grant of special privileges to a NOC: opportunities and pitfalls ____________________ 98 Box 4...................... ________________ 94 Table 4..........3 – Results of model estimation _____________________________________________________ 64 Table 4........5 – Openness and NOC value creation _______________________________________________ 104 Box 4......2 – Options for the level of competition and participation in the petroleum sector ..............10 – Governance scorecard for selected NOCs ________________________________________ 94 Boxes Box 4...................

Acknowledgments
National Oil Companies and Value Creation, Volume I, is part of a study aimed to explore the determinants of value creation by national oil companies (NOCs). The study comprises three volumes: volume I presents the findings of the study, volume II contains detailed case studies on the NOCs analyzed in the study, and volume III contains the full dataset and calculation of the value creation indices and value drivers for each NOC in the study sample. The study was undertaken and written by Silvana Tordo (lead energy economist – Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division, World Bank), with contributions from Brandon S. Tracy (econometrician, consultant), and Noora Arfaa (consultant), both with the Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division of the World Bank. The study draws on earlier drafts of chapters 1, 2, and 3 prepared by Christian O. Wolf (Economist, Cambridge University, United Kingdom). The data and material utilized in the calculation of the value creation index and value drivers were collected by Michelle M. Foss, Gurcan Gulen, Miranda Wainberg, Ruzanna Makaryan, and Dmitry Volkov (Center for Energy Economics, Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin – CEE), who also contributed to the definition of the statistical model of value creation and prepared the initial version of the case studies. The comments of peer reviewers Alan H. Gelb (Center for Global Development ), Robert W. Bacon and Charles McPherson, both consultants (Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division, World Bank), Sunita Kikeri (Corporate Governance Department, World Bank), and Andre Plourde (professor, department of economics, University of Alberta) are gratefully acknowledged. Comments were also provided by PRMSP. Steven B. Kennedy and Fayre Makeig edited the paper.

vii

Abbreviations and acronyms
$ BOD E&P EBITRN GAAP IFRS JV NOC POC PSC R&M RRR SOE VAT VCI WGI WTO United States dollars Board of Directors exploration and production earnings before interest, taxes, royalties, and noncommercial expenditure Generally Accepted Accounting Principles International Financial Reporting Standards joint venture national oil company private oil company Production sharing contract refining and marketing reserve replacement rate state-owned enterprise value-added taxes value creation index Worldwide Governance Indicators World Trade Organization

viii

Executive summary
Approximately two billion dollars a day of petroleum are traded worldwide, which makes petroleum the largest single item in the balance of payments and exchanges between nations. Petroleum represents the larger share in total energy use for most net exporters and net importers. While petroleum taxes are a major source of income for more than 90 countries in the world, poor countries net importers are more vulnerable to price increases than most industrialized economies. Unlike most commodities, petroleum is a major factor in international politics and socio-economic development. These characteristics of the petroleum sector largely explain why many producing and importing countries have, at least at some point during the course of history, opted for direct state intervention rather than more liberal governance regimes. Today national oil companies (NOCs) control approximately 90 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 75 percent of production (similar numbers apply to gas), as well as many of the major oil and gas infrastructure systems. This can be directly as producers or as the ‚gatekeepers‛ for exploitation by private oil companies (POCs). Petroleum Intelligence Weekly ranks 18 NOCs among the top 25 oil and gas reserves holders and producers. In addition, an estimated 60 percent of the world’s undiscovered reserves lie in countries where NOCs have privileged access to reserves. As such, NOCs are of great consequence to their country’s economy, to importing countries’ energy security, and to the stability of oil and gas markets. Governments’ petroleum sector policies often pursue a variety of development and socioeconomic objectives, including the maximization of the net present value of the economic rent derived from the exploitation of petroleum, inter-temporal equity, the promotion of backward and forward linkages, the promotion of bilateral trade, energy self sufficiency, and security of supplies. NOCs are often used to achieve a wide array of these objectives, as primary tool or in combination with other policy tools. The choice of policy tools – NOC, regulation, or a combination of both – depends on the type of objectives that policy makers wish to achieve and their relative priorities. These in turn depend on the country specific context. Exogenous factors, including oil and gas prices, economic cycles, and the existence of international sanctions, also affect government policies. This helps to explain the diversity of policies pursued by governments over time. Whatever the objectives and their mix, governments’ primary concern should be to maximize economic efficiency and the generation of social welfare. Although there are established criteria to guide policy formulation in cases that involve a certain level of value judgment, in practice deciding whether or not establishing the NOC maximizes social welfare is a matter of political choice. Indeed economic considerations, such as the desire to address market deficiencies or inefficiency or to maximize rent capture, may not be the primary reason for establishing the NOC. Hence, any attempt to compare the relative contribution to social value creation of direct state intervention and regulation would inevitably imply a considerable level of subjectivity. This is not attempted in this paper. Rather we analyze the available evidence on the objectives, governance and performance of 20 NOCs from both net

ix

On the other hand the low explanatory power of the statistical model may indicate the uniqueness of each NOC. a conceptual model of value creation is proposed that identifies five classes of value drivers: geology and geography. The analysis confirms the importance of geology. These core characteristics need to be taken into account in defining what constitutes NOC value creation and analyzing NOCs behavior and strategy. More research is warranted. Perhaps this is the most relevant single factor that explains their existence and resilience in very different political.importing and net exporting countries. To this end. social and economic environments. we could determine which policies and tools should be used to affect NOC value creation. An exploratory regression analysis is applied to understand the relationship between value drivers and NOC value creation. and is used to reveal the relative position (and direction of changes over time) of the NOCs in the study sample with respect to the observed value creation measures. it focuses on key aspects of short-term value creation by NOCs. the value creation index does not reveal which factors ‚drive‛ value creation. financial and national mission performance indicators. On the other hand. petroleum sector governance and organization. This in turn provides an indication of relative policy success. In x . the ‚value creation index‛. and draw conclusions about the design of policies and measures that are more likely to lead to social value creation by NOCs. To test this hypothesis. state context. The index. caution should be applied in interpreting these results. But NOCs differ on a number of very important variables. and their degree of commercial orientation and internationalization. petroleum sector governance and NOC corporate governance to value creation. In this paper. its contribution to value creation). One thus needs to be mindful of possible over-generalizations. including the level of competition in the market in which they operate. A quantitative measure. is not designed to measure all aspects of value creation. the experience of 12 NOCs is analyzed in detail to establish whether discernible patterns with respect to value creation can be observed for NOCs with similar strategy and corporate governance arrangements. social value creation refers to the creation of benefits or reductions of costs for society in ways that go beyond the maximization of the financial return on investment derived from the exploitation of the resource. Although some general observations can be drawn from this analysis. One of the main difficulties that we faced in this attempt to statistically measure the relative importance of value drivers was the uneven quantity and quality of data across the NOC sample. their business profile along the sector value chain. most NOCs share at least some core characteristics: they are usually tied to the ‚national purpose‛ and serve political and economic goals other than maximizing the firm’s profits. and whether certain country specific context variables lead to particular NOC corporate governance arrangements and strategies. is proposed to capture the NOC’s capacity to fulfill its mission and objectives (that is. We refer to them as ‚value drivers‛. The first step towards measuring NOCs performance is to establish their objective function. Although informative. underlying the importance to value creation of country specific and NOC specific factors. and NOC corporate governance. overall the result cannot be viewed as offering substantial understanding on how the various drivers affect value creation. which includes operational. However. If we were able to identify these factors. NOC strategy.

(ii) reducing information asymmetries between industry participants and the state.particular. than it is for their peers in less endowed countries. The size of the resource endowment matters to value creation. even when nomination committees are established. institutional. Among the countries surveyed in this paper. or have imposed. These features are associated with the level of technical and managerial competence of the NOC. Particularly in the petroleum sector where prices. regardless of the NOC’s ownership structure. Well- xi . Full exclusion of industry participation in petroleum exploration and production activities is rare. Large resource endowments lead to higher value creation if the resource is extracted efficiently and revenues from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and replace reserves. Temporary restrictions on access to petroleum activities can be effective policy tools to enhance value creation by the NOC. (iii) increasing rent capture. but the manner in which it is exploited matters more. These privileges have generally taken the form of mandated association between the NOC and POCs. Cultural differences across countries help to explain why similar corporate governance arrangements may function in a very dissimilar way. and (v) accelerating the exploration and production of the country’s resources while maintaining control over sector activities. Ultimately. and management techniques are continuously changing. some form of restriction on the participation of POCs in petroleum exploration and production activities by granting special rights to the NOC. NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments may find it more difficult to create value than their counterparts in countries with smaller resource endowments. Government interference in the NOC’s decision-making processes seems to be more closely related to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the petroleum sector to the specific country. our analysis aims to answer the following questions: Are certain corporate governance arrangements more suited than others to promote value creation? Is good geology a pre-condition for NOC value creation? Are there benefits from exposing the NOC to competition from POCs? Does the development of forward and backward linkages hamper NOC value creation? Overall. rather than to the percentage of independent BOD members. Given the complex network of often conflicting interests between efficiency of exploitation and state needs. the political. it is difficult to identify general principles that apply to all countries in all circumstances. country specific objectives. constraints. (iv) reducing exploration risk. many impose. and societal qualities of a country – more than the actions of its NOC – are critical to determining to what extent the gift of nature will translate into value creation. following this approach is often harder for NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments. nimble decision-making processes and budgetary and financial autonomy are crucial to value creation. technology. with minimum levels of state participation. and concerns have a substantial effect on NOC value creation. This formula is often used by countries and NOCs that are new to the petroleum sector with several objectives: (i) fast-tracking the learning curve through the association with experienced industry participants. Our findings are summarized below. Therefore. This may have something to do with the difficulty in assessing the true level of independence of BOD in companies that exhibit a high concentration of ownership. competition. Internal governance mechanisms are more critical to NOC value creation than the ownership structure.

If the NOC’s national mission objectives include the development of industries that make direct use of the oil and gas sector’s output (forward linkages). Chapter 4 presents the result of an exploratory statistical analysis aimed to determine the relative importance of the drivers of value creation. this chapter seeks to highlight the special nature of NOCs and how it may affect their existence. The pursuit of national mission objectives does not necessarily hamper the creation of value by the NOC. midstream. and market structure can be very effective tools to address information and capacity asymmetries. and lessons of general applicability are derived. regulation. with limited possibilities for sharing exploration and development risk with other parties. A conceptual model is also proposed to identify the factors that affect value creation. objectives. since this approach requires. This is particularly important in countries where the NOC is the only company authorized to carry out petroleum activities. Chapter 2 draws on ample literature and discusses how changes in the geopolitical and global economic environment and in the host governments' political and economic priorities have affected the rationale for and behavior of NOCs. Organization of the paper This paper has five chapters. Chapter 5 summarizes the conclusions. the experience of a selected sample of NOCs is analyzed in detail. In addition. Sheltering the NOC from competition allows it to focus on developing the necessary competence and economies of scale. Defining proper national mission objectives for the NOC is thus critical to value creation. Finally. xii . and behavior. However. and supporting the local supply industry allow the NOC to lower the cost of operations while fulfilling its national mission objectives. inter alia.designed restrictions on access that take into consideration the characteristic of the resource. Chapter 3 proposes a value creation index to measure the contribution of NOCs to social value creation. When conditions are in place. National mission objectives hamper value creation when their pursuit is in conflict with other key value-added functions of the NOC. forward linkages can enhance value creation by capturing the advantages of vertical integration. the pursuit of these objectives may hamper value creation since it requires large scale operations and technology that may not be available in the country. and downstream petroleum operations and how these may impact value creation and policy options. such as the efficient and sustainable exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources. a superior level of operational efficiency and the ability to prioritize core-business investments. this policy has decreasing effects on value creation over time and may discourage the NOC from developing efficient and competitive processes. the fiscal regime. creating a skilled workforce. domestic capacity. Chapter 1 describes the key features of upstream. Rather than providing an in-depth analysis of the philosophical reasons for creating a NOC. For example. developing technology.

which is turn is the result of policy decisions by the government. Since the focus of the paper is the creation of social value at the country-level rather than private shareholders value. and national boundaries.1 Such analysis can be done for individual firms. affect value creation more directly than other. taxation. the industry value chain (national petroleum value system) is examined. These different activities are inherently linked with each other (conceptually. Local content policies are particularly emphasized given their relevance in many petroleum producing countries. contractually. A company’s ability to create value is affected by the organization and governance of the sector in which it operates. the physical transformation from inputs to outputs. and physically). In line with our focus on social value creation. and the contribution of individual firms to social value creation is considered. Some policies. within or across firms. 1 13 . 1. distributors/sellers. as popularized by Porter (1985). and the critical supply services of the firm such as strategic planning or technology development. and policies designed to increase the economic and developmental impact of the petroleum sector. investigates the sequence of activities required to bring a product or service from conception and procurement through production and distribution to the final customer.1 Overview of the value chain Value chain analysis.1. and the role that NOCs often play in their implementation. for clusters of firms whose value chains are interlinked – referred to as value systems by Porter and usually involving suppliers. and by the way in which the individual pieces of the chain are combined: ‚Although value activities are the building blocks of competitive advantage. depletion of reserves. Value activities are related by linkages within the value chain‛ (Porter 1985: 48). The petroleum sector value chain “The weakest link in a chain is the strongest because it can break it.” (Stanislaw Lec) The oil and gas industry encompasses a range of different activities and processes that jointly contribute to the transformation of underlying petroleum resources into useable end-products. we will consider the industry value chain for the Porter distinguishes between the different stages of supply. Understanding how value is created along the sector value chain is critical for the design of effective policies. and customers – or for selected industries (within or across national borders). such as industry participation. licensing and petroleum contracts. and will be discussed in this chapter. Porter argues that the greatest value is frequently added by these latter services. the value chain is not a collection of independent activities.

Process chemicals . such as geological and geophysical surveys and analysis. implying a degree of vertical integration (‚integrated‛ firms are engaged in successive activities. Oilfield services include a number of auxiliary services in the E&P process. production. Companies’ vertical and horizontal integration choices are affected by In this section the description of the petroleum value chain is very much based on conventional oil.petroleum sector. LNG. They form an important part of the overall oil and gas industry. These parts of the value chain are usually referred to as ‚midstream‛. processing. The processed products are then distributed to wholesale. Individual companies can perform one or more activities along the value chain. 2009 The value chain starts with the identification of suitable areas to conduct exploration for oil and/or gas. Oil refining and gas processing turn the extracted hydrocarbons into usable products. Figure 1. GTL etc.) Petrochemicals Transport & Storage Transport & Storage Oil refining Oil marketing & distribution Gas marketing & distribution Source: Wolf.1 – Petroleum value chain Petroleum resources Other services and inputs: Exploration & Appraisal Oilfield services & equipment . Alternative sources petroleum such as oil sands or shale oil require different extraction processes.R&D .1). or direct industrial clients. rail. Infrastructure. They can also seek to expand within a given activity.Trading . retail.Financing Reserves development . which includes development. petroleum fields are appraised. 2 14 . but will not be the focus of our overview.2 After initial exploration. transportation and marketing of hydrocarbon (Figure 1. Certain oil and gas products are the principal input for the petrochemicals industry. developed. horizontal integration in the upstream is limited by natural resource endowments and downstream by the size of the domestic market and the country’s ability to export goods and services. These activities are generally called exploration and production (E&P) or referred to as ‚upstream‛ oil and gas. At the country level. Refining and marketing (R&M) is also referred to as ‚downstream‛.Etc. including the links between production and processing facilities and between processing and final customer. including transport (such as pipelines and access to roads. and engineering projects. typically E&P and R&M). drilling. Petroleum production Transport & Storage Gas processing (NG. This explains the close historical and geographical links between the two. leading to horizontal consolidation (business scale). and ports) and storage. is critical at various stages in the value chain. equipment supply. and produced.

Possible choices include free and competitive markets. vertical integration in the petroleum sector is prohibited. rivers etc). such as asset selection. and of the resources within the country. These factors include. By ‚aggregate inputs‛ we mean all economic costs such as production cost. and some oil and gas companies are neither state-owned nor international. Many variables are exogenous to the actors’ decision making.  The usual designation for the large private sector petroleum firms is ‚International Oil Companies‛ (IOCs). amongst others:  the quality and quantity of the resource endowment (including geological properties). and investments. ‚POC‛ is thus suggested as a more appropriate. and higher-value product yield (refining). (iii) The sector’s organization and institutional properties. but can materially affect value creation. Other countries. Appendix 1 contains an outline of the technical elements of value creation at each step of the value chain. or a combination of both. overhead spending. These include NOCs and POCs.3 Key factors for value creation include:     cost efficiency of operations (including exploration. the geographic position of the country. in some countries. depletion policy. At the most general level. 3 15 . economies of scope). restricted and regulated entry. which to a large extent are the result of specific policy decisions. and opportunity cost (Heal 2007). the structure of the domestic economy.country-level industrial policies and the related legal and regulatory frameworks. For example. cost of resource depletion. such as Brazil. To create value along the chain the value of aggregate outputs must exceed the value of aggregate inputs on a sustainable basis. which determines the ease of access to domestic and export markets. such as South Africa. A company’s ability and willingness to perform well are affected by sector organization and governance. including its dependence on and interactions with the petroleum sector. refining. the potential sources of petroleum sector value creation are: (i) Exogenous context and conditions. and strategic choices. technical complexity. limit the market share of industry participants. and cost structure of upstream production. technical excellence. including:  the mechanism/regime for capital allocation decisions between different stages of the value chain and within individual stages. and targeting of domestic versus export markets. cost of funding. production. benefits of horizontal concentration (economies of scale) and vertical integration (transaction costs. which determines the availability. pricing policies. which may support higher reserve replacement and field recovery rates. and the availability of natural infrastructure (sea ports. but there is widespread acknowledgement that this term is confusing because an increasing number of NOCs are also operating outside of their home country.   (ii) The companies participating in the sector. licensing policy. fewer fuel losses. and marketing). and subsidies.

including local content and economic development policies. we limit ourselves to four important policy decisions—industry participation. A thorough discussion of each policy alternative is beyond the scope of this chapter. legal and regulatory frameworks.g. This also includes fiscal measures to direct production to domestic or export markets. Figure 1.4 the independence. responsibility.    the tax system. but private oil service contractors face few restrictions.2 Policy decisions affecting value creation Policy decisions largely determine sector organization and governance. 1.2 illustrates the policy options with respect to the level of competition and participation in the petroleum sector. which the government can use to encourage desired behavior. partially open. domestic price caps etc.1 Industry participation Figure 1. Besides the different degree of openness across countries. Saudi Arabia and Mexico. At one end of the continuum is a pure monopoly held by a state-owned entity without any outside participation. in between are many possible combinations. In reality. and Saudi Arabia now provides limited opportunities for equity participation in natural gas projects. no country has implemented either of the extreme options. In this section. countries are more likely to allow access to gas reserves in order to attract the technology and capital needed to develop them. licensing and petroleum contracts. even the most market-oriented countries usually set pre-qualification criteria for participation in auctions. or closed to outside participation with respect to access to petroleum reserves. and national petroleum and industrial policy. custom tariffs and export duties. 4 16 . At the other end of the spectrum. and depletion policy— and discuss their relationship to value creation. which in turn affect a company’s ability and willingness to perform well. Countries often adopt different policies for the different stages of the value chain. including market and trade regulation.2 – Options for the level of competition and participation in the petroleum sector  Market structure and entry regulation / openness NOC monopoly  Level playing field / privileges  Degree of direct state participation  Role of state companies (operators/investors) POC competition Source: Wolf (2009). have a state monopoly on upstream equity ownership. e. and competence of regulatory authorities. which in some cases may reduce competition and market contestability. and to capture a share of the value. 1. Resourceholding nations are often categorized into those that are fully open. Each policy choice influences the participants’ ability and willingness to create social value. taxation. In general terms. a country’s policy on access to reserves may differ depending on whether oil or gas is considered.1. at the other end is a perfectly competitive market without any entry regulation or direct state intervention. for example.

the government can either grant a monopoly right to one party or develop a licensing system to allow the participation of multiple parties. how the major functions and issues (management and control.3 Taxation Taxation is a critical consideration. In essentially all countries outside the United States. total government take (the government share of available cash flow from a petroleum project) varies around the world from about 40 percent to well over 90 percent (Johnston 2007).1. or (iv) by law.1.e. frequently reflecting historical or regional preferences (Tordo 2009). In upstream oil and gas.6 Where the subsoil is state-owned. In the years 2002 to 2008. Waelde (1995) points out that ‚the form of the contract is much less of the essence than the actual content. In recent years licensing (and taxation) regimes around the world have become increasingly varied. Ideally taxation should not alter allocative decision-making (and possibly even correct for market failures such as unduly low private costs of environmental pollution). (ii) when new concessions are awarded on different terms than previously awarded ones. The fiscal terms applicable in a given country can change in a number of different ways: (i) contractually. For example. An important consideration when determining appropriate levels of government take is the potential trade-off between short-term state rent capture and longer-term value creation. 5 6 17 . or impose conditions such as mandatory involvement of the state. or drilling a minimum number of wells. The petroleum sector is among the most heavily taxed sectors. i. the subsoil is either state-owned (irrespective of the ownership of the surface land). training and capacity building. revenue sharing) are being regulated. using local contractors. how much to invest. spending a minimum amount of money on exploration. it creates a disincentive to cost savings or encourages excess investment) net welfare losses will result. such as developing infrastructure.2 Licensing and petroleum contracts The terms and conditions of petroleum agreements provide the basis for many technical and commercial decisions by petroleum firms (such as where to invest. is divided between the federal and state governments. and most obviously on the financial position of the various parties involved.‛ 1. and taxation impacts on contractual relationships. and whether or not there are incentives for cost-efficiency). set up economic incentives for participation. Bidding often takes the form of commitments to the host country. If the fiscal regime is distortive (for example. the dynamics of supply as well as demand. They should always be analyzed based on substantive content rather than formal design or type. maximizing the net present value of rent For a description of petroleum agreements see Johnston 1994. and Tordo 2007. or the state retains a veto on its use (Mommer 2002). Given the uncertainty of petroleum exploration and production.1.5 The state can also use its licensing system to shape industry structure. many states have increased the government take from upstream oil and gas. (iii) through competition as oil companies bid the terms or bid the signature bonuses they are willing to pay up front. Johnston 2007. Exploration rights are usually auctioned or awarded pursuant to solicited or unsolicited offers from interested companies. Approximately 30 percent of the land area and all offshore territory are owned by the federal or state governments. asset selection. risk assignment. with commodity prices rising significantly. it can decide on the frequency and area coverage of any licensing (whether by auction or negotiated deal). This would support efficient behavior and maximize total welfare. and the associated mineral rights. behavioral incentives. In the United States ownership of public lands.

In principle. most industrialized countries levy significant consumption taxes (value added taxes. Domestic economy: Suitable reinvestment opportunities for monetary income from petroleum operations might encourage accelerated production schedules. Institutional framework / national governance: Lacking appropriate checks and balances. at what pace to explore. in practice. decisions of portfolio composition—whether to hold wealth as petroleum in the ground or as some other asset above ground—could be separated from expenditure decisions. 2007). Better knowledge of the size of petroleum reserves provides an input for the design of sustainable macroeconomic policies and for improving intergenerational equity through the choice of current consumption rates (Tordo 2009). the return to waiting may be higher than on any other investment the government might make. whereas 62 percent of the final price was due to taxes (including VAT) and the remaining 10 percent was refining cost and company profit (OPEC 2005). 2007b). which is the basis of depletion policy. fears of hyper-inflation. irrespective of the availability of suitable reinvestment opportunities. or a lack of potential production linkages to the rest of the domestic economy may discourage aggressive depletion policies. 1. which in turn forms the basis for future rents (Tordo. adverse changes in foreign exchange rates (‚Dutch disease‛). however. and on the social discount rate. Politics: Nation states may have entered international commitments on productive capacity and output that limit discretionary decision making. Resource curse: Related to both the domestic economy and the institutional framework is the apparent failure of many states to translate a wealth of natural resources into sustainable economic development (the resource curse). Cost expectations: ‚*I+n cases where costs of extraction are currently high. Public pressure on spending: Increased public income may result in pressures to spend the money. In such cases ‚the ground just might be the safest place for the asset‛ (Humphreys et al. drawing down the inventory) over time (Tordo 2009). Price expectations: Changes in the prices of oil and gas affect the value of underground assets. or VAT) on top of the taxes on crude oil. State budget: Public finances may dictate accelerated production schedules.4 Depletion policy Governments must decide whether or not to explore for petroleum.‛ (Stiglitz. Looking at a consumption-weighted average of the main refined product in the EU in 2003. 2007). then maximization of social welfare will be achieved by the appropriate pattern of production (that is. On the other hand.capture might discourage longer-term investment. and might be lowered over time with the progress of technology. only 28 percent of the final sales price was accounted for by the cost of crude oil. and who should undertake such exploration. dependent on the potential investment return on nonpetroleum assets. and Time value of money: Petroleum in the ground does not earn an automatic interest or income (unless prices or costs change). If the reserve base is assumed to be known. the two issues are linked (Stiglitz 2007). the time value of realized production gains        18 . a lack of suitable re-investment opportunities.1. The pattern of using up existing reserves is measured by the production rate (annual production as percentage of proven reserves). governments or interest groups might be tempted to direct funds from petroleum production to inappropriate or even illegal purposes. In downstream oil. Establishing an appropriate depletion policy involves the following factors:    ‚Good oilfield practice‛: Deviations from good oil-field practice may permanently damage the reservoir.

UBS Investment Research shows the value of disposals at the ‚Global Oil Co‛ companies to be 75 percent higher than the value of acquisitions. such as host governments. and these can be enhanced by economies of scale in R&D investment and broad operating experience. storage. Both countries benefited from infrastructure advantages.might differ considerably. for example. and are inherently risky (Stevens 2005). while still competing at the corporate level. such a strategy may not deliver the best possible diversification of geological risks. At the country level. Depletion management can refer to individual petroleum reservoirs. However. Before the wave of nationalizations in the 1970s. Stevens 2005). the benefits of economies of scale in most activities of the value chain are widely acknowledged. or satisfy the desire for global upstream scale. natural resource limits and issues of appropriate depletion strategy (discussed below in more detail) can prevent companies from building a broader domestic E&P footprint in the upstream petroleum sector. scale helps to provide access to better funding. Bindemann 1999. There are wide differences in production rates between individual countries (Eller. Victor 2007. A focus on certain core areas with shared infrastructure. oil and gas companies usually partner with each other in E&P projects. the higher the potential gains. At the same time. and (ii) operational vertical integration occurs when there is a physical exchange of crude and products between subsequent stages of the value chain (Luciani and Salustri 1998. POCs were both financially and operationally integrated.3 Value creation through integration The benefits of integration have long been the topic of petroleum value chain analyses. guided using instruments such as the licensing system. The ongoing consolidation trend within the private petroleum sector (increasingly also involving NOCs as acquirers of petroleum assets) is testament to the benefits (or at least the perceived benefits) of economies of scale. Hartley. The earlier the extraction date. What potential do horizontal and vertical integration have for incremental value generation? Regarding horizontal integration. In E&P in particular. 1. including large natural ports along busy trading routes. Vertical integration is another prominent feature of the petroleum industry. In other segments of the value chain. and oil trading—have attracted substantial investment beyond their domestic requirements. It can take two principal forms: (i) financial vertical integration occurs when one holding company owns subsequent stages of the value chain and controls their cash flows. Key motivations for integration were to secure sources of supply. to diversify investment and development risk. have long lead times. or developed bottom-up through the (largely unregulated) choices of individual project operators (Tordo. large-scale divestitures are also very common over the period 2002-07. or to the aggregate national level. some countries—such as Singapore and the Netherlands in refining. however. 19 . although the details of integration have changed over time. and Medlock 2007. and to serve as long-term insurance to partners. 2009). Petroleum projects are highly capital intensive. which is another driver of sector consolidation. is one plausible and frequently chosen approach. ceteris paribus. secure off-take markets. It can be directly imposed by the government. Wolf 2009). Due to the high financial and operational risks involved. This shows that scale in itself is not always beneficial and that careful selection of assets is required to offset diseconomies of scale (such as management distraction). to connected areas of production. Technical expertise and project control are considered key in building a competitive advantage within the industry.

Kuwait’s strategy of overseas refinery acquisitions can (partially) be seen in this light (Marcel 2006. petroleum markets have worked perfectly well over the past years and decades. and practice price discrimination (Bindemann 1999). financial vertical integration is a prerequisite for operational vertical integration. Following the nationalization of Middle East oil properties and the two oil price shocks. it is possible to move downstream industrial users to the source of gas. but ‚low-probability high-impact‛ events could compromise market efficiency. additional benefits include economic diversification and domestic skills development. when owners or producers of very heavy or very sour crudes cannot be assured of sufficient refinery demand on the open market.create entry barriers. The economic literature suggests that vertical integration makes more sense in the case of asset specificity than in the case of commodity markets (Williamson 1985). and reliable. A second example is the presence of abundant and cheap resources that cannot be easily transported. In Qatar’s case. In this case.4 Local content policies and value creation Local content policies affect both POCs and NOCs. which had became more transparent. and. POCs retained integration by ownership but increasingly used intermediate markets. financial and operational integration are often assumed to be inherently advantageous. although not necessarily to the same extent. or (iii) respond to changing domestic and international demand. (ii) capture a larger share of value-adding processes through taxes or direct participation in industrial activities. and increasing local ownership and control) to creating forward linkages (that is. because the savings on feedstock costs more than compensate for higher transport costs (and potentially higher production costs) of the final product. for example. such as storage. particularly supermarkets. almost all POCs established dedicated oil trading divisions (Cibin and Grant 1996). They were first introduced in the North Sea in the early 1970s and ranged from restrictions on imports to the creation of NOCs. the creation of local employment opportunities. like in the case of Qatar’s natural gas. Integration also facilitated logistical operations. eliminate the profit margins of intermediaries. Governments might pursue deliberate industrial policies that guide or encourage diversification along the value chain to: (i) diversify price or demand risks to the economy. Today. 1. Shell was the first company to free its refineries from the requirement of purchasing oil from within the group. supplying input to the local economy through transfer of technology. But benefits at the corporate level have proven difficult to pin down in empirical studies (Bindemann 1999). This industrial relocation supports larger production volumes than would otherwise be possible and thus contributes to horizontal concentration at the country level. significantly reduced transaction and information costs (since markets were non-existent or highly inefficient at the time) (Stevens 2005). and allowed a new set of entrants (such as retailers. reduced barriers to entry. Furthermore. Internal transactions were increasingly conducted at arm’s length. the establishment of Despite the recent liquidity crisis in the financial markets. circumvent taxes. liquid. Stevens 2008). 7 20 . and dedicated refiners) into the industry (Davies 1999). The increased sophistication and liquidity of oil markets enabled further disintegration. The aim of local content policies has evolved from creating backward linkages (that is. giving individual divisions more autonomy. but the reverse is not true—intermediate markets can substitute for operational vertical integration. before the oil price shocks. processing the sector’s output prior to export through. then there is an incentive for vertical integration of E&P and R&M.7 Given the prominence and longevity of the major integrated POCs. For example.

(iv) bidding parameters that include local content among the criteria for winning oil and gas exploration and production licenses and contracts. extraction. in some cases. petrochemical industry. and. transportation and distribution of hydrocarbons. this cannot be generalized. even corruption. reliable. while useful. (vi) investment in infrastructure and education. and the development of industries which make direct use of the oil and gas sector’s output 8 21 . Studies of many resource abundant countries show that the staple trap theory. (viii) local ownership requirements. However.refineries. and the country falls into a staple trap (Polterovich and Popov 2005). For example. (v) incentives to foreign investors to reinvest their profits domestically.8 Governments use various instruments to implement their local content policies. Furthermore. While a comprehensive legal and fiscal framework may be required to execute the government’s local content policies. it is essential that this framework be transparent. including: (i) simple contractual requirements that favor the use of local goods and services or impose training obligations. and other protectionist measures (iii) regulation or contractual obligations that foster the transfer of technology from international to domestic companies. refining. production concentrates in the resource sector that has little contact with the rest of the economy. It has been argued that local content policies create distortions. such as when inputs are supplied from abroad. Lundahl 2001. and the production of fertilizers). If this is the case. These linkages are defined by the technologies of resource extraction. an economy gradually becomes diversified. Economic histories of a number of developed and developing countries show that linkages between the primary resource sector and other sectors influenced economic growth. where a number of economic sectors from the former Soviet period have been destroyed. the diversification does not take place if the linkages are weak. has limited explanatory power since it does not take into account the role of macroeconomic and political economy variables (Findlay. (ii) the type of enterprise. and (iii) the country’s By oil and gas sector value chain we mean the exploration. processing. In transition economies. Auty (1989) identifies three critical determinants of performance: (i) the sectoral mix of projects. the use of local content policies to encourage economic diversification and the development of strong backward linkages may be appropriate. and (ix) direct government intervention through state owned enterprises (SOEs). the United Kingdom’s speedy development of its North Sea resources attracted American service companies and expertise (Hallwood 1990). Thus. More recently. inefficiency. (ii) regulation and taxation that discriminate in favor of local industries. and predictable. which is determined by the government’s depletion policy. the development of the resource sector stimulates the rise of industries that supply its inputs and that process the staple products prior to export. (vii) the mandatory incorporation of foreign companies. the ability of the rest of the economy to develop a service sector often depends upon the speed at which the oil or gas resources are developed. Norway decided to develop its hydrocarbons more slowly than the United Kingdom. thus going beyond the oil and gas sector value chain. Inefficiency introduced by local content policies is strongly influenced by the degree of ‚technological strangeness. In his study of resourcebased industry in eight oil exporting countries. By contrast.‛ An economy that is very limited or primitive can hardly be expected to quickly be able to supply services (let alone to build forward linkages). In some cases. with the explicit objective of allowing a Norwegian service sector to develop. Gylfason 2001). local content has come to include wider economic diversification. crowding out by the oil sector may hinder economic recovery. However. Abidin 2001. Local content policies are in essence a tradeoff between short-term efficiency and longterm economic development. In this case.

a risk-reducing resource-based industry should be small enough that is does not dominate the domestic economy. Finally. 9 22 . we can identify general principles that can be applied broadly: The countries analyzed in Auty’s paper are Bahrain.macroeconomic policies. Saudi Arabia. Market-based inputs cannot replace public inputs in all cases. and many countries have difficulties exceeding a multiplier of 1. An inadequate supply of these public inputs affects the productivity of market-based activities. Developing local content in the petroleum sector should be based on existing capabilities within manufacturing. macroeconomic policies that sustain domestic GDP growth and/or a competitive exchange rate are required for these local content policies to succeed (Auty 1989). and developing local suppliers and enterprises. Indonesia. such preferences should be temporary. setting norms. the idea that governments can limit their intervention to the provision of an enabling environment for market-based activities to develop is a simplistic one. In other words. The author further found that joint ventures between the government and well-established multinational resource corporations spread investment risk and improve implementation by providing access to technical. Kashani 2005).47 compared to 2 in northeastern Scotland. In their economic analyses. it has been estimated that the oil sector multiplier for construction and services in Kazakhstan is 0. many countries have a weak and narrow industrial base. such as establishing company registries. and providing infrastructure. The procurement of goods and services can act as a multiplier for local economic development by contributing to employment. not all linkages are good for the national economy. and Venezuela. however. Determining the right level of government intervention is complicated: different activities require different kind of intervention. and marketing skills. a risk-reducing strategy should aim to link the resource to the market. At the same time. the greater the backward linkages. the majority of oil companies used a factor of 2. ‚industrial policy is hard. To ensure sustainable industrial growth. since it ignores the role and complexity of public inputs and capabilities. Nigeria. and large enough to capture the flexibility of several diversified projects of optimum size. Trinidad and Tobago. successful strategies identify which existing products and services the country can produce profitably. The Central Bureau of Statistics Norway calculates an average multiplier of 3 for Norway in 2003. managerial. as discussed earlier in this section. joint-venture projects feed dynamic markets. Appendix 2 contains a brief illustration of local content policies in a selected group of petroleum producing countries. As stated in Hausmann and Rodrik (2006). For example. Hence. fabrication. and services. However.9 Auty argues that the risk of underperforming is minimized when optimum– sized. This would also require the careful pacing of infrastructure investments and projects to avoid crowding. Some countries have done research to assess the multiplier effect of investment in the petroleum sector. Local content often involves multiplier effects and it might be argued that the higher the multiplier. and there are no clear price signals to guide government choices.5. enforcing contracts and laws. But multipliers are difficult and complex to track. Nonetheless. Cameroon.52 (Auty 2005. Malaysia. strengthening skills. but there is no argument against its use‛. However. There are functions that markets cannot perform. But the size of the multiplier varies from country to country. local content policies commonly contain some measures that allow for the preferential treatment of domestic companies. Although country-specific factors influence the optimal design of local content policies. For this reason. while for the Tengiz project in Kazakhstan it is 1. Full capacity utilization and access to market is required for these large investments to be economically feasible. especially if the economy does not have an up-to-date input-output table (Stevens 2008).

Together. and reports should be publicly available. business know-how. The performance of local – private or stateowned – and foreign companies should be periodically compared to establish benchmarks and targets and identify opportunities for transferring best practice. refining and marketing of oil. What constitutes local content needs to be clearly defined. Once the local supply and contractor industry is in place. Account for technological strangeness. as well as the creation and support of cluster developments with other industries that have natural synergy with the petroleum sector. strategy. as well as related activities such as oilfield services and equipment and petrochemicals. these processes transform underlying petroleum resources into useable end-products valued by industrial and private customers. The use of foreign capacity and investment. To maximize opportunities for development of local capacity and their sustainable utilization. capital market development. technology. and within or across national boundaries. and such linkages might occur within or across individual firms. and wealth distribution to create the conditions for domestic companies to emerge. Create and enhance local capabilities that can be transferred to other sectors. processing and marketing of gas. However.e. policy could foster joint ventures between foreign and domestic companies. the government should carefully assess existing local capacity and manage the pace and scheduling of petroleum sector’s activities accordingly. and usually generate most of the value. laws. Set transparent and measurable targets. Particularly in less developed economies where market opportunities are often beyond the capability and reach of local suppliers and contractors. Targets should be objectively measurable and reasonable (i. 23 . but they should be carefully paced and should target activities that have the highest potential to add value. and contracts with planned local content objectives. and targets should be established for each component of the desired local content policy. transportation and storage. This includes the development of skills that are common to all sectors. can accelerate the development of local content. Finally.  Create an enabling environment. the preferential treatment of domestic companies – private or state-owned – should be temporary so that domestic companies have incentives to be competitive and to develop sustainable industrial growth. Policy makers need to take into consideration the ability of the rest of the economy to develop service capacity through backward linkages and the speed at which such capacity can be created.5 Conclusion The petroleum value chain encompasses exploration and production of oil and gas. especially in less-developed economies. Gradually maximize local value-added. The creation of forward linkages is more complex. Report on the local content performance of operators. regulations. requiring scale and technology that are not always within the reach of a country. the government should focus on improving local skills. Exploration and production activities carry the highest level of risk. It is important for the government to align its agencies. a mix of incentives and mandatory requirements could be useful. wealth capture. reduce risk. and facilitate capacity transfers. Local ownership requirements are valuable. within the reach and capability of the country) to avoid creating unrealistic expectations and companies – POCs and NOCs – should be held accountable for missing targets.     1. Along the value chain activities are inherently inter-linked.

vertical integration along the value chain at country level has been pursued with mixed success by some countries. Among the policy choices that determine the institutional environment industry participation. But experiences from around the world provide useful insights into the drivers of value creation and the conditions for success of different institutional arrangements and operating strategies. and (iii) the sector’s organization and institutional properties. managerial and marketing skills are necessary for large vertically integrated projects to be economically feasible. 24 . country and temporal conditions).e. taxation. access to market. resource depletion. While the benefits from economies of scale from horizontal integration in most activities of the value chain are widely acknowledged.Broadly. licensing and petroleum contracts. Our brief overview of the value chain show that the interactions between the sources of value creation are complex and dependent on the specific context (i. (ii) the companies participating in the sector. including their operational and strategic set-up. and the share of value that can be created by the NOC. Both POCs and NOCs have often used integration along the value chain to generate incremental value. and local content can be expected to have a material impact on overall levels of value creation. which might explain why few NOCs have successfully pursued this strategy. Research carried out to date shows that full capacity utilization. ‚blueprint‛ solutions to successful value creation thus would be difficult to suggest. and adequate technical. three potential sources of social value creation from petroleum operations can be identified: (i) exogenous context and conditions. priorities and capabilities.

‚Introduction. and D. D. Boston: Unwin Hyman. 2001. ———. 2001. 2008. ‚Natural Resources and Economic Development: the 1870-1914 Experience. Oxford University Press. Escaping the Resource Curse. Oxford: British Institute of Energy Economics Conference.‛ The James A.‛ In Escaping the Resource Curse. 2005... ‚Restructuring Among the World's Leading Oil Companies. New York: Columbia University Press: 3–22. ed. S. M.M. P. ———. 1989. Z. and J. Sachs. 1996. Bacon. ———. New York: Columbia University Press. B. Hartley. ‚Empirical Evidence on the Operational Efficiency of National Oil Company. R. R. Baker III Institute For Public Policy. eds. ‚Doomed to Choose: Industrial Policy as Predicament. Auty.. 95-112. 1994. and M. M. BP. 1999. 2007a. 2006. M. R. ‚Crude Oil Price Differentials and Differences in Oil Qualities. and K. Stiglitz. I. Center for International Development at Harvard University.References Abidin. D. Rodrik. DC. D. 25 . Rice University. International Petroleum Fiscal Systems and Production Sharing Contracts. London: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). 2007b. M. Cibin. The Changing World Petroleum Industry—Bigger Fish in a Larger Pond. Statistical Review of World Energy 2008. Tulsa: PennWell Books. ‚Vertical Integration in the Oil Industry: A Review of the Literature. Transactions Costs and Trade Between Multinational Corporations: A Study of Offshore Oil Production. S. London: BP plc. Sachs. ‚The Internal Determinants of Eight Oil-Exporting Countries Resource-Based Industry Performance. Findlay. Stiglitz. Humphreys. R. : Auty. Maximizing the Positive Socio-Economic Impact of Mineral Extraction on Local/Regional Development in Transition Economies. London: Routledge.‛ In Resource Abundance and Economic Development.M. R. and R. Sustaining Development in Mineral Economies: The Resource Curse Thesis.‛ Journal of Energy Literature 5 (1): 3–26. Houston. Hallwood. 147-164. Auty. Johnston. 2007. J. 1999.. E. C..‛ In Resource Abundance and Economic Development. P. Medlock. and Tordo. 1993. Eller. ‚Competitive Industrialization with Natural Resource Abundance: Malaysia. and J. E. Bindemann. Hausmann R. Oxford University Press. Humphreys. R.‛ British Journal of Management 7 (4): 283–307. 1980– 92. Washington. P. J. Grant. Lundahl. ‛ CID Working Paper. K.‛ Journal of Development Studies 25 (3) (April): 354–72. 1990. A Statistical Analysis‛ ESMAP Technical Paper 081. Davies. 2005. M.

London: UBS Investment Research. D. ‚Fiscal Systems for Hydrocarbons: Design Issues. DC. Sachs. Global Oil and the Nation State. O. 2005. 2005. Salustri. ‚Verical Integration as a Strategy for Oil Security. ‚On Measuring the Performance of National Oil Companies. E. Licensing. Humphreys. M. P. Stevens. Marcel. Program on Energy and Sustainable Development.‛ Energy Policy 33.‛ Working Paper 78. Luciani.dundee. ‚The Current Status Of International Petroleum Investment: Regulating. Washington. globalization. 1995.‛ Working Paper 64. E. J. Annual Statistical Bulletin 2004. H. and M. Stevens. The Economic Institutions of Capitalism. Tauris. and M. E. 2008. and J.‛ World Bank Working Paper No.‛ New Economic School. 2007. Stiglitz. Washington. Stiglitz. ‚How to Evaluate the Fiscal Terms of Oil Contracts. ———.‛ In Strategic Positioning in the Oil Industry. ‚Regulation and Efficiency: An Empirical Analysis of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf Petroleum Industry. Global Integrated Oil and Gas Analyser.ac. 2007. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). M. ‚What Is the Role of the State?‛ In Escaping the Resource Curse.‛ In Escaping the Resource Curse. 1985. ed. 23–44. Humphreys. New York: The Free Press. 123. C. New York. 1985. ‚Exploration and Production Rights. Kashani. Victor. 2005.‛ Working paper 0811. World Bank. 23–52. Popov. Research Project 2005-2006 Porter. J. 2009. Vienna: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.. E. Allocation Strategies and Design Issues. ‚Privatizing National Oil Companies: Assessing the Impact on Firm Performance. 2006. 1998. Abu Dhabi: Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research/I. ———. J.uk/cepmlp/journal/html/Vol1/article1-5. Taxing and Contracting. T.———. Program on Energy and Sustainable Development. G. Pollit. S. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. ‚Oil Markets. ed. Stiglitz. E. A. 2008. World Bank. Sachs. N. Oil Titans: National Oil Companies in the Middle East. Tordo. Columbia University Press. ed. 2007. and economic development. http://www. Waelde. Williamson. ‚Kuwait Petroleum Corporation: Searching for Strategy in a Fragmented Oil Sector. 2005. V. 2007. Oxford: Oxford University Press.‛ World Bank Working Paper No. New York: Columbia University Press.‛ Oxford Review of Economic Policy 21 (1): 19–42. and J. UBS. DC. 26 . Stanford University. and V. Washington: Brookings Institution Press.B. Mommer. 2002. B. University of Cambridge. M.html. ‚Resource abundance. 53–88. M. Stanford University. P.‛ CEPMLP Internet Journal 1(5). Polterovich V. D. Wolf. W. New York: The Free Press. 2008. 179.

2. This chapter discusses the key arguments—based on both a priori reasoning and empirical experience—in favor of and against the creation of NOCs. regulation. Something always seems to be missing between government policy.10 The use of naturally occurring oil had been widespread in China and Central Asia for centuries. when internal combustion engines and the nascent automotive industry contributed to a prolonged boom in oil demand that more than compensated for the loss of the traditional kerosene lighting market after the invention of the light bulb. founded by John D. Mommer 2002. (…) As a result. Furthermore.. Linde 1991. Any historical account of the industry is bound to focus on oil rather than natural gas. Rockefeller in 1870 as a refining company in Cleveland. 10 27 .1 Industry participation Initially the oil industry was largely shaped by privately-owned oil companies (POCs) and charismatic entrepreneurs. albeit a very successful one. we stagger from one confrontation to the next between policy makers. By 1880 it had a The history of the petroleum industry is well documented in a number of publications (e. the first successful modern oil well was drilled in Titusville. In the United States. Linde 2000. Whereas crude oil has been a globally traded commodity from the early days of the industry.” Edmund Daukoru) Decisions regarding the creation and management of NOCs can be examined within the general context of government intervention in the economy. from which this overview is collected. gas has been somewhat of a late starter. and behavior. actors and customers. The establishment of a NOC: advantages and issues ‚We never seem to get it right. dominated the industry for several decades. 2.1 A brief history of NOCs The importance of the petroleum industry was widely recognized from the early 20th century.1. In 1859. Marcel 2006b). Pennsylvania. implementation and public expectation (or public perception of what constitutes the common good). with the exception of the North American market and the small volumes traded within Europe. but up to the mid-19th century oil was by and large only collected when it occurred naturally at the surface. and how it may affect their objectives. Giddens 1938. The extent of government intervention tends to change over time in response to exogenous (such as geopolitics and the economy) and endogenous (such as state objectives) factors. 2. the Standard Oil Company. regulators. Yergin 1991. Mabro 2005. natural gas prices remain linked to oil prices. Anderson 1987.g. Its aim is to elaborate on the special nature of NOCs.

and drilling business and in 1879 formed the Standard Oil Trust with 30 affiliated companies.domestic market share in refining of 95 percent. By 1907. and where important petroleum discoveries were made during the 1920s.2 million to obtain a 51 percent ownership stake in Anglo-Persian Oil Company (later to become British Petroleum . refining and transport infrastructure. Security of supply was a key motivation for this decision at the eve of World War I. shipping. rapidly expanding into countries such as Venezuela (1910).2 The emergence of NOCs The first NOC is believed to have been created in Austria-Hungary in 1908 when private oil producers faced an excess supply of crude. and Amoco. Both Shell and Royal Dutch started business in the 1890s in Indonesia. Russia and the Caspian (particularly the area around Baku. particularly the colonial powers. The discovery of oil in Texas in 1901 led to the founding of oil companies such as the Texas Oil Company (later renamed Texaco) and the Gulf Oil Company. In 1911 it was dissolved into 36 independent companies. Emperor Franz Joseph approved the building of a topping plant owned and operated by the government. As Winston Churchill—at the time the First Lord of the Admiralty—argued: ‚If we cannot get oil. Its economic and political power grew to such an extent that. By that time. Outside the United States. As oil became an increasingly important strategic commodity. usually within their respective colonial domains. triggering a wave of investments in production. 2. we cannot get corn. started to set up or participate in oil companies to control the domestic markets and pursue upstream operations abroad.BP). governments took an interest in the oil industry. To achieve security and diversity of oil supply the state could enter into long-term supply contracts as a temporary measure. Elsewhere. At around the same time. Standard Oil had also come to dominate the pipeline. particularly in Mexico and Venezuela. we cannot get cotton and we cannot get a thousand and one commodities necessary for the preservation of the economic energies of Great Britain‛ (cited in Yergin 1991:160). Its key asset was Deutsche Bank’s 24 percent share in the Turkish Petroleum Company (later renamed the Iraq Petroleum Company). oil properties were auctioned in 1872. the Trust was found to monopolize and restrain trade. as the latest generation of high-performance naval vessels and warships were oil-powered. In 1914 the government of the United Kingdom invested £2. after several years of trials and investigations. Trinidad and Mexico (1913). The creation of Agip in Italy in 1926 was the first instance of a consuming country aiming to counter-balance the influence of outside petroleum firms (including fully private and state-backed companies) in its domestic downstream market. Mobil. ARCO. Azerbaijan) were important production areas for oil. The Compagnie Française des Pétroles (CFP) was created in 1924 as a private sector company with substantial shareholding and support by the French government. By 1900. Famous names associated with the Russian and Caspian oil industry include the Nobel and Rothschild families. This was a ‚passive‛ stake without management control and only two appointees on the board of directors.1. awarded to France as compensation for German war damages in World War I. Other European states. which helped process the crude and further developed end markets for oil products (Heller 1980). railroads had been built to transport oil to the West. Although oil exploration and production was initially a state monopoly. the two companies had merged. private European companies took advantage of the protection of their home countries to produce oil in the colonies. Egypt (1911). but ultimately ‚the Admiralty should become the independent owner and producer of its own supplies of liquid fuel‛ (ibid). was leading the way in the establishment of NOCs in 28 . which opened the first filling station in the world in Pittsburgh in 1913. and Russia briefly surpassed the United States as the world’s largest producer. Latin America. Chevron. including the predecessor firms of Exxon. which had been largely independent since the eviction of the Spanish colonial force in 1821.

Heller 1980. State ownership in CFP (1924) was 49 percent. As a result of rapid economic growth following the end of World War II. Mexico’s state petroleum firm Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) was set up in 1938 to take over the operations of foreign private firms in the country.1 excludes communist and former communist countries.1 – Founding dates of selected NOCs Year 1914 1922 1924 1926 1938 1951 1953 1956 1960 1962 1965 1967 1970 1971 1971 1972 1974 1974 1975 1975 1975 1975 1976 2002 2006 Country United Kingdom Argentina France Italy Mexico Iran Brazil India Kuwait Saudi Arabia Algeria Iraq Libya Indonesia Nigeria Norway Qatar Malaysia Venezuela Vietnam Canada United Kingdom Angola Equatorial Guinea Chad Company BP YPF CFP Agip Pemex NIOC Petrobras ONGC KNPC Petromin Sonatrach INOC LNOC Pertamina NNOC Statoil QGPC Petronas PdVSA Petrovietnam Petro-Canada BNOC Sonangol GEPetrol SHT Source: Bentham and Smith 1987. 1983 (Sinopec). Notes: Table 2. Uruguay (1931). Table 2. KPC’s principal upstream subsidiary. most prominently Russia. and Bolivia (1936). where current NOCs were spun off from executive government in 1982 (CNOOC). This was the first large-scale expropriation/nationalization within the petroleum sector. The first to be founded was Argentina’s Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) in 1922. and others countries soon followed suit. where the petroleum industry was nationalized in 1917/18. where five U. Peru (1934). and in Kuwait and Saudi-Arabia in 1938. During the 1930s a number of significant oil discoveries were made in the Middle East—in Bahrain in 1932.2 shows the founding dates of a selected group of NOCs. company information. At that point. and China. BP (1914) was a state participation of 51 percent in an existing company (Anglo-Persian). International oil companies formed private consortia that controlled virtually all petroleum production in the Middle East. CEE 2007. This marked the beginning of a geographic shift in global oil production. Table 2.S.developing nations. companies set up the Aramco Oil Company. the United 29 . Kuwait Oil Company. including in Saudi Arabia. Pertamina’s two predecessor firms (PT Permina and Pertamin) had already been established during the 1950s. the United States became a net importer of crude oil in 1948. and 1988 (CNPC) and restructured in 1998. was founded in 1934 and fully nationalized in 1974. including Chile (1926). KPC was founded in 1980 as successor to KNPC.

and host country sovereignty. specifically those in OPEC countries. In 1968 OPEC issued a ‚Declaratory Statement of Petroleum Policy in Member Countries‛ that summarized key recommendations regarding area relinquishment. However. degree of oil revenue dependence. Ecuador (1973. left in 1992. 11 30 .000 barrels per day (CSFB 2002). Iraq. Saudi Arabia. which had highly productive and profitable reservoirs that had become the key assets for Western POCs. standard concession contracts included a royalty payment to the resource owner—that is. resulting in a ‚gentleman’s agreement‛ to consult with one another on issues of common interest. After the POCs unilaterally cut posted prices twice in 1959 and once again in August 1960.3 OPEC revolution and post-colonial world The world’s major oil exporting countries met in Cairo in 1959. 2. production hit an all-time high of 9. Kuwait. At the time OPEC accounted for almost three-quarters of global proven reserves. but the profit calculation was usually based on posted prices rather than market prices. and drilled country in the world. Indonesia and Libya (1962). Its well productivity and marginal costs were far less favorable than in the Middle East. seven out of every ten barrels of oil added to the world's free reserves were found in the Middle East. the host nation—plus an income tax of 50 percent. the global economic growth of the 1960s and the impending peak of U.S.‛ The second had only been introduced in 1943 in Venezuela and in 1950 in Saudi Arabia as a result of the shifting power balance towards the producers. domestic oil production substantially strengthened the producer states’ bargaining position. The new terms ensured that the host At the beginning of 2000 there were about 500. equity participation. However. explored.1. left in 1995). Iran had briefly nationalized the oil operations of the British Anglo-Persian company. tax reference points. 12 In May 1951.000 producing wells in the United States with an average production of 14 barrels per day. isolated and immobile‛ (Mommer 2002:100). but following the coup against Prime Minister Mosaddeq.States was already the most mature.6 million barrels per day in 1970. Gabon (1975. OPEC initially achieved little tangible results for its member states. The policy encouraged OPEC members to develop their hydrocarbon resources directly. in the Middle East this recommendation was not acted upon until a few years later.S. who were perceived by them as ‚far too profitable. 13 In 1965 three Saudi contracts were the first (outside Venezuela) to be governed by national law and national tax legislation instead of international law and contractual arrangements. and spare production capacities. to offer equity participation of up to 50 percent to host governments or to their NOC in addition to the royalty payment and 50 percent income tax. and a new British-Iranian agreement was signed in 1954. Having become a net importer of oil. in the Middle East average production per well was almost 4. the nationalization was reversed. Indonesia left OPEC in May 2008. By the end of the 1960s competition for new concessions had pushed POCs. One part of the agreement recommended the creation of NOCs to ensure direct state participation within the oil industry. the United Arab Emirates (1967). and Angola (2007). This strengthened the bargaining position of the host countries relative to their POC ‘tenants’. mainly due to the fact that POCs insisted on negotiating separately with host governments. In September 1960 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was established. called ‚fifty-fifty profit sharing.12 At the time. rejoined in 2007). and Venezuela were subsequently joined by Qatar (1961). the major resource-holding countries sought ways to better represent their common interests. such contracts should at least contain the right to future revisions. which differed in their opinions on acceptable contract terms. Nigeria (1971). but if entering into contracts with outside parties. 13 U.11 From 1948 to 1972. The five founding member states of Iran.

and those due to the second oil price shock (1978/80) cost them 3.6 percent of GDP. as their capital expenditure was financed by the POCs as carried interest. In 1976.governments would receive in excess of 75 percent of the profits of POCs plus significant influence on all entrepreneurial decisions made by their tenants. further damaged mutual relations. which later assumed assets previously owned by private operators such as Gulf Oil. By 1974 the international oil operations in the Middle East had been de facto nationalized. and from 11 percent to 21 percent in marketing. The development of the oil industry in OPEC states was part of a wider. however. and the desire for national control over what were previously colonial assets was prevalent in many more countries. Angol. and Asia). after all. By 1974. which triggered the first oil price shock. included member states from very different regions of the world (Latin America. it was not a suitable tool to implement The NOCs usually did not share the exploration risk of the project. which was designed to coordinate the policies and energy strategies of the main industrialized. A liberal licensing system was introduced in many new petroleum provinces outside of OPEC influence (such as the North Sea. and the Gulf of Mexico). the government of the United Kingdom already owned a majority stake in BP. effective in 1973. Texaco. oil-importing nations.S. although the legal arrangements would take time and differ from one country to the other. 15 One example is Saudi Aramco. and mandatory levels of petroleum stocks were introduced. and Petrofina.14 Even these concessions were not satisfactory to the oil-producing states. and the centrally planned economies. The first rules issued by the IEA concerned emergency situations. Furthermore.7 percent of GDP (Mommer 2002). parent companies of Aramco were only completed in 1980.4 The reaction of consumer states In the oil consuming countries of the Western world. to be repaid from the project revenues. Payments to the original U. a second important development was the creation of a new type of NOC in petroleum-producing Western states such as the United Kingdom and Canada. incentives to use alternative energy sources. 16 For example. 16 Overall. OPEC. One of the key steps to mitigate OPEC’s grip on the market was the founding of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 1974. At the time. should the project prove to be successful. 14 31 . The Fourth Arab-Israeli (Yom Kippur) War in October 1973 and the selective oil embargo of key Arab nations against Western nations. Angola’s Sonangol in 1976 emerged from a nationalized Portuguese oil company. Heller (1980) reports that outside the United States. These were intended to ensure control over domestic hydrocarbon development in reaction to the loss of operating control overseas. the emergence of state-controlled companies had a significant impact on the ownership structure of the oil and gas industry. this had been increased to 60 percent. Because BP had an international asset and shareholder base and was largely run like a private-sector company. Africa. According to estimates. global trend towards national emancipation in a post-colonial world. from 14 percent to 24 percent in refining. Alaska. and an increase in domestic supplies. the IEA proposed a long-term program that included a reduction in the demand growth for oil. the rise in prices had led to a significant slowdown in demand growth for oil. from 1963 to 1975 public sector control in the oil industry rose from 9 percent to 62 percent in production. growth of the world economy slowed. Canada. where in December 1972 long negotiations were completed for the state to take a 25 percent equity stake. In addition to coordinated actions such as the IEA. Middle East.1. 2. and during the first half of the 1970s a wave of forced equity participations and outright nationalizations occurred. and in 1976 arrangements for complete state ownership of Aramco were reached. the price increases due to the first oil price shock (1973/74) cost OECD members 2. 15 The Iranian revolution in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 caused the second oil price shock.

the United States was the only significant producer among the net importing countries without a NOC (Linde 2000). Total. Net oil-exporting states took longer to be convinced of the benefits of liberalization and privatization. Many SOEs performed poorly and research in economic theory began to examine more closely the possibility of government failure. even though the 1986 oil price drop added to budgetary pressures. Argentina is often cited as the first major privatization in an oil-exporting New fields of economic analysis such as the theory of politics (examining the behavior of politicians). a change that would persist up until the turn of the millennium. In the oil and gas sector. which had led to the rise of government in the first place. Yergin and Stanislaw 2002. 2. there was an increasingly critical stance towards governments since the late 1970s (at least in the Western world). In that year. governments had to acknowledge their failure as efficient producers and their weakness in monitoring the performance of their SOEs (Shleifer 1998. and principal-agent theory (examining the interaction between politicians and bureaucrats) identified government failure as a problem that was not less severe than the apparent market failure. In fact. theories of public choice (examining the behavior of bureaucrats). Non-OPEC producers with less favorable resource endowments and production costs were most vulnerable to the changes in the macroeconomic environment and faced pressure from international creditors—including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund—to implement stabilization programs. However. OPEC had introduced its quota system in 1982 and successfully managed to keep prices stable through 1985. the industrialized and net importing countries took the first steps towards liberalization and privatization. many of the consuming countries’ NOCs founded in the 1970s proved to be short-lived as the security of supply increasingly became an international concern (Linde 2000). Stevens 2004). such as Repsol. due to fears that a 51 percent mandatory participation of the state could significantly weaken the incentives for private sector participation and the anticipation of a large financial burden on the state from meeting half of all North Sea development costs. After all. 17 32 . which was originally intended to take a 51 percent stake in all North Sea oil developments. Like BNOC. By the end of the 1970s. the Thatcher government stripped BNOC of many of its special powers only four years after its establishment.national petroleum policy. But low oil prices in the second half of the 1980s triggered pressures for institutional reform in several countries with dominant NOCs. OMV.5 A new agenda: liberalization and privatization In the wider economic and social debate. but these transactions can be seen as a continuation of policies first implemented in the late 1970s. Therefore. In 1977 the UK government went further and reduced state ownership in BP from 68 to 51 percent. and Elf Aquitaine were not privatized until the late 1980s and early 1990s. and in Latin America and Africa the end of foreign domination was historically associated with state control over vital resources through the establishment of NOCs (Waelde 1995). in refining and marketing most OECD countries already had a policy of liberal market access. In a bid to reduce price volatility. the scope of rights and objectives of BNOC were reduced (Vickers and Yarrow 1988). oil producing assets in the Middle East had only recently been nationalized. the introduction of the so-called ‚netback pricing‛ by Saudi Arabia caused a sharp drop in oil prices and marked the shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. In 1979. which the major POCs used to build extensive downstream portfolios. however. Eni. and in 1982 its oil producing assets were spun off and privatized. Many of the larger and older NOCs in the consuming countries. in 1975 the Labour government set up the British National Oil Company (BNOC). 17 As a result.1. Shleifer and Vishny 1998.

but this one had been managed with little disruption to the oil supply and the wider economy. Bolivia. SOCAR in Azerbaijan and Kazakh Oil in Kazakhstan). The liberal agenda of lightly regulated hydrocarbon access advocated by POCs had prevailed over the restrictive policies of the producer NOCs. The NOCs that were set up in the newly created states usually did not have a dominant or monopolist position. 18 33 .country. OPEC initiated a period of output restrictions. In December 1997. many resource-rich areas that had been closed off to Western POCs. expected all NOCs to be privatized by 2040. In 1993. Prices recovered in April 1999. A major military conflict in the Gulf had always been considered a worst-case scenario. were now available for investment. POCs began to test new investments for positive net present values at assumed oil prices of $10-12 per barrel. particularly in the Caspian. up from $12.6 The end of history? After the collapse of the USSR and other centrally-planned economies. and oil prices subsequently crashed in 1998.5 per barrel. The transformation of YPF into a commercial entity was generally considered a great success and inspired other Latin American countries to liberalize (Venezuela. 2. the oil sector was liberalized. In 1989. at the time Chief Economist of Royal Dutch/Shell. and many countries did not comply with them. the market saw strong growth in non-OPEC production. Throughout the 1990s. Apparently the IEA strategic oil stocks and the free market and price mechanisms had worked as intended. Ecuador) or even privatize (Brazil) their respective oil sectors and NOCs. with crude oil trading as low as $10 per barrel. ‚The liberalization of the oil industry in the former Soviet Union has changed the competitive position of all oil-producing countries‛ (Linde 2000:8). which benefited from the support of two major non-OPEC producers (Norway and Mexico) and thus proved to be much more successful than earlier attempts to stabilize price. The notion that capitalism had not only won over communism. including Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF). Francis Fukuyama’s book ‚The End of History and the Last Man‛ (1992) is one of the most prominent illustrations of this view. but by that time most NOCs had already reduced their new investment dramatically or were refused additional funds from their respective governments. but also over state-interventionism in a wider sense was prevalent at the time and swept through many industries. In 1999/2000. the government declared 32 state-owned companies eligible for privatization. 60 percent of YPF was privatized in two separate transactions (Grosse and Yanes 1998). the annual average Brent crude price was $28.1. In 2000. shelving many projects and setting the scene for a coming shortage of supply a few years later. including oil. OPEC increased its members’ quotas: a number of members wanted to boost their short-term revenues. As Linde stated. particularly from the former Soviet Union. 18 Klein (1999). opening up the industry to private participation. but rather took a junior role in POC-led joint ventures (for example. The first Gulf War in 1990/91 finally convinced many governments that security of supply was no longer an urgent issue on the political agenda. The expansion in supply coincided with the Asian financial crisis and Russia’s insolvency. OPEC agreements on output restrictions were usually short-lived. at that time the nation’s largest company. and monopoly right and price controls were abolished.2 per barrel in 1998. but Saudi Arabia (which since 1986 had supported a policy of low and stable oil prices to encourage energy users to return to oil) wanted crude prices to fall below $20 per barrel to discourage further investment in the Caspian and Central Asia. In the same year.

the global recession. This phenomenon might be partly explained by drawn out political decision making. and initial steps towards allowing foreign participation in others (such as the Saudi Gas Initiative or ongoing political debates in Kuwait and Mexico). 19 34 . any argument about NOCs inevitably risks being overly generic or simplified. such as China and India. and Russian Gazprom’s export dealings appear to be shifting from a purely commercial to an increasingly political arena (Victor 2008). and others are considering doing so.2. most of the arguments put forward in this chapter assume NOCs to have a significant or even dominant role in their domestic petroleum sector. Since the turn of the millennium several important countries—including China. On the other hand. Bolivia. and heightened geopolitical concerns—have shifted bargaining power firmly in favor of the exporting states. to control for the variation among NOCs. On the one hand. and in some cases. Several factors—including the significantly reduced availability of debt financing. all of which are critical to the future economic and political role of NOCs. and increased interest from investors due to the perceived scarcity of hydrocarbon resources has raised their political profile. high petroleum prices (particularly between 2003 and 2008)—largely caused by the lack of supply-side investment in the late 1990s. and Japan—have partially privatized their NOCs. The desire to increase the government share of available petroleum rents led to widespread increases in taxation. They can be asset operators or financial holding companies. Many immediate budgetary pressures for sector reform have been relieved in exporting countries. Their business profile along the petroleum sector value chain and their degree of commercial orientation and internationalization can also vary. Furthermore. two somewhat opposing trends can be observed with respect to the status and importance of NOCs. the volatility in oil prices. In many cases of partial privatization. Therefore. petroleum supply additions. Norway. although ‚*p+ublic ownership does not imply state monopoly and private ownership does not entail competition‛ (Vickers and Yarrow 1988:45). 2. Brazil. international trade policy.2 Arguments in favor of NOCs NOCs come in many different forms. and the uncertain economic outlook make it difficult to accurately define the outlook for energy demand. Pakistan. strong Asian demand growth. Overall. 19 Although many key producers ruled out privatization. the economic and political agenda of market liberalization and privatization have continued to influence decision making around the globe. as some of these initiatives were conceived in the pre-2000 era of low oil prices and tight public budgets. As of today. up until 2003 most industry participants did not believe that energy prices would remain high—a typical broker forecast was a mean reversion to around $20 per barrel within three to five years. They can be monopolies or participate in competitive markets. or the creation of NOCs in emerging oil provinces (such as Chad and Uganda). In fact.7 Developments since 2000 Since the turn of the millennium. there were important regulatory reforms in some of these countries (such as Indonesia and Algeria). to the nationalization or quasi-nationalization of petroleum operations (for example. some net consuming states in the developing world. or even the geopolitical landscape. India. the political aspect of energy decision making has been reinforced in both exporting and importing countries. and Russia). Also. have supported their NOCs in pursuing acquisitions of overseas petroleum sources. both concepts are nevertheless frequently intertwined in practice (Beesley and Littlechild 1983). there was no apparent intention to cede management control over time (Wolf and Pollit 2008). in Venezuela. and the ongoing volatility in the equity markets—may limit the ability of some NOCs to invest in new upstream capacities as originally planned. As a result.1.

resource development and depletion policy. which in the early 1970s had a sufficiently developed private sector and was not laden with post-colonial trauma. Petroleum is frequently portrayed as one of the ‚commanding heights‛ in the international context. largely ruled out the option of domestic but privately-owned operators in the oil and gas sector (Linde 2000). These have been divided into six categories. 2.22 2.1 Historical context In many countries the establishment of NOCs largely coincided with a wave of asset nationalizations. 2. Saudi oil minister from 1962-1986.A review of the literature offers numerous reasons as to why governments choose to set up NOCs rather than opting for more liberal governance regimes. Whether or not state control leads to better decision making and value creation is a different question. political. although this partly reflected the Scandinavian tradition of state involvement across industries. 20 35 . (iv) general sector efficiency levels. product prices and subsidies.2 The importance of the petroleum sector In countries where either production or consumption in the oil and gas sector constitutes a significant share of the domestic economy.3 Political gains from state control The political importance of the petroleum sector has been evident throughout its history.2. combined with the inherent weakness of the private sector in most developing countries. In later years the mainstream view of the state in economics changed considerably: public ownership was seen to be less efficient. (ii) the importance of the industry. or military support. state participation in the sector via NOCs provides the government with better control of the petroleum sector along the value chain. 21 The term ‚commanding heights‛ goes back to Lenin and refers to industries that effectively control and support the others. including technical and commercial decision making. If national sovereignty over natural resources was to be restored.2. Stevens 2004). This sense of a national mission. Consequently. and (vi) wider socioeconomic issues and priorities. 22 The original quote that oil is not an ordinary commodity and is too important to be left to the market is often ascribed to Sheikh Ahmed Yamani. Domestically. it seemed logical for the government to create a domestic company to replace the former operators (Olorufemi 1991. petroleum wealth can be used to secure financial. a ‚strategic‛ industry that can be used and abused as an economic or political weapon. The proliferation of NOCs after World War II and through the late 1970s was embedded in a wider political view that the state could and should tackle social and economic issues and supported a strong belief in the benevolence of such state action (Yergin and Stanislaw 2002). it is ‚too important to be left to the market‛ (Robinson 1993:57). and direct state control over the oil and gas sector enhances the government’s standing and bargaining position. 20 To some extent the setting up of NOCs could also be explained by an element of mimicry across countries: creating symbols of independence became quite fashionable in the post-colonial world (Jaidah 1980. and market failures could instead be addressed using regulation (Shleifer and Vishny 1998). 21 Hence. (v) rent capture by the state. the political incentives for direct state control are generally very strong. Internationally. there are inevitably strong incentives for comprehensive state involvement or even direct state control to secure political and financial advantages. private (Norwegian) leadership of the petroleum sector was never an option in the political discourse.2. (iii) political benefits of state control. POCs were perceived to be backed by foreign. Stevens 2004) and act as a national symbol of independence. Hartshorn 1993). imperialistic governments and therefore opposed to national interests (Grayson 1981. namely (i) the historical context of NOC creation. employment Even in Norway.

These were discussed in previous sections. When a government deals directly with private investors in the petroleum sector. This included a restrictive licensing system and a strong NOC (Statoil. In order to effectively perform its industry oversight. 2.2. which in the early years had a majority interest in all production licenses and veto power on development decisions (Dam 1974.decisions. the government would require a comparable level of expertise and information.4 Efficiency and monitoring of operations Proponents say that the presence of a strong NOC benefits overall efficiency levels in the industry and thus improves value creation. and the environmental impact of the project. Al-Kasim 2006. Petronas was established in response to the difficulties faced by Malaysian state officials in obtaining information on new discoveries and developments by POCs. which leads to better sector regulation and less opportunities for rent seeking and rent skimming. Although some had advocated Statoil to be a holding company only for the state’s direct interests in petroleum assets.23 In downstream operations. founded in 1972).24 In other words.5 Petroleum rent maximization The state’s rent capture from petroleum operations is in principle determined by two main variables: the total amount of rent created in the petroleum industry. direct control over the pricing of oil products affects the daily lives of consumers and voters and is therefore a sensitive subject (McPherson 2003). 2. In setting appropriate fiscal systems (the main mechanism for rent extraction). can The policies of OPEC members in the oil and gas sector are prominent examples of the blending of political motivation and economic policy. which is highly unlikely if the state has no direct operational involvement in the industry (Nore 1980. Norway is a much-cited example of how the state can use its NOC to control the pace and means of petroleum development. 23 36 . 24 The belief that the NOC should provide governments an inside view of the industry was instrumental in the creation of Statoil in Norway in 1972. making it difficult to properly inform parliament and to develop suitable national petroleum policies (von der Mehden and Troner 2007). Saudi Arabia has long used its oil trading relationship with the United States to acquire political and diplomatic capital and military assistance (Jaffe and Elass 2007). which led to a deliberate ‚go-slow‛ policy. the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy believed ‚that only through ‘learning the ropes’ as an operator would the national company be able to assist the country in ensuring national control‛ (Al-Kasim 2006). The most commonly cited argument in this context is the role of NOCs in reducing informational asymmetries vis-à-vis private operators. the state must consider the balance between short-term monetary gain and longer-term implications for attracting incremental investment. Furthermore. NOCs provided the state with a ‚window to the oil industry‛ (Grayson 1981). technology and associated costs. appropriate production schedules. if well-designed and implemented. in the case of downstream operations) and are hesitant to allow private companies to obtain significant returns on investment. Wolf and Pollit 2009). and the relative share captured by the state and its agent (NOC). as well as prominent POCs. there are significant information asymmetries between the parties: the private operator usually has much better knowledge of the geology (after initial exploration has been conducted). 25 However. which in turn determines the future tax base.2. some oil importing countries use their NOCs to address (or at least mitigate) concerns about the security of supply and to balance the power of exporting countries and their NOCs. Stevens 2004). 25 Political control and economic efficiency also affect the size of the rent and its capture. governments often want to secure the highest possible share of the economic rent (or value-added. In the early 1970s there was widespread concern among government and civil society over the macroeconomic and cultural consequences of overly rapid oil development. NOCs enabled governments to gain first-hand information on the operational and financial conditions facing all companies and to establish a benchmark against which they could judge the performance of the POCs. and scope of activities. Outside of OPEC. Fiscal and contractual frameworks.

26 In many ways NOCs have thus been ‚tied to the national purpose‛ (Khan 1987).2.800 full scholarships to international universities to Saudi nationals since 1994. In interviews conducted by Marcel (2006b). 2. bridges. McPherson 2003). while others are embedded within the corporate culture of the NOC. still plays an important societal role as a sponsor of technical education and training. the performance and commercial efficiency of these state enterprises has in most cases not lived up to expectations and quite often has been disappointing. Some involve straightforward redistribution of wealth. such as employment generation for locals. Since 1953 it has built more than 130 government schools. But an effective fiscal system requires that a country has the administrative capacity and expertise to regulate and oversee private petroleum operators. sport sponsorship. Others are actually implemented by the NOCs themselves. development of commercial and technical capacity. 27 For some noncommercial objectives. Some are explicitly mandated by the government. The absence of such regulatory competencies can be particularly pronounced in developing nations. Noncommercial objectives vary widely among NOCs. and facilitate state borrowing (Nore 1980. 26 37 . income redistribution through subsidized prices. WB-CEE 2008).3 Practical difficulties and setbacks with NOCs Despite the host of apparently good reasons to set up a NOC.6 Socioeconomic issues and priorities NOCs can be used to serve socioeconomic goals. but instead keeps them in ‚shadow offices‛ ‚away from important business‛ (Marcel 2006b:68). and oil subsidies can be primary redistribution measures. Gayson 1981. Resource curse can affect any resource-holding nation. Consequently the NOC spends more than $1 billion per year on programs to recruit. and many noncommercial activities today are sponsored indirectly via funds transferred to the state treasuries (Marcel 2006b. Sonatrach managers emphasized the corporate citizenship aspect of programs such as healthcare provision. and its College Preparatory Center has awarded over 4. employment in NOCs can be a primary social safety net. or emergency relief aid. Saudi Aramco’s mission statement declares investment in Saudi nationals to be ‚a national obligation and a strategic goal‛ (Jaffe and Elass 2007:68). and water supply). have in recent years begun voluntary expenditure programs very much comparable to corporate social responsibility initiatives of the private sector. some countries have opted to create a dominant NOC to avoid the need for effective regulation or to allow the bureaucracy time to develop sector familiarity and in-house expertise. Aramco does not usually fire poorly performing employees. This issue is related (but not equivalent) to resource curse—that is. train. provision of social (such as schools and hospitals) and other infrastructure (such as roads. 27 Some NOCs. Saudi Aramco. but some would argue that For example. the apparent failure of many states to translate a wealth of natural resources into sustainable economic development. which has a reputation for operational and commercial efficiency. including Algeria’s Sonatrach. In countries where welfare systems are underdeveloped or non-existent. and the existence of noncommercial objectives and obligations is often cited as a defining characteristic of NOCs compared to their privately-owned peers. Therefore. and retain its workforce. whereas others aim to develop economic linkages around the oil and gas sector to advance longer-term capacity building and economic diversification. Horn 1995. 2. the NOCs are simply convenient sources of funding for government-run programs. It is worth noting that recent research seems to indicate that NOCs have increasingly been focusing on their core business.promote sector development and value creation while efficiently capturing some of that value for the state (Tordo 2007).

China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) recently agreed the $7.28 2. many NOCs consider the compensation paid to the POCs in the 1970s nationalization processes to have been excessive.3. and Sachs (2007). in many cases—with the exception of openly nationalist initiatives—the cultural and operational gap between NOCs and POCs seems to have narrowed. Even the large-scale takeover of private firms and assets through NOCs. emphasizing the need for property rights. Chinese state companies PetroChina and Sinopec have joint ventures with Western POCs to build retail networks and petrochemicals plants in China and run upstream operations around the world. In 2005 China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) attempted a $18. ownership structure does not matter from an economic perspective if complete contracts can be written (Williamson 1985.30 2. POCs have traditionally sought title to reserves and production. particularly in the Middle East. have tried to avoid granting equity rights. their psychological connotations clearly differ.2 Economic cost of political control The importance of the petroleum industry is often cited as an argument in favor of direct state intervention. 29 According to Marcel (2006a). which was considered impossible for cultural and political reasons for a long time. 31 In modern democracies the ultimate beneficiaries and owners of SOEs are the citizens. on the other hand. (2007).S.2 billion acquisition of Swiss-Canadian Addax Petroleum.S.29 POCs have also frequently been accused of producing reserves too quickly. Auty (1983). 30 The first asset acquisition by a producing NOC was KPC’s purchase of some of Gulf Oil’s European downstream assets. of using deliberately low future price scenarios that underestimate the profitability of any joint projects. and any political benefits from state control often come at substantial economic costs. the fear of producer dominance in consuming markets was such that the British government ordered the stake to be reduced to 9. which can interfere with the maximization of economic efficiency and the generation of social welfare.1 Historical context and ideology The historical context of NOC establishment (as outlined earlier in this chapter) makes decision making susceptible to ideology. The memories of foreign domination through international consortia and of the sometimes arduous nationalization process continue to influence perceptions and decision making. But as with all SOEs.9 percent (Al-Moneef 1998). NOCs. Wijnbergen (1984). which was effectively blocked through political opposition in the U.nations with heavy direct state involvement and limited access to outside competitors are more prone to the phenomenon. At least in theory. Grossman and Hart 1986). 28 38 . When KPC acquired 22 percent of BP’s shares in 1989. Congress. firm Unocal. Such strongly held opinions on both sides make cooperation and rational decision making more difficult. Middle East NOCs such as Saudi Aramco and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) have acquired equity interests in private overseas refining and marketing assets (such as Showa Shell in Japan). For many resource-holding states this issue has contributed to the popularity of contractual (including PSCs) over concessionary legal systems.3.5 billion takeover of the U. While contractual and concessionary systems could be designed to provide equivalent economic returns to the government. Leite and Weidmann (1999). But this is a political rather than an economic argument. focusing on short-term profits and disregarding the longer-term wealth of the host nation. and of generally being arrogant (Marcel 2006b). which among its assets has a production license in Northern Iraq. has become a regular feature of the industry. Karl (1997). However. who delegate their rights to politicians and bureaucrats (Cohen 2001). the ultimate owners31 of the NOCs face a ‚principal-agent problem‛: between the citizens and their For a detailed analysis of the resource curse see for example. Humphreys et al. Stevens (2003).

NOCs. Depending on the organization of the state. but the relative deviation from this ideal scenario does matter in terms of incentives for efficiency and control. contractual. 33 Critics might rightfully argue that complete management contracts do not exist in either case. However. years of high oil prices provided an opportunity for POCs to restructure and improve efficiency levels. the notion of creating value by ‚cutting out the middle-man‛ (in this case the private sector) may be misleading: NOCs don’t operate for free either. and might thus be responsible for inefficient behavior (Shleifer 1998).edu/research/oil/ (Stanford). also see many NOC case studies by Rice and Stanford Universities). But as the general understanding and appreciation of these contractual issues has improved in recent years (Johnston 1994. develop. tended to manage and maintain the asset base that was handed to them. 2. but rather competing owners and stakeholders with widely different objectives (OECD 2005). In private corporations the shareholders participate and vote on major decisions at the general shareholders’ meeting. Gochenour 1992. 32 39 . It was during this time that many of the NOCs fell behind in technical competency and lost the ability to take on more advanced projects on their own (Stevens 2004). The various institutional objectives may be legitimate. 34 Case studies can be downloaded at http://www. paid above-average wages compared to other government entities and state-owned enterprises (Waelde Applied to corporate governance. and any public sector investment in the petroleum sector has a cost of capital associated with it (which in an efficient market is similar to the private operator’s return) as well as an additional opportunity cost due to the fact that public funds tend to have a higher shadow welfare multiplier (Jones et al. Newbery and Pollit 1997). and produce non-OPEC oil—particularly oil from frontier fields—fell significantly from $25 per barrel in the 1980s to $10 in 1999. then this would alone constitute a strong argument for their existence. from an economic point of view there seems to be no a priori reason to opt for a NOC instead of a competitive market with a well-designed fiscal system. In SOEs there may be several oversight government entities between the ultimate beneficial owners (that is. The price at which POCs could profitably find.government on the one side. 32 This makes the writing of complete management contracts particularly difficult.3 Operational inefficiencies If NOCs had equal or greater operational efficiency than POCs’. 34 After the POCs lost their prime assets in the wave of nationalizations that took place in the 1970s.33 Developing countries in the past have also frequently been unable to establish efficient regulatory. This complex agency chain often creates difficulties for SOEs that are not present in the more straightforward relationship between a private company’s management and its shareholders. enabling huge cost savings and productivity gains. an SOE may not have a clear owner. and fiscal frameworks. on the other hand.rice. but competition for influence often dilutes accountability and weakens the incentives for managers and board members to seek optimal performance (OECD 2005). More generally. Tordo 2007).stanford. and between government and NOC management on the other. They invested a large part of their windfall profits from this benign pricing environment into research and development of new technologies. NOCs are frequently accused of sub-standard operational efficiency due to inadequate technical and managerial capabilities and misguided human resources policies (Jaidah 1980. NOCs were often overstaffed. the term ‚principal-agent problem‛ includes many of the problems associated with adequate management that may stem from the distributed ownership structure.html (Rice) and http://pesd. and most failed to invest in upgrading facilities or new technologies. In terms of human resources. 1990.edu/energy/publications/nocs.3. both in 1999 prices (Linde 2000). Al-Mazeedi 1992. the citizens) and the SOE’s management.

they were often dispensed to the children of politically-connected families. 35 40 .3. 2006. often conflicting objectives imposes costs on NOCs and reduce their incentive to maximize profits. Mati 2008).4 Lack of competition The important role of competition for the performance of a company is well–documented in both theoretical and empirical work (Boardman and Vining 1989. ESMAP 2006. Furthermore. an analysis of Sonangol’s overseas university scholarships determined that although they covered technical degrees that were pertinent to the oil industry (such as engineering). But many have argued that the pursuit of many. NOCs bear the burden of petroleum product subsidies. Similar to fuel subsidies. or to promote local content policies. subsidies may be one of the NOC’s principal noncommercial obligations. At the same time.5 Subsidies and noncommercial objectives In many importing and exporting countries. inefficient. encourages innovation of new products and processes. These NOCs are particularly hard-hit in times of high commodity prices (Coady et al. the NOC may be tasked to implement investment programs that go beyond normal corporate social responsibility programs.3. NOCs typically are not very efficient in delivering on noncommercial For example. Nevertheless.1995). Not-for-profit activities can be delivered efficiently. especially in the downstream market. In net importing countries. In a recent study. or religious considerations rather than based on qualification and performance (Al-Mazeedi 1992). tribal. Beesley and Littlechild 1983. the 2007 energy subsidies of the 20 largest non-OECD countries (net importers and exporters) are estimated at $310 billion. more than what was spent within the country on technical education and higher education combined (Hodges 2003. Even where there were potential competitors. and unions—have an incentive to oppose the introduction of competitive forces. During the final years of the civil war between 1997 and 2001. By comparison.35 As discussed earlier. employees. powerful interest groups within public enterprises—including management. Lack of competition has been found to be the greatest barrier to economic growth in developing countries (Palmade 2005). Especially in countries with low public investment management capacity and weak social safety nets. particularly in the upstream. many governments assumed that NOCs would be able to successfully deliver on both commercial and noncommercial objectives. they do not necessarily decrease efficiency. 2. NOCs were often able to create significant barriers to entry by manipulating the regulatory environment to their advantage (Stevens 2004). and disciplines companies to fight for market share and against the threat of bankruptcy (Hayek 1948. and efficiency should always be measured relative to corporate objectives. social expenditure programs of NOCs have been criticized as ineffective. Nickell 1996). groups with an interest in competitive pressure—such as potential market entrants and the wider consuming public—often have not been as effective in arguing their case (Vickers and Yarrow 1991). This perception was partly based on the size of the NOCs (often the largest local enterprise) and the significant rents. The justification for privileges has often been to offset noncommercial obligations imposed on NOCs. Galal and others 1994. Heller 2009). or as sources for patronage (Hodges 2003. Noncommercial objectives may well affect the commercial performance and profitability of NOCs. But according to most empirical studies. Heller 2009). overseas scholarships accounted for 18 percent of total government expenditure on education. 2. Vickers and Yarrow 1988. often governments granted monopoly rights— or at least a highly protected business environment—to their NOC. Competition allows improved monitoring through a comparison of managerial performance. and were accused of recruiting according to family. Subsidies are often an unsustainable economic burden and exacerbate negative environmental effects (IEA 2008). Pollit 1995).

Some NOCs do not even have a BOD. without strategic guidance.  High level of budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC has the right to reinvest all or part of its profits. 37 For example.3.7 Funding strategy and requirements The level of budgetary and financial autonomy of a NOC can have important consequences for its efficiency and market strategy.36 Like with other SOEs. In general terms. Some countries have chosen to limit disclosure to the outside world.objectives. the associates were ordered to sell their stakes in petroleum projects (Hertzmark 2007). The board of directors (BODs) of NOCs are considered to have less decision making power than their counterparts in other SOEs since their members are frequently government officials or are appointed on political grounds. Investment and borrowing decisions beyond a certain amount must be authorized by the government body that exercises the ownership rights of the state or other authority representing the state. the lack of autonomy tends to negatively impact the timeliness and effectiveness of investment decisions. Where ‚money is spent haphazardly. This may be a consequence of both the NOC managers and the politicians in government not having strong incentives to enforce governance standards. and questionable fees to trading companies partially owned by the President’s family. 36 41 . weak governance arrangements of NOCs can lead not only to inefficiency.6 Weak corporate governance According to some researchers NOC’s corporate governance standards score poorly compared to other SOEs or POCs. Pertamina cancelled or re-tendered more than 150 contracts with associates of former President Suharto. Financing arrangements can be broadly categorized as follows:  Low level of budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC transfers all revenue or margin from operations to the state and must present requests for financing in order to fund its investment programs. Investment and borrowing decisions are authorized by its BOD. one should distinguish between transparency towards its owners (the state. adequate oversight and control exercised by the owners seems to be of primary importance in reducing information asymmetries and the potential for managerial rent-seeking. From a corporate governance perspective. while providing comprehensive internal NOC disclosure to the relevant authorities (Jaffe and Elass 2007). NOC managers may strive to maximize their scope of discretionary decision making. 2. including excessive mark-ups on contracts. sales of natural gas below market price.3. McPherson (2003) reports that the Nigerian NOC. while the government may have political reasons to obscure the exact uses of cash (Stevens 2004). Cochnour 1992. 37 While it is generally agreed that the transparency of NOCs is an important issue. NNPC. and may increase the cost of doing business and political interference in the For example. or more precisely. its citizens) and transparency to outside parties. 38 Some government uses its NOC to collect revenues and then allocates investment capital through its central budget (Randall 1987. Pertamina. and other public sector bodies would be better placed to perform such duties. did not have a board for 10 years due to the government’s desire to exercise more direct political control (see also Nwokeji 2007). McPerson 2003). in 1999 the Price Waterhouse Coopers special audit report of Indonesia’s NOC. or without concern for measuring the success of the expenditure‛ (Marcel 2006b). but also to corruption and cronyism. found numerous irregularities. there will be inefficiencies in the delivery of both commercial and noncommercial objectives. Following the change in regime and the oil and gas sector reform law of 2001.38  Some budgetary and financial autonomy: the NOC has the right to reinvest part of its profits. Karshenas 1990. 2.

At Saudi Aramco. too much autonomy may reduce the fiscal revenue of the state. This arrangement seems to work reasonably well in the Saudi case. let alone investment in new projects. Furthermore. which typically accounted for half of Pertamina's profits (World Bank 2000a). and costs and revenues related to these sales must be transparent and measurable (Statoil 2001). 41 Several factors can restrict the availability of private sector financing to NOCs. transported and marketed by the Statoil. Statoil must ensure the equitable distribution of value between the State and itself. raising the likelihood that decisions are not in the best interest of the public. both Pemex (Mexico) and Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia) have a relatively low level of financing and budgetary autonomy. Pertamina. Corporate tax rates imposed by the state on Pemex have historically been based on government needs. education. 2. it is very common for NOCs to sell the state’s share of production on behalf of the government. The objective of the reform was to make the flow of funds more transparent. Evidence from investment data and available research show that the company focuses on short-term production maintenance to maximize short-term revenue (Moody’s 2003. In many countries. given that NOCs have. For one. the state does not pay any specific consideration to Statoil other than reimbursement of a proportionate share of actually incurred marketing expenses. which historically has been processed. both the market knowledge and existing sales channels. the extent and availability of the resource base will affect the level of possible financing. and transport were less than 20 billion Naira each while the state share in NNPC’s joint ventures with foreign oil companies required a total investment of close to 350 billion Naira (McPherson 2003).39 Similar financing and budget autonomy may produce different results. if oil production is used as loan collateral.41 More generally. 39 42 . Over the past five years.management and operations of the NOC. Pemex has paid out slightly over 60 percent of its total revenues in royalties and taxes and has financed almost 40 percent of Mexico's entire federal budget. in Nigeria in 1999. especially relative to other government programs such as health. although all of them have been subject to For example.40 In some cases. Before the 2001 sector reform in Indonesia. Stojanovski 2008). borrowing from private sources usually requires government approval or the provision of government guarantees. 42 Petroleum sector investment can therefore crowd out social programs to the detriment of national welfare. leaving the NOC with after-tax resources that are inadequate for capital replacement. education. In Norway the state has substantial direct equity interests in Norwegian production. On the other hand. and to improve incentives for efficiency in Pertamina (Hertzmark 2007). and even in countries where a ministry is formally in charge. and transport. receipts from the sale of the state share of PSC production go directly to the Central Bank rather than through Pertamina’s accounts. the oil and gas industry is highly capital intensive and the budgetary demands can be daunting for developing nations. All prices are realized prices. Marcel (2006b) describes the boundaries between the National Iran Oil Company (NIOC) and the ministry as ‚famously blurred‛. the NOC devises and implements sector policy. The NOC retained 5 percent of the sale value as marketing fee. but additional funds for major projects need to be allocated through the national budget via the Ministry of Finance (Jaffe and Elass 2007). Pertamina marketed the government’s share of PSC production volumes.8 Conflict of interests and balance of control Conflict of interest may affect the efficiency and mandate of NOCs. budgetary allocations for health. For example. the NOC often contributes substantially to decision making due to its superior resources and industrial expertise.3. as there is little evidence of long-term investment being suppressed. The NOC has frequently been the writer and enforcer of the rules and game participant all at the same time. and Algeria’s Sonatrach once were examples of this ‚all-in-one‛ institutional set-up. normal operational expenses and investments are financed out of retained earnings. in principle. Finally. NNPC. Statoil is mandated to sell state volumes alongside its own production so as to maximize their combined value. But if sales and transfer prices are not market-based or do not reflect marketing costs. the NOC may be constrained by the level of existing foreign debt of the government. 40 For example. then transparency and efficiency might be compromised. and could diminish incentives for cost reduction and efficiency improvements. After the 2001 reform. 42 For example. NOCs do not have sufficient cash flow to provide upfront financing of large and infrastructure-heavy developments.

reform. one has to consider the historical. any expenditure greater than 100. Direct state intervention could be justified based on: the historical context of the decision. the overall importance of the industry to many nations and the political benefits of state control. According to the protocol of a series of producer countries’ roundtables at Chatham House London (Lahn et al. including Petronas and Sonangol. Consequently there are still several prominent NOCs with comprehensive powers over the petroleum sector. and socioeconomic context in which they were founded and have developed. Although NOCs were originally set up as instruments of the state to reduce the information asymmetries between government and foreign operators. Implementing such an arrangement properly requires frameworks that may not exist in some countries. in some ways. for example. This figure was set in 1964 and has not been adjusted since. it also determines its organizational charts. such as strong governance principles.‛ Achieving the proper balance between the NOC’s entrepreneurial freedom on the one hand and effective monitoring and control on the other is thus difficult. But in some cases state control mechanisms intended to prevent conflicts of interests or corrupt practices may ultimately result in considerable damage to the commercial decision making process of the NOC. 43 43 . mostly foreign.4 Conclusion To understand NOCs. political. and employment positions. the potentially beneficial impact of NOCs on sector-wide economic efficiency. salaries. is stringently controlled in its operations and business decisions by various ministries. This position is corroborated by more recent research on the applicability of the so called ‚Norwegian‛ model in different capacity and institutional settings (Thurber. Marcel 2006b). NOCs often capitalize on the principal-agent relationship and information asymmetries between the domestic government and itself (Linde 2000. 2. The law requires the SAB to respond within one week. including the Ministry of Public Functions (SFP). This institutional arrangement is commonly known as the ‚trinity‛ or ‚Norwegian‛ model.‛ At KPC. Additionally. they have become ‚major actors on their own. and the ability to pursue wider socioeconomic priorities Pemex. Not only does SFP appoint Pemex's external auditors and oversee its procurement decisions. The promise of overcoming conflicts of interest through independent regulatory bodies is conceptually appealing. Any newly created jobs—whether they are managerial or low-level union jobs—require the agency's regulatory approval. As such. oil companies‚ (Waelde 1995). any purchase over 5. but according to Stevens (2008a). and to eventually aim for an institutional setup that separates policy making (which is the responsibility of the government) from corporate strategy (NOC) and sector regulation (independent regulatory body) (McPherson 2003. Stojanovski (2008) observes that ‚*w+hile the stringent oversight (<) may. Stevens 2004).43 The final decision can often take ‘a couple of months’. be fitting for a country with a vast bureaucracy and significant potential for political corruption. interposed between the government per se and. 2007) there is a consensus today that the regulatory role should be separate from operations. and strong training and human resources policies to competently staff two sets of institutions. regulatory freedom from political intervention.000) requires a public tendering process. which can take up to one year. it also clearly clips Pemex’s autonomy and restricts the flexibility and risk-taking that are essential to running a business.000 KD requires pre-approval by the State Audit Bureau (SAB). The most common reform trend has been to transfer some licensing and regulatory powers from the NOC to newly formed executive (or independent) bodies. but there is no consensus as to whether this should be achieved through separate departmental responsibilities at the NOC or the ministry or through a truly independent body.000 KD (approximately $17. enhanced rent capture by the state. Hults and Heller 2010). ‚in practice on day 6 or 7 the SAB comes back with some ‘query which effectively stops the clock’ (PESD Interviews 2007).

Nevertheless. The review of existing literature on the history of NOCs suggests that the country political. NOCs differ on a number of very important variables. including the level of competition in the market in which they operate. 44 . and social environment affects the objectives of the NOC. as well as its governance mechanisms over time. Some of the key issues identified for NOCs and a state-led petroleum sector include: the economic cost of political intervention. Perhaps this is the most relevant single factor that explains their existence and resilience in very different political. unsatisfactory delivery on noncommercial objectives. But few are inevitably tied to them: appropriate institutional arrangements can mitigate or resolve some of these issues. the implementation of such mitigating measures has generally proven difficult. and certain states/NOCs have succeeded in doing so. inappropriate sector organization. and issues related to funding arrangements and the scarcity of public funds. The observed shortcomings have historically been associated with NOCs. their business profile along the value chain. inadequate corporate governance arrangements. existing research shows that their performance and value creation has quite often been disappointing. On the other hand. These core characteristics need to be taken into account in defining what constitutes NOC value creation and analyzing NOCs behavior and strategy. most NOCs share at least some core characteristics: for example. and their degree of commercial orientation and internationalization.with the help of the NOCs’ operational and financial clout. they are usually tied to the ‚national purpose‛ and serve political and economic goals other than maximizing the firm’s profits. and their success has been attributed to a considerable extent to the wider national context. One thus needs to be mindful of possible overgeneralizations. the operational inefficiencies of NOCs. social and economic environments. Despite these valuable reasons for setting up NOCs. economic.

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and companies strategies). and produce a significantly lower annual percentage of their upstream reserves than POCs. 44 45 50 . their corporate objectives and operations.1. NOCs exhibit lower labor and capital efficiency. 3. which makes a comparative assessment of NOCs’ value creation far from trivial. international obligations can be revoked or renegotiated.45 The model draws from an earlier version developed by Wolf (2009). The performance and value creation of NOCs: a conceptual model “Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly.1 A conceptual model of value creation The factors that affect value creation by NOCs can be grouped into two categories: (i) variables describing initial conditions and context (such as the economic situation. political history and ideology. since they attempt to measure performance with reference to an objective function—the maximization of shareholders’ return on capital— that fails to capture the broad mandate and mission of NOCs. are less profitable.44 Such efficiency gaps have been partly justified by the complexity of objectives pursued by NOCs compared to the simple maximization of shareholders’ return on capital pursued by POCs. Appendix 3 contains an overview of the most salient advances in the research on NOCs. Previous chapters have shown that NOCs differ greatly in their institutional environments. For some variables this classification is dependent on the time horizon of the analysis. Over the mid. shed little light on the performance of NOCs. and natural resource endowment). The results.” (Mary Kay Ash) Most of the analyses carried out to date point to the existence of efficiency gaps between NOCs and POCs.to longterm.3. for example. In general. although indicative of a general trend. generate lower revenue. and (ii) variables describing human and organizational agency (such as sector and corporate governance choices. but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway. but for any short-term decision they are essentially exogenous. the context and agency variables constitute the drivers of value creation.Together. and their domestic and international socio-economic linkages. A schematic representation of these factors and their interaction is shown in figure 3. This chapter sets out a possible analytical framework for assessing NOCs’ wider contribution to social value creation. international obligations.

customs. Figure 3. and procedures (including. matters of sector organization and governance. the model does not assume that value created within the petroleum sector in turn affects the country’s financial. and economic context. For example. economic. the POCs. as the resource owner. POCs (national or international). Any model is a simplification of reality. which translate into commercial and noncommercial performance and value creation. regulations. But the companies’ ability and willingness to perform well are embedded within. monopoly versus competition). Additionally. We define institutions to include the system of formal laws. regulatory responsibilities and capacity. 46 51 . and the sector organization and governance.1 – Petroleum sector value creation Geology and geography State context Sector policy and institutional framework POCs organization and strategy NOC organization and strategy Petroleum sector value creation Source: Authors. Therefore some possible variables and many possible linkages between variables have not explicitly been acknowledged. and geological context. These two factors are suggested as the most immediate drivers of NOC performance and value creation.The proposed simplified conceptual model assumes that three key institutions generate the vast majority of direct value in any national petroleum sector: the NOC. The state’s decisions – regarding sector governance and sector participation are fundamentally interconnected and jointly affect value creation. itself affected by the country’s resource endowment and geography. which in turn is determined by the nation’s historical. The NOC’s objectives influence both its corporate governance structure (which is also influenced by the country’s institutional and governance arrangements) and its strategy and behavior in the marketplace. and affected by. Any national petroleum sector has a set of implicit or explicit rules and procedures. the state has to decide whether to allow NOCs. but not limited to. including the fiscal regime (which often delivers the greatest share of state monetary benefits). legal entities and their governing rules).46 NOCs and POCs (the companies) have certain levels of economic efficiency and make strategic and operational choices. as well as informal conventions. industry structure (that is. and pricing mechanisms. and norms that influence socioeconomic behavior. or a combination of the two to operate and invest in the sector. financial. political. political. The model describes NOC value creation as the outcome of a number of interlinking variables and processes. The role and objectives of a NOC are assumed to be influenced by the goals and objectives of the state with regard to energy and petroleum policy.

Therefore we estimate them by using proxy variables that capture aspects of value creation that we believe to be important for each category. However. There are other interesting and essential aspects of good NOC performance. these support and enable the creation of value and are drivers of value creation rather than indicators of value creation. 47 52 . such as human resources and skill base. where an indicator can be defined as a ‚quantitative or qualitative measure derived from a series of observed facts that can reveal relative position in a given area and. but not the future flow of revenues from the extraction of existing reserves). the index is designed to measure short term value creation by the NOC. the NOC’s objective function is the creation of value for society. and (iii) to promote the political interests of the state abroad (Stevens 2008). when measured over time. technological competence. which requires the NOC to maximize the recovery factor on fields and optimize resources in line with the country’s depletion policy. is not a concern (as long as each sub-component is orthogonal to the others and measured in such a way that it facilitates aggregation. we measure the NOC’s ability to replace its reserves. increasing scale). If each of these categories could be observed and measured directly. The NOC’s capacity to fulfill its missions and objectives determines its contribution to value creation.48 It is worth noting that the selection of proxy variables is affected by data availability for a sufficient number of NOCs. and of proxy variables within a category. As discussed in chapter 2. the relative importance of each category. for example.47 The index is not meant to capture all aspects of NOC value creation. In particular. (ii) to promote economic development. Figure 3. or through their national mission (Stevens 2008). and industrial partnerships. But categorical measures do not exist. output indicators). 48 Since the scale of the VCI is not relevant to the proposed model. for example. long-term sustainability considerations and long-term growth potential are not captured by the index (for example.3. As such.2 Measuring the performance of NOCs: the value creation index The performance of a NOC should be measured with reference to its objective function. as an advisor to other elements of the government and as a regulator (although this may give rise to conflict of interest). the value creation index should not overlap with these drivers. Since we aim to better understand the relationships between value drivers and value creation. financial performance. But in general they often include one or more of the following: (i) to protect national hydrocarbon wealth. both forward and backward. NOCs directly create value. the summation of the observed values would provide the desired measure of value creation. Composite indicators are synthetic indices of individual indicators.2 shows the categories and proxy variables selected for the creation of the index. They can also create value indirectly. and national mission performance. which requires the NOC to maximize its financial and productive linkages. by normalizing on a common. mission and objectives vary widely among NOCs. Stevens (2008) identifies three categories that theoretically capture NOC value creation: operational performance. but to provide a useful measure of key aspects of value creation for further analysis. can point out the direction of change‛ (Freudenberg 2003). depending on its shareholder’s policy objectives. either through their role as operators. To measure NOC value creation this section proposes a composite indicator: the value creation index (VCI). The proposed index focuses on performance indicators that contribute directly to value creation (that is. In this context performance simply refers to economic behavior by the NOC that is conducive to overall value creation. In other words.

Figure 3. For the purpose of this index. Growth in capacity utilization is considered a proxy measure of a NOC’s ability to meet local demand. Financial performance variables: As this paper examines social value creation by NOCs. financial performance variables. and to add value. taxes are not usually within the NOC’s sphere of influence due to its inability to relocate domestic operations. Furthermore. respectively. In this sense. both expressed in millions of barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE). 49 Similar POCs usually have considerable flexibility with respect to portfolio management and related tax implications. NOCs without refining assets are not penalized in the data aggregation process. b. a. benchmarking the performance of POCs on the basis of after-tax profits reflects the companies’ ability to devise efficient tax management strategies. after-tax measures are not appropriate because taxes are not a loss of value as viewed by the government. 49 53 . both net of acquisitions and disposals. The ratios of output to total assets and output to employees reflect capital and labor efficiency. it is already partially captured by the RRR. While the exploration success rate might be considered as an additional indicator of technical and geophysical expertise. 3.2 – Components of the VCI NOC value creation index Operational performance Financial performance National mission performance      E&P production growth (%) Reserves replacement ratio (%) Refinery utilization (%) Output / total assets (boe) Output / employees (boe)  EBRTN / revenue (%)  EBRTN / total assets (%)  Net cash flow from operations / CAPEX (%)  Share of local content (%)  Domestic output use (%)  Share of national sin NOC workforce (%)  NOC employment share of country workforce (%)  Employment growth (%)  Non-commercial expenditure / total expenditure (%)  Non-core commercial net income / total net income (%)  Price subsidies / revenue (%) Source: Adapted from Wolf. and national mission variables – is discussed below. 2009. Operational performance variables: Production growth and the reserve replacement rate (RRR).2. Refinery capacity utilization is chosen to measure downstream performance.1 Proxy measures used in VCI The rationale behind the selection of the proxy measures used for each component in the VCI – operation performance variables. are standard indicators of upstream effectiveness. output is defined as the sum of upstream production and refined products (where applicable).

seismic acquisition. they have very little control over their countries’ policy choices. differences in accounting standards between countries (and within countries over time) can reduce the comparability of data. environmental projects that are not directly related to petroleum operations.  c. we assume that local content policies are inherently effective and efficient. EBITRN/total assets. social expenditure. and solvability are EBITRN/revenue. handling and shipping services. and other for profit activities that are sold by the NOC to affiliates or third parties. noncommercial expenditure. banking services. the definitions of individual. as well as the lack of standard For the purpose of our calculations ‚noncommercial expenditure‛ includes social and capacity building programs. When using financial accounting data the following need to be taken into consideration:     the accounting literature has shown that companies can manipulate their disclosure. based solely on additions to property. 51 Measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of local content policies is beyond the scope of this paper. NOCs that implement them create value for society. Ultimately. since they are considered in the national mission performance. NCFO is defined as cash flow from operations minus the government's portion of dividends. similar objectives appear in countries’ local content policies. 50 Noncommercial and non-core activities are excluded from the financial performance measure. ‚full cost‛ vs. respectively. irrespective of accounting standards. thus affecting both NOCs and POCs. such as airlines. contributing to energy self sufficiency. plant and equipment. noncore activities. 51 Measuring the performance of NOCs with respect to the achievement of their national mission objectives is made difficult by the dearth of detailed reporting. oil logistics. and non-core commercial activities (‚EBITRN‛) should allow us to benchmark the financial performance and value creation of NOCs. However. the detail and quality of the accounts and the auditing process might vary significantly between NOCs. Hence. or on a wider range of assets). For the purpose of calculating this proxy indicator. Nonetheless. or profits and dividends. ‚successful effort‛). promoting economic growth and diversification. commercial warehousing. and security of supplies. and net cash flow from operations/capital expenditure (NCFO/CAPEX). creating employment opportunities. data on noncommercial. whether through taxes. The proxy indicators chosen to measure profitability. National mission performance variables: The following are often cited as objectives in NOC mission statements: fostering the transfer of technology. country infrastructure projects. financial performance and national mission performance may be under or overestimated as the case may be. Without appropriate data. culture. and ‚non-core commercial activities‛ include activities. such as different approaches to treating exploration expenditure (that is. and price subsidies are not systematically disclosed by NOCs. data storage. even in developed capital markets and jurisdictions. capital expenditure might be reported including or excluding acquisitions. But NOCs are often given a primary role in promoting local content policies. For the purpose of this paper. non-GAAP financial items may vary between NOCs (for example. sports. irrespective of how they transfer that value to the government. royalties (and other production taxes). As discussed in chapter 1. increasing local ownership and control. and similar non-productive expenditure. and specific petroleum-sector accounting issues need to be considered. 50 54 .considerations apply to a NOC’s noncommercial expenditure. financial efficiency. the earnings before interest. income taxes.

Salaries for employees of NOCs are often quite high compared to those paid by other publicly. However. as well as domestic value-added processing of crude oil (either in refineries or in industries further downstream). for some NOCs. commercial warehousing. indicates local skills levels. Domestic output use is measured by the ratio of petroleum product supply to the domestic market to total domestic consumption.disclosure policies in this area.52 the NOC’s share of non-core commercial net income to total net income measures the contribution of a NOC to the diversification of its country’s economy. the NOC is often viewed as the most competent managerial organization. With this limitation in mind. as exports would maximize revenues. disposable incomes of NOC employees could have noticeable multiplier effects on the national economy. especially when a NOC is able to efficiently perform in sectors that have high multiplier effects. 52 55 . Domestic output use measures a NOC’s contribution to energy self sufficiency and security of supplies. This is particularly important in countries with strong demand and limited production linkages. and handling and shipping services.or privately-owned companies operating in different sectors of the economy. The contribution of a NOC to its country’s economic growth and diversification is measured by two proxy indicators: the NOC share of noncommercial expenditure to total expenditure captures the relevance of a NOC’s corporate social responsibility expenditure. which measures the contribution of a NOC to national employment. clinics. In countries with low public investment management capacity.   -  - Stevens (2008) cites the example of Saudi Aramco. If a NOC accounts for a large share of its country’s employment. processing of seismic data. which can include malaria awareness campaigns. which was recently requested to take on the management of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology at Thuwal. the construction of schools. these NOCs become contractors on behalf of the government. but at the same time it indicates stronger forward linkages to the domestic economy. banking services. non-core commercial activities may include airlines. NOC employment growth relative to country labor force growth. north of Jeddah. measured by the ratio of the number of local employees to total NOC employees. In effect. As such. the share of domestic labor may simply represent the ability of the NOC (and pressures on the NOC) to employ nationals (Stevens 2008). For the purpose of this index. Domestic supply often comes at a financial cost. and similar projects.measured by the percentage of expenditure on local goods and services to total expenditure on goods and services . the NOC share of its country’s employment. the NOC is may be asked to manage projects with little or no relationship to oil or gas. public roads. the following proxy measures of key aspects of national mission performance are proposed:  The share of local content . The contribution of a NOC to local employment and the creation of a skilled local work force is measured by three proxy indicators: the share of nationals in the NOC workforce.captures the contribution of a NOC to the domestic economy and transfer of technology through creation of backward linkages. oil logistic services.

the state can decide how. We use the distance from the best and worst performers. and level of sector-specific knowledge affect its options with respect to sector organization and governance arrangements. Therefore. and Xjmin and Xjmax are the minimum and maximum values of the annual sample data.3 The value drivers The value creation model assumes that the state’s historical. (1) N j is a normalized variable and j indicates the number of sub- Normalization is necessary to aggregate the different individual indicators. the policy choice is beyond the control of the NOC. at what pace. distance to market. for our purposes. its geology and geography— affect the state’s objectives and policy choices. sector organization and governance. and the index takes values between 0 (laggard) and 1 (leader): Nj  Xj  X min j X max  X min j j (2) Where Nj is the normalized value. we expect that a country’s resource endowment.2 For any given NOC. social.2:  1 m 1 n I    N j  m i 1  n j 1  i   where I is the composite index. and quality of infrastructure—that is. and by whom they should be developed. and economic environment—the state context—largely determines the objectives of its petroleum sector policy. political. it is considered a transfer of benefits from the NOC to society. While subsidizing oil and gas prices may not be an effective way to protect the poor. one measure would exist for each of the theoretically-defined value drivers. Xj is the original value. components in each sub-group i. State goals and objectives and sector policy and organization affect the strategy and corporate governance arrangements of the NOC. as well as the level of competition and performance of market participants (both NOCs and POCs). These value drivers can be grouped into five categories: geology. the VCI is calculated annually as the average of three sub-groups of the subcomponents detailed in figure 3. and accountability. and NOC strategy. Ideally. As owner of the resource. we estimate them by using proxy variables that capture aspects that we believe 56 . The state’s administrative capacity. 3. Determination of VCI 3.2. NOC governance. The contribution of a NOC to poverty reduction is measured by the ratio of subsidies to total revenues. quality of public policy. Since these measures do not exist. Finally. effectiveness. where positioning is in relation to the sample annual maximum and minimum. thus defining the role of the market and the level of direct intervention through the NOC. which are measured on different units and have different ranges. state context.

Geology A question underlying this research is whether NOC operations and performance vary with a country’s resource endowments. corruption control  HC revenues as % of government revenues  HC revenues as % of GDP  WTO membership (yes-1/no-0)  OPEC membership (yes-1/no-0)  Net oil exports as % of GDP  Government budget surplus as % of GDP  Presence of stabilization mechanisms. political stability.1 Selection of proxy variables a. publicly stated objectives ranked by priority and publicly measured for the NOC (ordinal ranking with five categories)      NOC upstream capital expenditures as % of total capital expenditures NOC refining capital expenditures as % of total capital expenditures NOC upstream equity production as % of total NOC refining throughput NOC international revenues as % of total NOC revenues Joint ventures and other partnerships.to be important for each category. regulatory quality. government effectiveness. 57 . such as petroleum funds (yes-1/no-0)  Publicly disclosed national policy addressing hydrocarbon sector issues (yes1/no-0)  Presence of country specific clear objectives and management separation (ordinal ranking with six categories)  Non-NOC percentage of oil and gas production  Non-NOC percentage of refined products production  Presence of clearly defined.3. each of its underlying proxy variables is transformed into a normalized variable and the driver variable is the result of the average of the normalized proxy variables. Some NOCs are based in countries that are net oil and gas exporters. Table 3. (ordinal ranking with four categories) petroleum sector organization and governance NOC strategy and behavior NOC corporate governance structure  Percentage non-government ownership of NOC  Percentage of members of NOC Board of Directors that are independent  Appointment authority for chairman of BOD (ordinal ranking with three categories)  Independence of NOC capital and budget processes (ordinal ranking with five categories)  NOC financial transparency (ordinal ranking with five categories)  NOC upstream reserves transparency (ordinal ranking with five categories) Source: Authors To create a driver variable. 3. rule of law.1 – Value drivers and their proxy measures Driver Geology state context Components  resource endowment (mmboe)  WB indexes on voice and accountability.1 lists the five value drivers and the proxy variables used to measure them. Table 3.

net oil exports as a percentage of GDP. domestic production does not satisfy consumption even though resource endowments may be substantial. We use four proxy measures of dependency: petroleum revenue as a percentage of total government revenue. While many possible measures exist for these variables. control of corruption. The abundance of petroleum resources may also affect the government’s depletion policy. a country with large proven reserves and associated production will be more likely to have relevant sector infrastructure (although its quality would be difficult to capture by a proxy measure). The size of a country’s reserves base is also used as a proxy for prospectivity and of the availability of sector related infrastructure. and government budget surplus or deficit as a percentage of GDP. A country’s fiscal regime. The NOC has no choice as to whether or not to invest in its home country. In other cases. regulatory uncertainty.while others mainly serve their home countries’ energy security by reducing import requirements. Transparency with respect to the NOC’s institutional responsibilities and mission and objectives will ultimately improve the efficiency of the NOC. production levels are well above local consumptions needs. For example. transfer of technology. regulatory compliance. Three proxy variables are used to assess the country’s willingness to 58 . and existence of revenue stabilization mechanisms—aim to capture a country’s trade openness (which in turn affects the level and quality of competition. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) membership. and efficient public policies contribute positively to the creation of value by NOCs and POCs. the more important the national mission becomes. We expect that stable. Hence its ability to create value partially depends on how favorable its country’s conditions are to investment. and the conditions for exploitation. Petroleum sector organization and governance As the resource owner. predictable. In several cases. Knowing the relative importance of these objectives will allow the NOC to devise appropriate strategies. b. institutional strength. This is particularly true when the government pursues multiple policy objectives through the NOC. and quality of environmental regulations all affect POCs’ decisions to invest. petroleum revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP). State context The state context driver comprises 13 proxy variables that aim to capture the institutional and economic environment in the home country of the NOC. the use of composite indicators is widely recognized. c. and the quality of fiscal policy. and the NOC’s resource extraction strategy. democracy and accountability. the presence of constraints on production levels. We use the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) to measure a country’s political stability. respectively. and market opportunities). Three dummy variables—World Trade Organization (WTO) membership. and may reduce the perception of risk. including the objective of sector policy. the state has a wide range of options with respect to the implicit or explicit rules and procedures that govern the exploitation of the country’s petroleum resources. and rule of law. the commercial conditions for exploitation. the distribution of institutional responsibilities. whether because of exceptional endowment (as is the case for many Middle Eastern producers) or because of the level of local economic development (as for many African producers). We hypothesize that national dependency on the petroleum sector affects the government’s macro-fiscal and sectoral policy focus and the objectives and goals that are given to the NOC. regulatory quality. reduce administrative cost. We also expect that the lower the stage of socioeconomic development. the role of market participants.

publicly stated. We use the percentage of nongovernment ownership of the NOC and its ownership structure and organization to measure this dimension. except when the NOC is burdened with the obligation to sell petroleum product at below market price. and non-NOC percentage of refined products.allow the NOC to operate within transparent public policies: the existence of a publicly-disclosed national policy addressing hydrocarbon sector issues. which is often part of the national mission of the NOC. and the existence of clearly defined. which allows for greater value creation. Another measure. is meant to capture the NOC’s vertical integration. We hypothesize that partially privatized NOCs may be more able to create value since they are subject to market scrutiny and are less exposed to political influence. Another proxy for international participation is the existence of joint ventures and other partnerships. independent boards of directors are thought to be more effective in sheltering the NOC from political interference (regardless of whether or not the NOC is partially privatized). the percentage of NOC refining production operated by NOC. the technology. competition. We hypothesize that the presence of POCs or other countries’ NOCs affects the performance of the domestic NOC by promoting efficiency and defraying exploration and development risk. A measure of the NOC’s self-sufficiency is upstream equity production as a percentage of total refining throughput measures NOC’s self sufficiency. For example. these indicators were excluded from the list of proxy variables since very rarely they are included in standard reports by NOCs. e. NOC strategy and behavior Like other oil companies. Two proxy variables capture the openness of the petroleum production and refining markets in the NOC’s country: non-NOC percentage of oil and gas production. 53 59 . However. d. or rapidly adjust their strategy to accommodate them. which captures the NOC’s access to international best practices and technology. NOCs must make investments in capital to preserve future production capabilities. successful companies are those that can anticipate changes. The proxies for the independence of the board are the The ratio of upstream production operated by the NOC to total production is an indirect measure of its technical capacity and business strategy (operator versus financial investor). This is also an indicator for the country’s security of supplies. and measurable objectives for the NOC. A proxy for the kind of strategic behavior that is expected to create value is the NOC’s capital expenditures as a percentage of total capital expenditures (upstream considered separately from refining capital). especially when they carry the burden of subsidizing prices for domestic consumption. and management techniques in the oil industry are continually changing. the existence of clear country-specific objectives and management separation. allowing it to focus on achieving its goals.53 NOCs that are net importers of petroleum products may be more exposed to changes in economic cycles. NOC corporate governance The NOC’s corporate governance structure affects the strategic options available to an NOC and therefore affects its capacity to create value. Also. The ratio of international revenues to total revenue captures the NOC’s ability to create value through access to the international markets. This requires nimble decision-making processes that might not be compatible with the reality of a state-owned enterprise.

and quality of infrastructure—that is. The performance of a NOC should be measured with reference to its objective function. We also expect that the petroleum sector organization and governance arrangements in a country are affected by the state’s administrative capacity. sector and corporate governance choices. and the transparency of its upstream reserves values are used as proxies for autonomy and transparency. and its organizational and financial autonomy. and natural resource endowment). and of NOCs’ contribution to value creation in particular. Financial transparency and regular audits allow the state to secure its interests (that is. The ability of the NOC to finance its operations is crucial to value creation. and (iii) to promote the political interests of the state abroad. NOC strategy. 60 . There are many arrangements for allowing the NOC to administer the resources of the state: some NOCs are given a total vesting of petroleum rights. sector organization and governance. On the other hand. too much financial and budgetary autonomy may be a disincentive to improve efficiency. social. (ii) to promote economic development. its mandate. its financial transparency.percentage of independent board members and who holds the authority to appoint the NOC’s chief executive officer. State goals and objectives and sector policy and organization affect the strategy and corporate governance arrangements of the NOC. A composite indicator – the value creation index – is proposed to measure NOCs performance. political. Two categories of variables are hypothesized to affect value creation: (i) variables describing initial conditions and context (such as the economic situation. and governance. while others are given the nonexclusive right to develop and exploit resources directly or in association with third parties. international obligations. others are given a partial vesting. If the NOC is given too little financial and budgetary autonomy from the state. and economic environment—the state context—largely determines the objectives of its petroleum sector policy. Finally. These can be grouped into five categories: state context. which in turn depends on its shareholder’s policy objectives. is not intended to capture all aspects of NOC value creation. and NOC strategy). But it provides a simple yardstick to monitor NOC performance over time and facilitates comparisons among NOCs. The independence of NOC capital and budget process. 3. and national mission performance. These arrangements affect the capital structure of the NOC. it will likely hamper the NOC’s efficiency and may increase the cost of doing business. NOC corporate governance. which is used in chapter 4 as a reference framework for case study analysis and for exploratory statistical analysis.4 Conclusion This chapter presents a model of value creation in the petroleum sector. effectiveness. The index. as well as the level of competition and performance of market participants (both NOCs and POCs). its geology and geography—affect the state’s objectives and policy choices. and (ii) variables describing human and organizational agency (such as NOC objectives. We expect that the state’s historical. and geology. political history and ideology. Together. financial. which measures key aspects of short-term operational. we expect that a country’s resource endowment. avoid rent absorption) without excessively reducing the autonomy of the NOC. the context and agency variables constitute the drivers of value creation: multidimensional variables that affect value creation by the NOC. distance to market. in general they often include one or more of the following: (i) to protect national hydrocarbon wealth. Although mission and objectives vary widely among NOCs.

World Bank. Washington. 2008. www. 2009.‛ Background Paper for a Study on National Oil Companies and Value Creation.org/noc. ‚The Performance and Value Creation of NOCs: an Analytical Framework‛. Background Paper for the Study on National Oil Companies and Value Creation.org/noc. World Bank. ‚A Methodology for Assessing the Performance of National Oil Companies. H. DC.References Stevens. Wolf. P. www. C. Washington. DC. O.worldbank. 61 .worldbank.

the experience of a smaller sample of NOCs is analyzed in detail to establish whether there are discernible patterns with respect to value creation for NOCs with similar strategy and governance structure.org/noc.” (Alexis de Tocqueville) This chapter investigates value creation through the experience of a selected group of NOCs with the objective to derive lessons of wider applicability. 62 .A.). an exploratory statistical analysis of twenty NOCs is attempted to determine the relevance of the value drivers identified in the value creation model. In addition.).A. Colombia ENI (Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi S. China Sonatrach (Sonatrach S. Russia Sinopec (China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation). Pakistan ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. Italy Gazprom (Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom). In particular. which can be downloaded from http://worldbank.A. Oil and Gas Corporation of South Africa (Pty) Limited).).4. ).1 for the period 2004 to 2008.). South Africa Petrobras (Petróleo Brasileiro S.).A. India PDVSA (Petróleos de Venezuela S. Russia GDF (Gaz de France S. Mexico Petro SA (The Petroleum. Venezuela Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos).).A. France KMG E&P (JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production).p.).A. Kazakhstan OGDCL (Oil & Gas Development Corporation Ltd. The complete dataset is contained in National Oil Companies and Value Creation: Data Annex. we hypothesize an explanatory relationship between the VCI and value drivers. Norway Source: Authors. Using the analytical framework developed in chapter 3.1 Exploratory analysis of value drivers This section discusses a preliminary attempt to statistically measure NOC value creation using the conceptual model presented in chapter 3. 4.1 – NOC sample for statistical analysis                     CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Company). Table 4. Qatar Rosneft (Oil Company Rosneft). Thailand QP (Qatar Petroleum). and test our hypothesis using data collected on the NOCs listed in table 4. Malaysia PTT (PTT Public Company Limited). China Ecopetrol (Ecopetrol S. Case studies and lessons learned “We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess. Brazil Petrochina (Petrochina Company Limited). and whether certain country context variables lead to particular corporate governance arrangements and NOC strategies. China Petronas (Petroliam Nasional Berhad). Algeria Statoil (StatoilHydro ASA). but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.

35 0.51 0. Following the methodology presented in chapter 3.29 0.42 0.3 is better than a score of 0.As noted in chapter 3.32 0.40 0. is an intercept.27 0.44 0.38 0. each NOC in the sample is expected to act in an individual fashion as it creates value.52 0.69 0.35 0.37 0.39 0. it focuses on key aspects of short-term value creation by NOCs. the VCI is not designed to measure all aspects of value creation.44 0. with each group average consisting of normalized proxy variables.32 0.20 0.22 0. 54 63 .70 0.68 0. the xi are the value driver group indices.2 – VCI for the sample NOCs NOC Sonatrach QP PdVSA Rosneft ONGC OGDCL CNOOC Ecopetrol Petronas KMG Petrobras Statoil Pemex Petrochina Gazprom PTT ENI GDF Sinopec PetroSA Sample average 2004 0.38 0.48 0.50 0.49 0.55 0.49 0.26 0.33 0.51 0.59 0.67 0.43 0.43 0.40 0.27 0.35 0.34 0.39 0.46 0.3.23 0.30 0. While relative in this sense.47 0.56 0.23 0.26 0.48 0. and the direction of changes over time.56 0.41 0.45 0.56 0. the VCI scale is not relevant and may not be indicative of the total value created by each NOC. The VCI is a relative measure in the sense that the assigned score results from a within-sample normalization.30 0.33 0.43 0.49 0.31 0.24 0.35 0.67 0.28 0.37 0.40 0. the i are the coefficients for each value driver group index.20 0.39 0.44 0.23 0.24 0.61 0.3 stochastically contribute to explaining the VCI.22 0.43 2008 0. This individual behavior can be expected to fall outside the bounds of the While a score of 0. This construction results in a unit-less scale.45 0.46 0.09 0.56 0.41 2007 0.30 0.35 is better than 0.39 0.48 0.72 0.45 0.47 0. In addition to the five value drivers.41 0.40 0.39 0.29 0.20 0.39 0.53 0.45 2005 0. But the index can reveal the relative position of the NOCs in the sample with respect to the observed value creation measures.39 0.45 0.39 0.41 0.30 0.51 0.42 5-Yr Avg 0.54 Given the foregoing.62 0. and a score of 0.38 0.2.57 0.53 0.26 0. the VCI is the result of the average of three group averages.65 0.47 0.39 2006 0.41 0.42 Source: Authors. 4.40 0.66 0.41 0.43 0. Table 4.37 0.43 0. albeit in a unit-less fashion.23 0.48 0.1.63 0.33 0. This model can be written as: where yi is the VCI.46 0.65 0.37 0.46 0. the VCI does capture cardinal performance among the NOCs in the sample.48 0.55 0. and i is a well-behaved stochastic disturbance associated with each observation.52 0.48 0. the reader is cautioned against assigning too much meaning to the VCI: non-linear proxy variable distributions may adversely affect a linear interpretation of the VCI scale.27 0.46 0.27 0.1 Selection of proxy variables We hypothesize that the five categories of value creation drivers described in chapter 3 section 3.

The negative coefficient suggests that NOCs that enjoy large resource endowments may also have less incentive to produce 64 . rather than from the model parameters.000)*** * significant at 10%. including: (i) concerns related to data quality and availability. Larger petroleum endowments should lead to more value creation if resources are extracted efficiently and revenues from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and replace reserves. Before attempting to interpret the result of the model. 4. By including a fixed-effects variable for each NOC to capture these NOCspecific effects. which indicates that much explanatory power stems from the individual NOC’s behavior. Data limitations and issues are discussed in appendix 4.277 0.1. A more complex representation may be needed to capture the relationship between context and agency variables.609) (0. the model can now be written as: where the t subscript indicates the t-th observation for each NOC.058)* (0.070 0.953 100 20 P value (0.010)*** (0.000)*** (0.3.221 -0. The VCI and the value drivers are calculated annually for a five-year period starting with 2004 for the 20 NOCs in our sample.510) (0. and (ii) the possible misspecification of the drivers. vi captures the individual effect of each NOC.446 -0. There are a number of possible explanations.3 – Results of model estimation Dependent Variable Geology State context (state) Petroleum sector governance (petsec) NOC strategy and behavior (nocsb) NOC Governance (nocgov) Constant Observations Number of group (NOC) Robust p values in parentheses Source: Authors.proposed model. Furthermore. the relationship between VCI and drivers hypothesized in our exploratory model may be too simplistic. However. and their relevance to value creation. it is worth noting that there is a near-perfect correlation between the fixed effects and the dependent variable. Table 4.2 Indications from the statistical analysis Coefficient -2. and t captures the time effect of each year. Panel data analysis can partially address this issue as long as multiple observations for each NOC are available. the model to be estimated using robust standard errors is: vciit = + 1 geologyit + 2 stateit + 3 petsecit + 4 nocsbit + 5 nocgovit +vi + t + it The model estimations are shown in table 4. ** significant at 5%.511 0. given the wide use of proxy variables to supplement for the lack of primary data. the current dataset greatly limits our ability to test more complex model specification. Explicitly. *** significant at 1% The geology value driver has a significant and negative influence on value creation.

In addition. while others have limited domestic resources (such as Ecopetrol. understanding the constraints and possible limitations of the present data set and model will contribute to enhancing future research. The petroleum sector value driver is significant. Indeed. all other elements of the VCI being equal. and PetroSA). Most are mainly commercial entities. We expected that more favorable investment environments would improve NOC value creation directly. 4. KMG EP. the choice of proxies or their measures – or the result of data limitations. PetroSA. However. especially when partnerships and alliances with POCs are not the prevalent business strategy. Although the model is not designed to capture the time lag between changes in sector governance measures and their effect on value creation. its capacity to raise capital in the open market. PDVSA. ONGC. through better investment conditions. Some are key contributors to their countries’ economies (PDVSA. and Sonatrach). Petronas. while others focus on one or two steps of the sector value chain (KMG EP. But contrary to expectations.them efficiently and to maximize the net present value from their extraction. Sonatrach. and Statoil). Petrobras. This would indicate the benefit of market discipline to value creation through financial transparency and private participation in the NOC’s share capital. while others have regulatory functions (PDVSA and Petronas). especially for NOCs that have large reserves endowments. and particularly Petronas and 65 . But this effect is indirect and depends on whether or not the government uses efficiency benchmarks to measure and reward the performance of its NOC. its ability to fulfill obligations in partnerships. a negative relationship does not seem to be justified. Therefore. while others derive a substantial part of their revenues from international operations (ONGC. Petrochina. These in turn should improve the NOC’s project efficiency.2 Case studies This section analyzes the history and performance of twelve NOCs with the objective to derive lessons of wider applicability. Petronas. Pemex. The negative coefficient could be an indication of misspecification of the driver – namely. no conclusion can be drawn on the relevance of these two drivers to value creation. The case study sample includes NOCs that span the range of experience with respect to the drivers of value creation. and indirectly through risk sharing with POCs. Since the VCI measures short-term contributions to value creation. Pemex. are usually not put into production in the same year as they occur. Petro SA. an increase in reserves (positive variation of the geology driver) would not be reflected by an increase in production (positive variation of the VCI). Sonatrach. its coefficient is negative. Petrobras. The negative sign could also reflect a time lag between the addition of reserves and their exploitation which is not captured by our model. The NOC governance value driver is positive and significant. Some have a domestic focus (Ecopetrol. Some are vertically integrated (Ecopetrol. and PTT). The state context and the NOC strategy and behavior drivers are not significant. This is in line with existing studies on the effect of commercialization on NOC’s performance (Aivazian et al. Overall. and its ability to make efficient use of assets and employees. future production from reserves addition is not captured. Pemex. 2005). Some belong to countries that are blessed with large resource endowments (Venezuela and Kazakhstan). Petrochina. PTT. PDVSA. independent board of directors (BODs) are expected to help to shelter the NOC from political interference and expedite decision-making processes. or to gain a better understanding of the relationship between this driver and value creation. reserves additions. Furthermore competition from POCs should improve NOC value creation by inducing them to become more efficient. the results of the exploratory model parameters cannot be viewed as offering substantial understanding of NOC value creation. Further investigation would be necessary to refine the proxy measures for this driver. and Statoil).

Table 4. which was affecting the country’s fiscal sustainability and its security of supplies. Petronas. and product sales volumes. Sonatrach). Colombia Establishment: 1951 Mission Statement: To discover new energy sources and to transform them into value for clients and shareholders by protecting the environment and ensuring process safety and people's integrity. State context: Despite its history of widespread violent conflicts. natural gas reserves and output. and Statoil). Petrochina. As such. Some are quoted on domestic and international stock exchanges (Ecopetrol. Detailed case studies and VCI calculations can be found in the data annexes to this paper – volumes II and III – downloadable from www.45 5-Yr Avg 0. Pemex. Petrobras.44 0. KMG. (ii) the factors that have affected value creation. and commercial responsibilities.7 billion barrels and 4. MAIN CONCLUSIONS High levels of commitment and cooperation between the NOC and its government and fast execution have proven critical to the successful implementation of far-reaching sector and corporate governance reforms. Two-thirds of the BOD members are independent directors. Geology: At the end of 2008 proven oil and gas reserves were estimated at 1. which will hopefully result in future reserves growth. and reducing poverty. PTT). Petro SA. VCI : 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. the index is similar to the operational performance sub-index of the VCI. refinery capacity. The reform of the fiscal regime and the elimination of Ecopetrol’s mandatory participation requirement created the conditions for increased exploration expenditure. Corporate governance: Ten percent of Ecopetrol’s equity is publicly traded in Colombia and the US.46 0. The six individual categories are then combined to determine their overall ranking. Petroleum sector governance: In 2003. The criteria that PIW uses are oil reserves and production.org/noc. but some of its subsidiaries.48 0.4 – Case studies: overview COMPANY Ecopetrol. But large parts of the country are under-explored and have many of the geological features of its oil-rich neighbor Venezuela.4 provides a quick overview of: (i) the VCIs and drivers of value creation for each NOC in the case study sample. 56 PIW's ranking of the world's 50 largest oil companies is based on operational data from over 120 firms. and others are not quoted at all (PDVSA. including Petronas E&P. Companies are assigned a separate rank within each category. are listed on the Malaysian stock exchange.4 trillion cubic feet respectively. the country has made significant efforts on issues such as expanding international trade. strengthening rule of law. 55 66 .44 VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS The major institutional and regulatory reforms launched by the government in 2003 were intended to address the decline in production levels and reserve basis. The Middle Magdalena Valley is the most explored basin in Colombia and is still one of the most prolific. and transformed its NOC from a government department to a mixed-share company.PTT). and the Petronas holding is not listed. protecting human rights. regulatory. 56 Table 4. and (iii) the main conclusions from the case studies. promoting governance. some are only quoted domestically (ONGC.39 0. The promotion of competition and the partial privatization of Ecopetrol appear to have created additional incentives for the NOC to improve its performance. the government opted for the strict separation of policy. 55 Ten of the NOCs in the case study group (and fifteen of the NOCs included in the statistical analysis) are included in the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) Top 50 ranking of petroleum companies.worldbank. In 2008 the petroleum revenue was approximately ten percent of total government revenue.

The NOC does not have noncommercial or non-core commercial activities. financial and public sectors and to diversify the economy away from oil and minerals.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS NOC’s internal and external governance structure compares well with other NOCs in our study sample (see section 4. oil and gas transportation and petrochemicals in the country. but has made substantial investment in developing backward linkages. the government granted it a series of commercial privileges by law. A modern corporate governance structure was set up. and through exploration in the longer term.30 0.53 5-Yr Avg 0. Exchange rate volatility driven by fluctuations in oil prices.55 0. The NOC’s workforce comprises mainly nationals. all new PSAs post 2004 must include at least 50 percent participation of KMG EP. Since the NOC’s initial portfolio of assets contained mature fields. protectionist policies may be one of the most effective ways for the government to help the NOC achieve the size and economies of scale necessary to become a fully fledged oil and gas corporation.2).40 0. Mission Statement: To build on its position as a leading oil and gas company in Kazakhstan by increasing its production and replacing its reserves both through acquisitions in the short-to-medium term. Although within regional average. Years of underinvestment in exploration have hindered the NOC’s ability to replace its reserves. Kazakhstan has a relatively immature but large oil and gas resource base. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS Kazmunaigaz EP. aimed at providing the NOC with a clear competitive advantage.43 Geology: At the end of 2008 proven oil and reserves were estimated at 30 billion barrels and 85 trillion cubic feet respectively. Recent international expansion aims at diversifying the NOC’s portfolio and improving its technical skills. State context: Oil revenue accounts for approximately 40 percent of total government revenue. These include: the right of first refusal on any onshore oil and gas rights. 67 . Private company participation is permitted in the sector. and limited implementation and absorptive capacities are among Kazakhstan’s key policy challenges. Kazakhstan Establishment: 2004. interests or assets offered for sale in Kazakhstan. and (ii) to created a strong NOC. and access to unlicensed acreage in Kazakhstan without the need for the government to run a competitive tender process. refining. KMG. to afford the NOC the management As long as Kazakhstan’s investment conditions remain attractive to private investors. carried through exploration.40 0. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. preferential access rights to KMG oil and gas transportation assets. Ecopetrol’s reserve base is relatively mature. the control of corruption and voice and accountability indicators rank in the 10th to 25th percentile. Strategy and behavior: Ecopetrol is a vertically integrated company. Kazakhstan’s Governance Indicators have been improving over the period 2004-08. are purely commercial entities. Petroleum sector governance: Policy and regulatory functions in the hydrocarbon sector are carried out by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. It dominates oil and gas production. Corporate governance: KMG EP is 63 percent owned by parent company KMG (itself wholly owned by the government of Kazakhstan through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources via the holding company Samruk- By the early 2000s. But over the past several years important reforms have been undertaken through the adoption of international standards for the productive. Consequently the government made two key policy decisions: (i) to create the National Fund of Kazakhstan. In addition. the oil and gas industry was the major driver of the country’s economy accounting for about 62 percent of export earnings and close to 40 percent of the government’s budget revenue. KMG EP and its holding. pressing development needs.

to meet the ever growing demand of the country. With the exception of political stability. strategy. Approximately 20 percent of the known geological basins are moderately to well explored. But regulatory quality and control of corruption remain key concerns. KEY FACTORS flexibility needed to fulfill its mission. Geology: At the end of 2008 India’s proven oil and gas reserves were estimated at 5. The rest is in different stages of exploration. The NOC is a newcomer in the international oil and gas arena and faces considerable learning curve costs and risk. India is a significant consumer of energy resources. 68 . (ii) the diversification of energy sources. which relates to the need to secure energy supplies to meet rapidly growing industrial and consumer demand. ONGC bears the largest petroleum product subsidies burden among NOCs in our sample.48 0. State context: With high economic growth rates.‛ VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. In addition it has supplemented its asset base with ongoing domestic acquisitions. ‚To be a leader in: (i) the exploration and management of petroleum resources. ONGC does not seem to attract as large a proportion of foreign direct investment as its competitors in India. with oil and gas reserves that were largely mature.2 percent of ONGC. Since then. Of the NOC’s BOD members. which includes a vision from the President of India. NOC strategy and behavior: KMG EP is the second largest Kazakh oil producing company. Finding new ways of tapping energy wherever it is. behavior. and (iii) technology in Underground Coal Gasification. and is a net importer of oil and natural gas. Petroleum sector governance: The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons. which is a mismatch with India’s exploration and production opportunities that are believed to be in deepwater.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS Kazyna).53 0. A central element of India's foreign affairs agenda is 'energy diplomacy'. Mission Statement: The NOC has no publicly stated mission. 38 percent are independent. and discloses associated costs on its website. Corporate Governance: It is the larger of India’s two NOCs. The following was taken from the 2006 annual report. and reforms to reduce state control have been slow. This may reflect of views about corporate governance. The government controls 84. the NOCs have had to compete for acreage with private companies. KMG EP is requested to contribute to national and regional projects. It was founded as upstream and Kazakhstanfocused commercial company.43 0. which eliminated the obligation for one private oil company to partner with the NOCs. regulates the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas resources and administers bidding rounds. Diversification further down the oil and gas value chain and price subsidies risk distracting NOC’s management. The petroleum sector is dominated by state-owned enterprises. under the administrative control of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.8 billion barrels and 38. In 1999 the Directorate introduced the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). MAIN CONCLUSIONS ONGC. The BOD comprises two ONGC’s core expertise in production activities may be the natural response to its shareholder’s short-term drive to increasing production levels. The NOC does not have large non-commercial obligations. But it lacks sufficient domestic resources. nor it is required to undertake noncore commercial activities beyond those acquired at the time of its creation. India Establishment: 1994. India’s Governance Indicators are above the regional average and have been fairly stable over the period 2004-08.48 5-Yr Avg 0.48 ONGC’s strategy to enhance domestic production and to find equity oil abroad helped to stabilize its oil and gas reserves and production The NOC’s core expertise is in the production of shallow water and onshore fields. and detract resources from oil and gas exploration. but it may pose threats to the NOC’s sustainability going forward.5 trillion cubic feet respectively.50 0. Acquisition of deepwater technologies and strategic alliances with international POCs will be necessary for sustainable value creation. or other management attributes.

NOC strategy and behavior: International production accounts for about 14 percent of total production. Substantial petroleum price subsidies have dampened the NOC’s financial performance while inflating demand. only two of which are independent. Russia. Venezuela Establishment: 1975. It is the smallest refiner in India. Venezuela scores poorly in terms of World Governance Indicators. This resulted in short-term improvements in financial performance. The NOC has some regulatory responsibility. The President of India appoints the BOD members. Since 1975 the industry and trade of hydrocarbons for the state. production. Since 2005 the NOC has used internal auditors. ONGC does not have special social and economic development projects. Given the NOC’s limited amount of financial and technical resources. of which two are not government officials or NOC executives. The BOD is appointed by the President of Venezuela. and Brazil and exploration projects in Myanmar. The NOC achieved impressive results with respect to its national mission goals. The BOD comprises 10 members. but long-term risk. The NOC has limited financial and budget autonomy. and to serve and benefit the Venezuelan people. Excessive reliance on the NOC to achieve national mission objectives creates competing demands on the NOC. Besides substantial price subsidies (the highest in our study sample). especially with respect to the rule of Law. However. Colombia. The Orinoco Belt contains one of the largest recoverable oil accumulations in the world. to promote technological independence. transport and sale of petroleum and petroleum products. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0.55 0.51 5-Yr Avg 0. Currently has international production in the Sudan. Egypt. The NOC publishes annual reports. perhaps affected by increasing use of cash flow for non-core activities and worsening of the debt to equity ratio. Venezuela. to protect the environment. State context: The country’s dependence on oil revenue has grown considerably since 2004. and Iran.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS executive directors and eight non-executive directors. Ministry of Energy formulates policies and acts as the regulator.65 0. refining. these measures may result in erratic operational and financial 69 . uncertainty with respect to contractual and property rights has affected Venezuala’s attractiveness to FDI. The NOC’s investment in upstream and downstream petroleum sectors declined over the period of the study. But the underinvestment in complex fields has reduced the NOC total production costs. Venezuela saw a considerable decline in oil production. profitable. the reforms introduced by the government have shifted a larger share of exploration and production risk to the NOC by reducing foreign investments and the NOC’s ability to partner with POCs. to guarantee sovereignty of national resources.66 0. Corporate Governance: Public limited company. especially since the government imposed restrictions on private participation in oil production activities. In 2008 oil revenue represented 33 percent of GDP.59 Geology: Venezuela has one of the largest hydrocarbon endowments in the world. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS PDVSA. Syria. Vietnam. Operates alone in 43 percent of its international projects and is a joint operator in an additional 12 percent. At the end of 2008 Venezuela’s oil and gas proven reserves were estimated at 172 billion barrels and 176 trillion cubic feet respectively. Noncommercial expenditure increased significantly over the study period reflecting the government’s industrial and macro-fiscal policy. wholly owned by the state. The large reserves base and the sustained level of oil prices until August 2008 allowed the NOC to support a drastic change in priorities and objectives. to foster the harmonic development of the country. Petroleum sector governance: Current law requires PDVSA to have at least 60 percent participating interest in each joint venture with POCs. The NOC’s reserves replacement rate has been sharply declining since 2006. Mission Statement: To ensure the efficient. and dependable exploration.57 0. Following the wave of expropriations in 2006.

The Department of Energy (Secretaría de Energía. which may threaten the sustainability of the NOC’s national mission performance. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS performance. to maintain gas production increases above demand growth. Around 55 per cent of Mexico’s oil reserves are in deep waters. resulting in a highly leveraged balance sheet relative to capex needs.8 billion barrels and 17. International investments are minor but strategic and are mostly limited to the regional market. where over half of the country’s potential reserves are expected to lie. or SHCP). Mexico’s World Governance Indicators have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08. Petroleum sector governance: The NOC has the monopoly in the petroleum sector. Further innovation in its management structure may be necessary to lead to sustainable value creation.32 0. which leaves little room for further debt expansion. The 2008 reforms represent an effort to invigorate and expand private and foreign direct investment flows into priority upstream projects. Mission Statement: To maintain oil production at 3.45 0. Various government entities carry out supervision and regulatory functions. State context: Oil revenue represents approximately 40 percent of total government revenue. The Comisión Reguladora de Energía (CRE) regulates the natural gas sector. to reduce gasoline imports.40 5-Yr Avg 0.6 trillion cubic feet respectively. E&P activities are limited to Venezuela. Pemex’s budget is authorized annually by the Department of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público. and investing in technologies and human capital. It has no regulatory powers. exacerbating the impact of underinvestment.39 0. Non-commercial obligations include the provision of social services. It also precluded the participation of private investors. Company’s fiscal obligations have forced it into debt markets. but the lack of clarify and slow 70 . to achieve 100 percent reserve replacement ratio by 2012/2013. but strongly constrains the NOC’s ability to invest in maintaining production levels from declining fields. which has deprived the NOC of access to world-class technologies and managerial expertise. social safety networks. to enact crucial operational upgrades in refining and petrochemicals.39 0. or SENER) exercises the ownership rights of the state. Recent governance reforms have improved transparency and attempted to create at least some room for the BOD to participate in operations and decision making. and to reduce investment leverage. to achieve R/P ratio of 10 years.39 The NOC is an efficient producer of existing reserves but lacks the capital and technology to replace those reserves. Pemex’s dominance as the largest single contributor is a key motivator for government intervention in the petroleum sector. The NOC has some petrochemical production and power generation. The newly established national hydrocarbon commission (CNH) advises the President on energy policy and interacts with the other federal entities and Pemex’s monopolistic position provided the framework for building a significant asset base and production expertise. and subsidized petroleum products. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is vertically integrated along the petroleum sector value chain. Geology: At the end of 2008 Mexico’s proven oil and gas reserves stood at 11. PEMEX. Fiscal contribution to the state is vital for Mexico’s economic stability. exploring for new fields. and approved by Congress. Its national mission objectives have been substantially stepped up in recent years. Weak corporate governance and internal management processes appear to constrain the NOC’s human resource capital and skills. however.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS which are no longer submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. except for control of corruption that shows a slight improvement. Mexico Establishment: 1938.1mmbd until 2012. The impossibility of partnering with other companies has left Pemex to shoulder the drill bit risk entirely. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0.

respectively. The NOC is the largest investor in research and development among the oil majors and a recognized leader in deep and ultra-deepwater exploration and production. Production has been steadily declining since 2004. Petrobras was created as stateowned enterprise with majority state participation.40 0. However. Brazil Establishment: 1953. most from a single large oilfield.8 billion barrels and 12. The government deliberately granted the NOC administrative and financial independence and a commercial mandate. at 12. technologically complex.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS with Pemex. The BOD consists of 15 members. the participation of domestic and 71 . Cantarell. State context: Petroleum revenue represents a relatively small part of total government revenue. including the recently discovered sub-salt province. SENER exercises the ownership rights of the government. Corporate governance: Established by the Mexican Congress as a Public Limited Company wholly owned by the state. Brazil’s Governance Indicators have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08. although provided. approximately 74 percent of oil production comes from offshore. Pemex is no longer a major source of employment or of substantial direct. But risk profile has increased. Above all Pemex is the largest single contributor of government revenue.39 0. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. since pre-salt exploration and development is unknown. Recent discoveries in the deepwater pre-salt area have largely improved the NOC’s resource base and resource potential. but the company still does not meet 100 percent of internal requirements. since the large pre-salt discoveries in 2007.35 5-Yr Avg 0.49 0. providing products and services that meet clients’ needs and that contribute to the development of Brazil and the countries in which it operates. Except for the rule of law and voice and accountability. non-commercial investment. with social and environmental responsibility.41 0. Price subsidies. refiner.41 The NOC is the largest individual holder of concessions in Brazil and has a majority interest in most other concessions. and its financial management has historically been tightly intertwined and heavily affected by its owner’s budgetary needs. and distributor and is diversified in the petrochemical business. Pemex’s downstream investment programs have closed the gap on meeting Mexico’s petroleum products demand. The country still has a large number of sub-mature and frontier areas. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS pace of implementation may drastically reduce its intended effects. The President of Mexico also appoints the Director General of Pemex. Petrobras. The President of Mexico appoints 6 government officials and 4 professional directors to the BOD. and the Geology: At the end of 2008 Brazil’s oil and gas proven reserves stood. and very expensive.8 trillion cubic feet. NOC strategy and behavior: No international upstream operations. After the sector reform in 1997 the government has been careful to create a legal and regulatory framework that ensures the participation of domestic and foreign investors. Although the NOC was granted a monopoly in the petroleum sector (with the exception of retail distribution). The country has a well-defined local content policy. are well below the average of the NOCs in our sample. Currently. The NOC is an integrated oil and gas producer. this policy has been partially reversed. The Petroleum Workers Union appoints the remaining 5 directors. Mission Statement: To operate in a safe and profitable manner in Brazil and abroad.

KEY FACTORS NOC has a strong track record of developing the local supply industry and local skills and promoting technological advances. The nine members of the BOD are appointed at the ordinary general meeting of the shareholders. the government has partially reversed its policy of cooperative and competitive participation. Conselho Nacional de Politica Energetica is part of the government’s executive branch and advises the President in the formulation of national energy policy. The bills approved by the Brazilian congress in June 2010 present new challenges and opportunities for both the NOC and POCs. renewable energy. human capital. China’s natural gas market is relatively undeveloped. The country was not perceived as prospective.33 0. The Ministry of Mines and Energy chairs the CNPE and is a member of Petrobras’ BOD. and the development of the domestic supply industry was inevitable and has allowed the NOC to develop a strong competitive advantage in the domestic market by relying on its core commercial operations. and is active in 27 countries. Since the large pre-salt discoveries in 2007. the NOC’s profitability has been under pressure from increasing costs in its mostly mature upstream sector. Price subsidies 72 . and costs were higher than those in more established oil provinces.33 5-Yr Avg 0. In addition. The NOC is quoted on the Brazilian Bovespa. In compliance with Brazilian Corporate Law. While there are significant onshore gas reserves. including the Minister of Treasury. State context: China’s dependence on oil imports and the government’s concern about the security of supplies are important factors’ in China’s efforts to secure greater access to global The NOC faces typical learning curve.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS Petroleum sector governance: The NOC had a monopoly on virtually all petroleum sector activities until the 1997 reform.37 Geology: At the end of 2008 China’s oil and gas proved reserves stood at 14.46 0. this strategy is likely to yield its benefits in the medium term. who is the chairman. China Establishment: 1999. The National Petroleum Agency is the upstream regulator. and another represents the holders of preferred stock. diversified in petrochemicals. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. power generation. However. Investing in technology. As a More competitive fiscal regimes would attract foreign investors and help the NOC to address declining production from mature assets that require the use of advanced production technology. but the capital budget is approved by Congress. and biofuels. New York.8 billion barrels and 86. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is a fully integrated petroleum company.35 0. It dominates the domestic market in virtually all business segments. Various government ministries are represented on Petrobras’ BOD. fertilizers. risk and cost challenges associated with sizeable expansion in unfamiliar markets. Prices for refined products were held below international market levels from 2005 to 2008. Mission Statement: To transform Petro China into an international energy company with strong competitiveness. The NOC had to develop the industry without the benefit of relying on existing know-how and operations. The NOC has considerable financial and budgetary autonomy. The NOC’s national mission objective includes energy self-sufficiency and the development of backward and forward linkages. MAIN CONCLUSIONS foreign private companies was never prohibited. One board member represents the minority shareholders of common stock. there was no oil industry in Brazil. The MME is responsible for implementing CNPE recommendations and overseeing the development planning for the hydrocarbon sector. Petro China. the BOD is overseen by a five member Fiscal Council. granting its NOC privileges over the prolific presalt basin and paving the way for increased state participation in the sector. Corporate governance: The government owns 40 percent of Petrobras’ outstanding capital stock and 56 percent of its voting shares. When the NOC was established. giving it majority control of the company. Buenos Aires.38 0.7 trillion cubic feet respectively. and Madrid Stock Exchanges.

which in turn helps the NOC to arrest 73 . but the Ministry of Personnel also involved. The NOC does not have noncommercial or local content objectives or obligations. accounting for 60 percent of oil production. Venezuela. 80 percent of gas production. Focus on profitability and growth. the NOC incurred losses in its refining operations averaging five percent of revenues per year. Mission statement: Become an ‚oil and gas multinational of choice".42 0. Remaining fields are of lower quality. A ‚supervisory board‛ monitors financial matters and oversees BOD senior management. relatively small in size. and far from existing infrastructure. and the development of the local supply industry allowed the NOC to improve its efficiency. likely due to the progressive features of Malaysia’s fiscal regime for hydrocarbons. Hong Kong. The NOC’s good financial performance is generally ascribed to its low cost integrated operations. Focus on operatorship. complex bureaucracies may create competitive disadvantages for the NOC. MAIN CONCLUSIONS reduce the cash flow available to the NOC for reinvestment in its core business and may contribute to delaying the reforms needed to create robust internal market conditions. since these are discharged by the CNPC. Government’s loans to and infrastructure investment in oil producing countries may have helped to create comparative advantages for Chinese NOCs. KEY FACTORS result. technical skills. Corporate governance: CNPC owns 87 percent of Petro China’s equity. while fulfilling its national mission objectives. A similar situation applies to the natural gas market. A number of agencies and ministries are responsible for specific aspects of sector governance. Develop a leading core oil and gas business in which Petronas is "capability advantaged" and expand these businesses internationally. CNPC is traded on the Shanghai. and 35 percent of refining capacity. and production levels are declining fast. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is China’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. Natural gas price subsidies are approximately 7 percent of total revenue. Develop an VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. and natural gas transportation. Federal debt is quite modest. But the government Petronas’ fiscal burden increased between 2004 and 2008. 70 percent of oil and gas transportation. Petronas.5 billion barrels and 84 trillion cubic feet respectively. One-third of the members of the BOD are independent. where prices are kept below market levels to support the development of fertilizer manufacturers. which provides fiscal flexibility. China’s Governance Indicators have been steadily improving over the period 2004-08. There is no indication of different tax treatment for the NOC and POCs. An attractive fiscal regime ensures POCs’ investment. Most fields have been producing for over 30 years.38 5-Yr Avg 0. Except for political stability and voice and accountability. Malaysia Establishment: 1974.46 0. The NOC also has substantial interest in refining.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS oil and gas resources. Its national mission is to contribute to the creation of employment opportunities. petrochemicals. State context: Hydrocarbon revenue as a percentage of total government revenue increased from 20 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2008.41 0. Large. and public shareholders own the remaining 13 percent. Petroleum sector governance: The NOC has no regulatory functions. and New York Stock Exchanges.44 Geology: At the end of 2008 Malaysia’s oil and gas reserves stood at 5. and Peru. BOD appoints the company’s senior management.51 0. It has interests in various oil and gas assets in twelve countries including Kazakhstan.

the Rand. Petro SA. KEY FACTORS The NOC is a key vehicle for local content.COMPANY increasingly international culture and world class organizational management and business practices while retaining a distinct Malaysian identity. The NOC’s objectives are clear and publicly stated. the NOC decided to enter the international upstream business. The obligation to renegotiate pre1994 leases to incorporate new 74 . Investment in training and education is an important element of the NOC strategy. Corporate governance: The Prime Minister appoints the chairman of the BOD. and the NOC has considerable financial and budgetary autonomy. Petroleum sector governance: The NOC was given exclusive rights and powers over Malaysia’s petroleum resources since its establishment. Green Technology and Water.26 0. Rather it seems that the NOC and its government have pursued a strategy of partnering and risk sharing with private companies. who is also CEO.23 0. Between 2004 and 2008.22 0. Today Petronas is an integrated oil and gas company with interests in petrochemicals and maritime shipping and logistics.20 Geology: At the end of 2008 South Africa had proven oil and gas reserves of 15 million barrels and 318 billion cubic feet respectively. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. The Ministry of Energy. Nonetheless.22 5-Yr Avg 0. through the Energy Commission is responsible for midstream and downstream hydrocarbon sector regulation. government effectiveness scores very highly. probably driven by the decline of its domestic mature assets. has amplified the effect of the worldwide trend in rising finding and development costs. Implementation of the reforms introduced by law was unclear. Historically it had a central role for local content development. MAIN CONCLUSIONS declining domestic reserves. The NOC has regulatory powers in upstream and the Malaysian Prime Minister has considerable influence over sector policy. There is currently no onshore drilling. South Africa Establishment: 2002. State context: The petroleum sector has played a minimal role in South Africa’s economy. Natural gas prices are subsidized. The The NOC has consistently exceeded its national mission objectives. and very limited offshore exploration since 2001. NOC strategy and behavior: At the beginning of the 1990s. However. Mission statement: To become the leading provider of hydrocarbons and related quality products by leveraging proven technologies and harnessing human capital for the benefit of stakeholders.09 0. while export revenue was around 37 percent of total revenue in 2008. Among Malaysia’s Governance Indicators. But voice and accountability and political stability have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08. Although the NOC has exclusive powers over the country’s petroleum resources. VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS appears to rely on the NOC to provide resources to the country’s economy at difficult times. The BOD has no independent members. Be a good corporate citizen in the areas where the company operates. the NOC has been able to generate positive cash flow and to maintain its exploration budget. the sharp devaluation of the national currency. There is no independent upstream policy/regulatory entity. it does not seem to have used it to capture immediate gains to the detriment of long term value creation. But The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 became effective in 2004 but was not applied until 2008. it has fallen short of its 30 percent target share of national production. Exiting reserves are located offshore southern South Africa or near the border with Namibia. The BOD has considerable powers. Industry analysts suggest that hydrocarbon potential may exist in deep water. More than 40 percent of its revenue comes from international operations (mainly Africa).

The NOC sells its products at market price and receives government subsidies to support its GTL production and petroleum product purchases. To improve production levels and its reserves replacement rate. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) regulates policy over the energy industry and is responsible for implementing South Africa's energy plan. The NOC’s objectives are clear and publicly known. which lowers its investment risk and exposes it to international best practices. Corporate governance: The NOC is a public limited company wholly owned by the state. Increased NOC involvement in refining investment is likely to trigger more upstream investment to guarantee security of supply. Although a slight deterioration was recorded for all Governance Indicators over the period 2004-08. mainly relying on gas fields offshore of Mossel Bay. and is a world leader in gas to liquids (GTL) technology. employment opportunities. which is a state-owned enterprise itself. and local economic development are among the main imperatives for the company. This is particularly relevant when geology and distance to market present challenges. particularly those related to energy security. The NOC has a thin exploration and production asset base.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS country is a net petroleum importer. The company is required by law to pay a certain level of dividends to its shareholders (the state) on an annual basis. However. has played a key role in shaping institutional arrangements and foreign investment in all economic sectors. the NOC has stepped up its upstream investment. Future sustainability may require a rebalancing of objectives that create competing demands on the NOC’s limited resources to allow it to create a stronger asset base. The NOC aims to become a player across the entire petroleum sector value chain. promoting local development. To this end a large refinery project is underway and is expected to become operational in 2015. National mission goals. The Petroleum Agency. MAIN CONCLUSIONS requirements generated uncertainty and affected the level of investment in the sector. both domestically and internationally. a subsidiary of CEP Group. 75 . The BOD has ample authority and power within the limits imposed by strategic and operational policies and targets set by the DME. and employment opportunities under the Black Economic Empowerment KEY FACTORS exploration success has yet to materialize. Petroleum sector governance: The Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) has policy setting responsibilities and oversees various sector regulators. Of the 15 BOD members. including petroleum. is tasked with the promotion and licensing of petroleum exploration and production rights. The Black Economic Empowerment policy. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC focuses on upstream oil and gas exploration and production. They include improving South Africa’s security of supplies. Petro SA is audited by the Auditor General. which aims to generate sustainable growth through the redistribution of wealth and opportunities to disadvantaged communities. 5 are not government officials or company executives. South Africa scores remain considerably above the regional average. The DME exercises the ownerships rights of the state. The company relies on partnerships with POCs. through the CEF Group. particularly since 2006. operational performance of the company has been deteriorating. The NOC has no regulatory functions.

41 5-Yr Avg 0. company executives. The Act established an independent regulator. balancing commercial and government objectives. The NOC has financial and budget autonomy.30 0. PTT has a reasonable level of budget autonomy from the government. aiming for value maximization for the ultimate benefit of the organization. The NOC’s efficiency and financial performance metrics reflect the complexity and capital intensive nature of its integrated business. Thailand Establishment: 1978. and environmental growth. The Energy Policy and Planning Office (Ministry of Energy) oversees the performance of all state-owned enterprises in the energy sector. Petroleum sector governance: PTT has no regulatory functions.38 0. Corporate governance: PTT Public Company Limited is a joint stock company traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand since its partial privatization in 2001. and distribution of natural gas in the domestic market. Proliferous petroleum basins are located both offshore and onshore. 76 . with POCs controlling two out of five major refineries. social. Mission Statement: To focus on fostering security of supply and firm foundation that would lead to economic potency and add value for Thailand and its people. which translates into the NOC’s strategy of value creation through integration along the energy value chain. balancing the government’s strategic priorities and the need to improve efficiency and transparency in the company’s business. PTT is governed by a 15 member BOD. The NOC is a key instrument for achieving the government’s national energy security objectives. or both. State context: The Thai government's policies and the National Economic and Social Development Plan aim to support free market. Energy security is a key policy driver for petroleum exploration. which allows streamlining and speeding up planning and investments.1 percent of the company directly and through the Vayupak fund. Achieve harmonious balance between economic. PTT. Approximately 87 percent of the BOD members are government officials.29 0. Thailand’s openness to competition in the upstream hydrocarbon sector allows the country to advance the exploration of its largely unexplored territory without relying entirely on its NOC. VCI: VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. and to encourage an increasing role for the private sector in economic and social development.32 Geology: At the end of 2008 Thailand’s oil and gas reserves were estimated at 454 million barrels and 12 trillion cubic feet respectively.COMPANY initiative. particularly the control of corruption and political stability. PTT’s corporate governance is an example of compromise between Asian and Western governance traditions. The government owns 67. Thailand’s Governance Indicators have been deteriorating over the period 2004-08. Pricing of petroleum products is marketbased. as well as energy efficiency and diversification. Thailand has a significant number of non-state-owned upstream operators. Controversy and delays in the implementation of the institutional and market reforms introduced by the 2007 Energy Industry Act may affect both sector and NOC performance if not addressed in a timely manner by the government. The Ministry of Energy has policy setting responsibilities. The Thai Ministry of Finance exercises the ownership rights. Thailand is a net importer of both oil and gas. but the majority of current production comes from the Gulf of Thailand – a mature area with some exploration opportunities. The NOC has a monopoly in the procurement. the Energy Regulatory Commission. World-class self-financed integrated petroleum and related corporation in Thailand and overseas. wholesale.24 0. with some regulatory powers over the natural gas sector. particularly marginal fields. but these have only been partially implemented. The NOC’s accounts are audited by the Auditor General of Thailand. Far-reaching sector reforms in the upstream sector were introduced by the Energy Industry Act in 2007. Oil refining is also largely competitive. whose members are appointed by the shareholders pursuant to the recommendations of the Nomination Committee.

and wholesale and retail petroleum products distribution. including licensing rounds. Sonatrach is a major contributor to its country’s economy. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS Sonatrach. The Ministry of Energy and Minerals has policy responsibility. Focus on short term rent capture may hamper NOC’s value creation. economic. It has Amendments to the 2005 Hydrocarbons Law were passed in 2006. For the NOC to sustainably create value. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0. on the one hand have helped to support the NOC’s financial performance.68 Geology: At the end of 2008 Algeria’s oil and gas reserves stood at 12. Its corporate social responsibility agenda is largely defined by the company. In addition. affecting the pace of exploration and development. concessions and contracts. Most directors are government officials or executives. This will ultimately affect the NOC’s long-term ability to preserve its reserves base. and comparable to that of most POCs. ALNAFT and ARH. The quasimonopoly position of the NOC in key rent-generating links of the sector value chain has been a deterrent to company and market reforms. Corporate governance: The NOC is a public limited company wholly owned by the State. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC was initially only responsible for the transportation and marketing of hydrocarbon products.65 5-Yr Avg 0. its financial autonomy and resources would need to be commensurate to its mission. refining and petrochemicals. About 25 percent of current oil and gas comes from its international ventures. transportation. In contrast with the original reform that aimed to increase competition in the upstream oil and gas sector.1 trillion cubic feet respectively. and the NOC’s strategic location with respect to consumers’ market in Europe. State context: Petroleum revenue represents approximately two thirds of total government revenue. and project specific considerations. Petroleum sector governance: The NOC was divested of its regulatory powers in 2005. to maximize the long-term value of Algeria's hydrocarbon resources. are respectively responsible for: (i) managing national hydrocarbon resources.67 0. Algeria Establishment: 1963. PTT does not provide petroleum price subsidies. The Ministry of Energy and Minerals exercises the ownership rights of the state. Algeria fares poorly on all World Governance Indicators. It is the largest oil and gas producer in Thailand. Algeria remains both unequally explored and underexplored. the law introduced a 50 percent windfall tax when oil price is above $30. Sonatrach was mandated to participate in all upstream.77 0. and to contribute to national development. Mission statement: To meet Algeria's present and future needs. even if rent extraction mechanisms target 77 . The recent high oil and gas prices.72 0. Rankings over the period 2004-08 have worsened steadily.2 billion barrels and 159.69 0. primarily by providing the required hard currency revenues. This has at times affected its ability to reinvest sufficient resources in its core activities. and (ii) regulation and oversight of pipeline network access. and environmental regulation.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS NOC strategy and behavior: PTT is a vertically integrated energy company with domestic and international operations in exploration and production. The concentration of hydrocarbon accumulations in the Eastern Sahara reflects current technology knowledge and the historical evolution of exploration efforts. midstream and downstream (refining) projects with a minimum controlling interest of 51 percent. tariffs and safety. Political conditions in Algeria and the country’s reliance on Sonatrach's revenue streams are such that Sonatrach's investment decisions rest on a complex set of political. Two independent regulators. The NOC budget is subject to approval by the General Assembly.

Mission Statement: To maximize value and potential on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) while profitably increasing international production. and (ii) once a discovery was declared commercial. and independent regulators that oversee all sector participants Recognizing the benefits of private investment in the sector. It has limited international exploration and production ventures (mainly in Africa). this is likely to result in lower oil and gas revenue for the government. State context: Petroleum revenue accounts for approximately 35 percent of total government revenue. Statoil has become a more commercially The NOC owes much of its success to the ability of the Norwegian government to adapt its policies to changes in geological. There were worries about the influence of Statoil on the domestic economy and (potentially) domestic politics. Petroleum sector governance: The ‚Norwegian model‛ separates responsibilities between the energy ministry (the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. implying veto power on all development decisions. economic.37 0. and closeness to consuming markets in Europe. Norway Establishment: 1972. These factors.35 0. But Norway has adopted policies to mitigate macroeconomic distortions resulting from the exploitation of petroleum resources.40 Geology: At the end of 2008 Norway’s proven reserves were estimated at 7. It includes developing profitable midstream and downstream businesses and creating a platform for new energy sources. and faces a mature and declining resource base. By partnering with experienced 78 . in all petroleum licenses. and the area is generally considered mature or declining. and market conditions. Petroleum product prices are subsidized. The extent of this contribution is not disclosed. Over the years. These privileges were revoked in the second half of the 1980s. the option to increase participation by up to 30 percent (to a total of 80 percent) based on a sliding scale linked to production levels. Norway’s Governance Indicators are above the regional average. KEY FACTORS MAIN CONCLUSIONS foreign investment. Production in the Norwegian continental shelf started 40 years ago. Statoil. or MPE). it was granted the following privileges: (i) minimum participation of 50 percent. Statoil. and fully private Saga Petroleum and international oil companies were allowed to invest in the sector. The state held shares in another Norwegian oil company. Norway’s culture of transparency and accountability is considered a key ingredient for sound and sustainable management of petroleum resources.43 0. Norsk Hydro.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS evolved into a fully integrated oil and gas company. The coastal areas of the southern part of the continental shelf are also relatively immature. During the NOC’s first decade of operations. were crucial conditions for value creation by the NOC. The government’s decisions to open the petroleum sector to private investors and eventually to revoke the NOC’s state privileges were farsighted policy measures. coupled with good governance transparency. an already developed industrial sector. and low levels of foreign investments will in turn increase the demand on NOC’s own resources to support sector development. carried through the exploration phase. diversified in power generation and renewable energy. VCI: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 0.34 0. The NOC has interests in a number of non-core commercial activities. But major portions of the Barents Sea and the deepwater part of the Norwegian Sea are still frontier.2 trillion cubic feet of gas. but the control of corruption and government effectiveness rankings have been slightly deteriorating over the period 200408. Ultimately.5 million barrels of oil and 78. In other words. low return on investment compared to other countries will likely reduce future investments. Sonatrach is tasked with promoting backward linkages through the ‚Algerianization‛ of the oil and gas sector and its contribution to socioeconomic programs. the NOC was not granted a monopoly.39 5-Yr Avg 0.

SOEs or government business enterprises are legal entities created by a government to undertake commercial or business activities on behalf of an owner government. The NOC’s corporate sustainability programs are comparable to POCs. Statoil is 67 percent owned by the Norwegian government and is quoted on the Oslo and New York stock exchanges. By international standards. It is a dominant player in the domestic market. But existing research suggests that the corporate governance of NOCs typically compares unfavorably to private sector In this paper. SOEs have a distinct legal form and are established to operate in commercial affairs. MAIN CONCLUSIONS international operators. State Direct Financial Interest (SDFI) was established in 1985 to allow the Norwegian State to participate in the Norwegian petroleum sector directly as an investor. Corporate governance: Statoil was wholly owned by the state until its merger with Norsk Hydro in October 2007 (‚Statoil-Hydro‛ referred to as ‚Statoil‛). where better corporate governance has become a priority. or NPD. the NOC had to find its place in the market. The NOC owns and operates one of Norway’s two refineries and has a 10 percent stake in a refinery owned and operated by Shell in the Netherlands. In time. (the requirement for nondiscriminatory granting of NCS licenses resulted in increased competition from POCs in Norway). this role was phased out. Internationally.3 The corporate governance of NOCs The importance of governance in improving the level and sustainability of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) performance has been the object of several research papers (see appendix 3). and Statoil's management are clearly defined. and knowledge to do so. they should be differentiated from other forms of government corporations or entities established to pursue purely non-financial objectives 57 79 . While SOEs may also have public policy objectives. and its relationship with the state is increasingly at arm’s length. Statoil played an important role in the development of local content. Statoil has a strong corporate governance structure. NOC strategy and behavior: The NOC is vertically integrated. of which 3 represent the NOC’s employees. KEY FACTORS oriented business. This is supported by the recent trend in SOEs reforms. During the initial phase of development of the sector. The others are independent. the BOD. the NOC carries out upstream operations in 40 countries. The NOC is now commercially oriented. the NOC was able to accelerate its learning curve and to develop a portfolio of assets without having to take the exploration risk. Source: Authors. The roles and responsibilities of the shareholders. Two factors influencing this decision were: (1) Norway’s entry into European Economic Area in 1994.57 Some authors see good governance as a prerequisite for effective privatization. and (2) Statoil looking to compete internationally and needing to improve efficiency. The BOD is composed of 11 members. When its privileges were revoked. including in countries in which the public sector accounts for a sizable proportion of the economy. but by then it had the size.COMPANY VCI AND VALUE DRIVERS (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. and a safety and environmental authority). 4. The state did not burden the NOC with excessive fiscal burden or non-core noncommercial obligations. strength. where it controls 80 percent of total oil and gas production.

2005a. and affects the NOC’s strategy. An ample body of literature exists on this topic. Shaded areas indicate NOCs with spe cial privile ge s. A detailed discussion of the corporate governance of standards of SOEs. this subsection analyzes the external and internal corporate governance arrangements of a group of NOCs that reflect a wide range of possible combinations of these variables (table 4.5).58 4. typical challenges and observed trends is beyond the scope of this paper. such as a country’s public sector governance. its oil dependency.1 Context variables and NOC corporate governance From a corporate governance perspective.standards or other SOEs. and whether these differences may be ascribed to specific factors that are unique to NOCs. 2005c. Table 4. 58 80 . 2005d). The following literature has been used as reference framework for the analysis and conclusions contained in this paper: OECD (2004. and the size of its resource endowment. Bold indicate s NOCs that be long to countrie s that de rive more than 30 pe rce nt of the ir fiscal re ve nue from oil and gas. commercial oversight. Although generally accepted principles of good corporate governance exist.5 – Composition of corporate governance sample NOC Revenue from Int'l Ops Over 50% Country Resource Endowment (billions of barrels of oil equivalent) More than 100 50-100 10-50 Less than 10 GDF (France) ENI (Italy) PTT (Thailand) Between 30-50% Between 10-30% Less than 10% PDVSA (Venezuela) QP (Qatar) Rosneft (Russian Federation) Gazprom (Russian Federation) Petronas (Malaysia) CNOOC (China) ONGC (India) KMG EP (Kazakhstan) Pe trochina (China) Sinope c (China) Pemex (Mexico) Pe trobras (Brazil) Sonatrach (Algeria) Statoil (Norway) Legenda: Italics indicate s NOCs that are not ve rtically inte grate d. Opaque and inefficient corporate governance mechanisms hinder NOCs’ ability to create value. NOCs with similar mandates and similar context variables would be similarly organized. internal financial controls. Reddy (2001). and Robinett (2006). or management structures. and generally accepted corporate governance standards for SOEs or POCs. and in some cases facilitate the development of corrupted practices. Drawing from the experience of a selected sample of NOCs. the design of oversight and control systems may be affected by the mandate of the NOC. To test this hypothesis. which in turn depends on a number of context variables. Were this to be the case. this section investigates whether there are systemic differences between the corporate governance arrangements of NOCs. Ecope trol (Colombia) OGDCL (Pakistan) PetroSA (South Africa) Source: Authors. 2005b.3. whether it is regarding transparency. accountability. adequate oversight and control exercised by the owners seems to be of primary importance in order to reduce information asymmetries and the potential for managerial rent-seeking.

Table 4. Given the relatively small size of our sample. they were often used by governments to protect sensitive industries. such as the UK. (ii) the ‚centralized model‛ where the ownership function is centralized under a single ministry (for example the ministry of finance) or a central administrative entity. But it retains considerable control over certain decisions of the BOD though its veto power.1 External governance External governance arrangements relate to the relationship between the NOC and the state as its owner—that is. It may also reflect a government’s desire to control the pace of exploitation of the resource base through mandatory participation of the NOC in petroleum activities and legal restrictions on ownership and access to petroleum resources. Countries that give their NOCs special privileges tend to be dependent on petroleum revenue. especially in countries that depend more heavily on petroleum revenue. the ownership structure of the NOC and the organization of state ownership. 60 There are three main models of ownership function organization: (i) the ‚decentralized model‛ where the responsibility for each SOE is assigned to the relevant line ministry. while in countries that are net oil importers or have small resource endowments NOCs tend to have to compete with POCs. reorganizations and board appointments to block foreign acquisitions or any undermining of government influence. Combined with the company’s articles of association. but its existence permits the government to exercise considerable influence over the company’s affairs. Some countries. such as the exclusive right to conduct petroleum activities (solely or in association with POCs). the states hold the majority share of voting rights in their NOC. which can be exercised under specific circumstances detailed in the company’s by-laws (the so called ‚Golden Share‛). The Italian Government owns 30. Developed during the period of privatizations. 60 The choice does not appear to be linked to the size of the NOC.6 provides an overview of the external governance arrangements for the twenty NOCs included in the corporate governance sample. and the Czech Republic. and mandatory minimum levels of NOC participation in petroleum operations. Ten out of twenty NOCs in our sample have special privileges granted to them by law. NOCs that enjoy the strongest privileges are those that are entirely owned by their government. is likely that countries that depend more heavily on petroleum revenue would tend to exert their ownership rights directly or indirectly through the Ministry of Finance.3 percent of the NOC’s share capital. Germany. which justifies ENI’s inclusion in the governance sample. A recent decision of the European Court of Justice confirms that these arrangements are contrary to EU law since they impede the free movement of capital (Elias 2010). the golden shares typically allow governments to exercise crucial votes on takeovers. Nonetheless. For most of the NOCs included in our sample. This policy choice seems to reflect the propensity of oil dependent countries to use their NOCs to capture additional rents (in addition or in preference to the fiscal regime).59 The veto power has never been exercised.1. or the size of the country’s resource endowment. With the exception of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI).3. the ownership function of the government is exercised either by the ministry of finance or other centralized authority (53 percent of our sample). use more than one model for different SOEs. ENI’s organization is no different from that of a POC with a distributed shareholding base.4. these finding may not be indicative of a general trend. 59 81 . The analysis of the external governance arrangements of the sample NOCs did not reveal any special pattern of ownership compared to other SOEs that operate in strategic or vital economic Golden shares allow governments to privatized companies while maintaining significant control of politically sensitive operations through a minority shareholding. and (iii) the ‚dual model‛ where the ownership function is shared between the line ministry of the SOE and a central administrative entity. the relative importance of its domestic and international activities.

E. 89. No special rights established by law. itself wholly owned by the government of China.00 State ownership function The State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission exercises the ownership right of the Government through the China National Offshore Oil Corp. and may reduce incentives to efficiency.E. to transfer the registered office of Eni SpA outside Italy.E.4 percent of the voting rights.90 1 30. CNOOC Ltd. Government Shareholding Agency 4 No special rights established by law. But it is possible that the combination of concentrated ownership and special rights shelters the NOC from competition from POCs and other NOCs.30 (1) Ministry of Economy and Finance 1 No special rights established by law. St. to change the corporate purposes or to amend or modify any of the special powers listed in the by-laws. Petersburg S. companies’ filings. has the right to take up to a 51% interest in any commercial discovery offshore China. the following special powers: (a) opposition to the acquisition of material interests representing 3% of the share capital of Eni SpA (b) opposition to shareholders agreements or other arrangements involving 3% or more of the share capital of Eni SpA . (c) veto power duly motivated by the case of prejudice to the interests of the State with respect to shareholders resolutions to dissolve Eni SpA.E. and 36.E. Borsa Italiana. CNOOC-Parent owns 66% of the shares in CNOOC Ltd through various internationallybased subsidiaries. the government owns 35.. solely or in association with other companies subject to Production Sharing Contracts negotiated by CNOOCParent with input from CNOOC Ltd.sectors. Source: Authors. (CNOOC-Parent). New York S.373%). 50.740%) and Rosgazifikatsiya (0. control 66. (3) Until December 2007 the government owned approximately 80 percent of GDF’s outstanding shares.4(3) The Federal Agency for State Property Management (38. London S. % govt. pursuant to the Russian Federation Government’s Directive following the Russian Federation Presidential Decree of November 5. Ecopetrol 1951 Joint stock ENI 1953 Joint stock Gazprom 1992 (2) Joint stock Bolsa de Valores de Colombia.00 GDF Joint stock Euronext (France) 36.7 percent of GDF Suez share capital.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs NOC CNOOC Ltd Year incorp . to cause a transfer. 1992. merger or demerger. Table 4. Reference year: 2008. Ministry of Mines and Energy Numbe r of NOCs 3 Special privileges CNOOC Ltd. 1 No special rights established by law Notes: (1) Eni’s by-laws grant to the Minister for Economy and Finance. and (d) appointment of a Board member without voting right. After the merger between GDF and Suez in 2008.889%).E. 82 . State Gas Concern Gazprom was transformed into Russian joint stock company (RAO) Gazprom. New York S. is the only company permitted to operate offshore China. (2) On the 17th of February 1993. and websites. New York S. and indirectly through the Federal Government ownership in Rosneftegaz (10. 1982 Type Joint stock Listings Hong Kong S. annual reports. In 1998 RAO Gazprom was reincorporated into an open joint stock company.

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC KMG EP Year incorp. 2004 Type Joint stock Listings London S.E., Kazakhstan S.E % govt. control 62.00 State ownership function Ministry of Energy and Minisera Resources, through SamrukKaznya (holding company). Number of NOCs 1 Special privileges Right of first refusal on any onshore oil and gas right, interest or asset offered for sale in Kazakhstan; preferential access rights to KMG oil and gas transportation assets; right to ask KMG to enter into direct negotiations with the government for any unlicensed oil and gas acreage in Kazakhstan; 50 % minimum carried participation in upstream projects. No special rights established by law.

OGDCL

1997 (1)

Public limited company

ONGC

1994

Joint stock

London S.E., Islamabad S.E., Karachi S.E. Bombay S.E., National S.E. of India

85.20

Federal Minister for Petroleum, Natural Resources and Privatisation President of India directly (74.14%), and indirectly through the Government ownership in Indian Oil Corporation (6.069%) and the Gas Authority of India Ltd (1.392%). Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

3

84.23

14

No special rights established by law.

PDVSA

1975

Public limited company

Not listed.

100.00

1

PEMEX

1938

Public limited company

Not listed.

100.00

Secretaría de Energía (SENER)

1

The law mandates the NOC to have a minimum 60 percent interest in any petroleum producing activity in Venezuela. Exlusive rights to explore for and exploit oil and gas in Mexico, and to transport natural gas through the national pipeline system until 2029. (2)

Notes: (1) OGDCL was established as a statutory corporation in 1961 and made self-financing in July 1989. The company was incorporated as a public limited company in October 1997. (2) POCs can invest in transportation and distribution, and build alternative pipelines to reach their clients.

Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.

83

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC Petrobras Year incorp. 1953 Type Joint stock Listings Sao Paulo, New York, Buenos Aires, and Madrid S. E. % govt. control 55.7 (1) State ownership function Ministry of Finance Number of NOCs 1 Special privileges No special rights between 1997-2009. Since 2010: (i) exclusive operatorship in the presalt province and selected areas; and (ii) 30 % minimum participation in these areas. Exclusive rights to enter into on onshore exploration and production contracts with foreign operators through CNPC.

Petro China

1999

Joint stock

Hong Kong S.E., New York S.E., Shanghai S.E.

86.71(2)

Petronas

1974

Public limited company

Petro SA

2002

Public limited company Joint stock

Petronas Holding is not listed, but 4 of its subsidiaries are listed on the Malaysia Bursa (1) Not listed.

100.00

The State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission through the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), itself wholly owned by the government. The Ministry of Finance (but some rights are reserved to the Prime Minister).

3

1

The Petroleum Act of 1974 gives Petronas ownership of, and exclusive rights to explore and produce, petroleum onshore or offshore Malaysia.

100.00

PTT

1978(3)

S.E. of Thailand

67.13

QP

1974

Public limited company

Not listed.

100.00

Department of Minerals and Energy, through the Central Energy Fund. The Ministry of Finance directly through its 51.7% ownership, and indirectly through the Vayupak Fund. Emir of Qatar

1

No special rights established by law.

1

PTT is the monopoly purchaser, wholesaler, and distributor of natural gas in Thailand. Sovereign guarantee provided by the Government.

1

Notes:

(1) The Brazilian government owns 40 percent of Petrobras' outstanding share capital, but has a 55.7 percent voting share. (2) CNPC owns 86.42 percent of Petrochina’s outstanding share capital directly, and 0.29 percent indirectly through Fairy King Investment Ltd. (1) The traded subsidiaries include Petronas’ exploration and production company, its natural gas transmission company, its refining company and its petrochemical company. (2) PTT was partially privatized in 2001.

Source: Authors, companies’ filings, annual reports, and websites. Reference year: 2008.

84

Table 4.6 – External governance arrangements for selected NOCs (continued)
NOC Rosneft Year incorp. 1993 Type Joint stock Listings London S.E., Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, Russian Trading System Hong Kong S.E., New York S.E., London S.E., Shanghai S.E. Not listed. % govt. control 83.00 (1) State ownership function 75.16% held by OJSC ROSNEFTEGAZ, wholly owned by the Federal Government; 0.000000009% held by the Federal Agency for State Property Management; The State Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission through the Sinopec Corp (Sinopec-Parent), itself wholly owned by the govt. Ministry of Energy and Minerals Number of NOCs 4 Special privileges No special rights established by law.

Sinopec Ltd

2000

Joint stock

75.80

3

No special rights established by law.

Sonatrach

1963

Public limited company

100.00

1

Statoil

1972

Public limited company

Oslo S.E., New York S.E.

70.83

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (66.89 percent) and the State Pension Fund (3.94 percent).

1

The 2006 Hydrocarbons Order reintroduces the mandatory participation of Sonatrach with a minimum 51 percent for exploration, production, transportation and refining activities. In the upstream, the NOC is carried through exploration. No special rights established by law.

Notes:

(1) The Federal Government owns 75.16 percent of the outstanding shares, but 9.45 percent are recorded by Rosneft as treasury shares.

4.3.1.2

Internal governance

Internal governance includes institutional arrangements, such as the composition, structure, functioning and authority of the BOD, and the NOC’s management processes, such as recruitment, oversight and replacement of key executives, decision-making process, sources of capital, the degree of budgetary autonomy, disclosure and transparency standards, the skill base, and human resources policies. Table 4.7 summarizes the internal governance arrangements for the NOCs in our sample. It is important to note that publicly available information on internal governance processes is scarce for most NOCs. Available information generally focuses on budget and financial autonomy, audit procedures, and disclosures. These are summarized in table 4.8.

85

NOCs that are quoted on international stock exchanges prepare their report according to national and international accounting standards. The size of BOD for our sample of NOCs ranged from 7 (Qatar Petroleum and Kazmunaigaz) to 21 members (Gaz de France) with an average of 11 members. employees of the company or any of its affiliates. the duties of the BODs are generally comparable and similar to those usually attributed to the BODs of other SOEs and of companies in the private sector. or sustainability committees. But there are differences in level of authority and decision-making power across the sample. While nomination committees can be an effective way to reduce political interference and to increase the independence of the BOD. or investment decisions. Daum and Neff (2005). even when nomination committees are established. For example. While almost all of them have an official corporate governance policy. budget. generally reflecting the concentration of ownership (although not proportionally). But this is probably a new trend for SOEs in general. economic. Eighty percent of the NOCs in the sample use external auditors and publish their annual reports. This is in line with the general trend observed in other SOEs towards increased professionalization and empowerment of BODs.61 In our sample NOCs. ethics committees. and Board Alert 2004. the relative voting power of majority and minority shareholders ultimately affects the choice of candidates and the composition of the committee. which aims to improve the efficiency of the decision-making process. Independent directors with professional and academic backgrounds in the legal. a few have established corporate governance committees. or representatives of employees. Korn Ferry Institute (2008). 61 86 . in some NOCs. a high level government official—often at the minister level—is the chairman of the BOD. In these cases. Only thirty percent of the NOCs in the sample have a nomination committee. which in turn affects its power and effectiveness. and technical fields are members of the board in most of the NOCs included in our sample.Almost all NOCs in our sample appear to confirm the general trend observed in SOEs and privately-owned enterprises towards a reduction in the size of BOD. independent directors exclude government officials. In this paper. For a discussion on trends in BOD composition and size see inter alia de Wied and Monsky (2010). the BOD and the general shareholders’ assembly are not the ultimate governing bodies of the company. or decisions that have a significant financial impact on the company’s affairs require formal approval by the government or by parliament. The number of independent BOD members observed for our sample NOCs varies between zero and 80 percent. Assessing the true level of independence of BOD members is quite complex. In some cases. Government officials from various government levels—including parliament and sub-national governments—are members of the BOD for most of the NOCs in our sample. financial. Most of the NOCs in the sample (70 percent) have established audit committees and compensation committees.

set the compensation of the management committee. the Minister of Mines and Energy. Gazprom 10 2 Directors include the Deputy Minister of Energy. administrative. approve debt issuance. All members of the audit committee and at least one member of the other two committees must be independent. and buyback of shares and bonds. financial and investment matters. The BOD powers include to: define corporate governance rules. and Oil and gas and energy. Audit.or scholars executive with directors with a experience in majority of legal. and monitor compliance with the code of ethics. and has direct impact on the activities of the company. The lists must specify the candidates possessing the independence prerequisites Directors are elected by the shareholders at the annual general meeting. and Remuneration. 5 Structure 3 executive directors. open or close subsidiaries. Human resources. dir. the BOD members are elected by the general assembly at annual general meeting. 87 . Independent directors are appointed by the BOD by majority decision or elected by the shareholders at the general meeting. review operating and financial performance. director. Internal controls. members of the governing bodies account for ¼ of the BOD. and independent renewable Remuneration directors are committees. approve annual budgets. All independent directors are professionals with experience in engineering. BOD committees Ecopetrol 9 6 Directors include the Minister of Finance. appoint independent auditors. Duties of the BOD The BOD powers include to: appoint corporate officers and executive management. and appoint and terminate management committee’s members. All 3 years Nomination. engage in high level decision making. The BOD powers include to: develop company strategy. and the Director of the National Planning Agency. approve any transaction with significant impact on the NOC’s results and liquidity. approve financial statements. approve annual budgets and investment programs. Except for the 3 government appointees. define organizational. Compensation. financial and investment matters. and Corporate governance. Independent directors are professionals with experience in legal and financial matters. legal and financial matters. declare dividends. approve registration of securities. The Federal Government has the right to elect 5 directors. of which 5 independent Appointment authority Directors are elected by the shareholders after nomination by the nomination committee.Table 4. each professionals staffed with non. The appointment of directors is implemented by means of lists presented by shareholders that represent at least 1% of the ordinary shares with voting rights. evaluate management performance. These committees are currently staffed with nonexecutive directors. In line with the Federal Commission for the Securities Markets. companies’ filings. Qualified directors are elected by the general assembly at annual general meeting. 1 year renewable 3 years renewable Audit.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs NOC CNOOC BOD size 11 Indep. 1 year renewable Source: Authors. Nomination. All directors are professionals or scholars with experience in the legal. define the strategic guidelines and objectives of the NOC. Expertise of Term of independent service directors Audit. and accounting guidelines. and websites. Reference year: 2008. annual reports. decide on changes in the NOC’s share capital. economics. independent economics. ENI 9 3 The company bylaws mandate that at least 3 independent directors be members of the BOD when the BOD members are more than 5 (at least 1 independent director otherwise). 8 non-executive directors. establish internal committees. set compensation levels. There are no government officials in the BOD. The BOD has sufficient power to enforce the codes of conduct.

monitor the implementation of approved policies. The latter comprises 4 nonexecutive directors. Independent 4 years Environment directors are renewable and sustainable professionals development. approve annual budgets and investment programs. 2 government officials from the Ministry of Petroleum are nonexecutive BOD members. 5 directors are appointed by Samruk-Kaznya. and appoint and terminate management committee’s members. economics and Compensation. n/a OGDCL 11 8 ONGC 17 8 The director general or Petroleum Concessions. Remuneration. The powers of the BOD include: to design strategies and evaluate projects which may provide the NOC with a competitive. Shareholders and investors grievance. and Audit. Duties of the BOD The BOD powers include to: develop company strategy. All directors are appointed by the President of India. set the compensation of the management committee. Remuneration. The power and authority of the BOD appear to be limited. companies’ filings. Audit and ethics. committees. Technical. and Nomination. dir. and Project appraisal. Independent directors chair the Strategy and the Audit committees. 9 Structure Government representatives include the Ministry of Energy. Audit. Appointment authority 11 directors are appointed by the shareholders at the annual general meeting. the 3 independent directors are appointed by the BOD and approved by the shareholders at the annual general meeting. the state appoints 6 directors by decree. and buyback of shares and bonds. The powers of the BOD include to: define the strategy and long-term objectives of the NOC. Reference year: 2008. Financial management. decide on changes in the NOC’s share capital. The directors are elected by the shareholders at the annual general meeting. open or close subsidiaries. Independent directors are professionals with experience in petroleum operations. financial and economic matters. Ethics. a member of the provincial assembly of Balochistan. Human resources. Independent 3 years directors are renewable professionals with experience in financial affairs and oil and gas exploration and production.Table 4. 3 directors represent the employees. each chaired by an independent director. annual reports.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued) NOC GDF BOD size 21 Indep. the Chief of Economics and Finance of the Ministry of Petroleum. Human resources. Source: Authors. Strategy and planning. Health safety and environment. the Ministry of Economy and several government agencies. 88 . and manage internal conflicts. Independent 2 years directors are renewable professionals with experience in business administration and energy matters. and websites. Finance. and to supervise the implementation of all corporate policies and codes of ethics to ensure efficiency and transparency. BOD committees KMG E&P 8 3 Government representatives are also executives of NC KMG. financial and Nomination matters. with Strategy and experience in investment. and the chairman and CEO. Expertise of Term of independent service directors Audit. approve internal procedures and monitor their implementation. and influenced by the government through the tight control of appointments. itself wholly owned by the government through Samruk-Kaznya.

Payment. and the president of the National Development Bank. and Secretary of Public Function. security. monitor the performance and approve the business plan of the NOC. renewable Source: Authors. and Environment. Partnerships with other companies are proposed by the BOD. Reference year: 2008. head of the President's Office. and websites. monitor the operating risk management system established by the Director General. financial and social strategies. tax. There are 2 external directors: the president of Compañía Anónima Venezolana de Industrias Militares. together operations and manages military commander and excluding the majority the company. and an LNG expert adviser to the Ministry of Energy. issue intercompany guidelines on financial. accounting. the elect 1 director if. Secretary of Energy. and finance policies. and approve the annual financial reports. marketing. which directs and Energy. annual reports. and convening annual and special meetings of shareholders. and quality of spending in private and public organizations. Audit and performance evaluation. technology. Appointment authority Duties of the BOD BOD committees n/a Expertise of Term of independent service directors n/a 2 years All directors are appointed The BOD is responsible by the President of for: preparing and Venezuela. Investment strategy. formulating and executing the operational. credit. Environment and sustainable development. size dir. The State Minister of The government appoints The BOD determines the Mines and Energy. Secretary and Undersecretary of Finance and Public Credit. The President of Mexico appoints 10 directors (6 government officials and 4 professional directors). Secretary of Economy. Compensation and succession. approve material transactions. presenting the NOC operational results. establish production. Pemex 15 0 Petrobras 9 2 The BOD powers include to: provide leadership and strategic management. approve the appointments and removal of key executives. a shareholder. but require the National Assembly's approval. long term strategy of the Executive Minority shareholders elect Petrobras and oversees Secretary of the at least 1 director. general administration. 10 0 Structure The Minister of Energy and Mines is the CEO and Chairman of the BOD. the CEO and 6 directors. of the Southeast. Independent directors have experience in corporate finance. 1 year. and Technology and research and development. 89 . works and services. and the petroleum workers’ union appoints 5 directors. Transparency and accountability. Policy Council. the acts of the Executive Ministry of Mines Preferred shareholders can Board. in accordance with the Energy Sector Program. n/a n/a Audit. All but 2 BOD members are directors of PdVSA. they hold at member of the least 10 percent of the National Energy NOC’s equity. companies’ filings.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued) NOC PDVSA BOD Indep. Leases.Table 4. budgetary and similar matters.

Corporate governance. economics. and to establish senior management’s compensation policies. annual reports. directions. Expertise of Term of independent service directors Independent 3 years directors have renewable professional experience in finance. size dir.Table 4. Investment and development.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued) NOC Petro China BOD Indep. implementing the resolutions passed by the shareholders. and financial auditing policies. financial targets. to endorse major strategies and policies. An external supervisory board monitors financial matters and actions of senior management. and Remuneration. Health safety and environment. 90 . Secretary General of the Office of National Economic and Social Development Board. to manage conflicts of interest. Appointment authority Directors are elected by the shareholders at the annual general meeting. including objectives. BOD committees Audit. and Chief Financial Officer and President and CEO of PTT PLC. formulating the NOC's financial budgets. financial reporting. and Supervisory. Director General of the Department of Mineral Fuels. The duties of the BOD include: to define the NOC’s vision. economics and engineering. The Annual General Meeting of shareholders elects qualified directors who have previously been selected and nominated by the Nomination Committee (based on certain criteria). Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister. and business administration. Independent directors are professionals with experience in finance. Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. to establish corporate accounting. and economic experts from the Office of the Emir. and formulating the NOC's dividends and loss recovery proposals. The BOD includes: the Minister of Energy and Industry and representatives of his office. Director General of the Department of Lands. 14 5 Structure The CEO and Chairman are executive directors. and websites. and operating plans. n/a n/a n/a n/a Source: Authors. Deputy Permanent Secretary for Finance. engineering. Audit. 3 years Directors are appointed by the Emir of Qatar. Reference year: 2008. Duties of the BOD The authority of the BOD includes: convening shareholders' general meeting. to define comprehensive risk management guidelines and to establish efficient risk management systems and process. Evaluation and remuneration. Nomination. determining the NOC's business plans and investment proposals. and strategies. PTT 15 1 QP 7 0 Deputy Permanent Secretary for Energy (Chairman). companies’ filings.

International Projects Coordination. for more than 6 years. 2 governance body. which are approved by presidential decree. and business administration. the Chairman and PDG are provided for in the company’s by-laws. The BOD comprises The General Assembly. declare dividends. the Minister of Finance. The powers of the company are very wide and concern all activities. set compensation levels. size dir. Executives. who is also the Chairman of the BOD. and Strategic Planning. and 1 independent member. appoint independent auditors. Independent 3 years directors are renewable. The powers of the BOD. there are 4 Presidency. Central Bank (1). the Minister of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation. Reference year: 2008. The chairman and vicechairman are directors of the NOC and are elected and removed by a majority vote by the BOD. representatives of: chaired by the Minister of Ministry of Finance Energy and comprising (2). Strategic planning. the (2). and websites. approve debt issuance. Term of service 7 years Directors are elected by the The BOD has full shareholders at the annual decision making powers. the supervisory committee. Supervisory. and the Head of the Federal Agency for State Property. professionals Independe with nt experience in directors accounting. Compensation. Manager (PDG). economics. and hold office engineering. Ethics. Appointment authority Duties of the BOD BOD committees Human resources and remuneration. and provides prior consent to the appointment by the PDG of the executive committee. Sinopec 11 3 Sonatrach 13 0 Directors are elected by the shareholders at the annual general meeting.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued) NOC Rosneft BOD Indep. and Audit. Expertise of independent directors Independent directors are professionals with experience in finance. annual reports. 9 3 Structure The BOD includes: the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Audit.Table 4. 91 . approve financial statements. may not economics. A Supervisory Board (9 members). and Ministry of the Governor of the Energy and Mines Central Bank. approve the registration of securities. Candidates for nonindependent directors are nominated by Sinopec’s BOD. Projects Review n/a n/a Source: Authors. The employees’ Minister of Energy has representatives. The Supervisory Board includes 4 employees’ representatives. and extensive powers: it 1 external appointee appoints Sonatrach's with expertise in oil President and General and gas operations. and a General Manager of representative of the the NOC. oversees the BOD. general meeting. which reports to the General Assembly. and recruit key executives. or shareholders who hold 5% or more of the NOC’s voting shares. In addition to the Commissioner General President and for Planning. review operating and financial performance. companies’ filings. is the highest executive directors. The BOD does not include government representatives. The BOD has power and authority to: elect corporate officers and executive management.

people and organization strategy and priorities. External auditors. The duties of the BOD include: corporate strategy issues. also recommends individuals to be considered for the CA. Duties of the BOD BOD committees Expertise of independent directors Independent directors have experience in the oil and gas industry.7 – Internal governance structure for selected NOCs (continued) NOC Statoil BOD Indep. The BOD has decision making authority on budget and investment plans. project status review. but government entities participate at various stages of budget preparation and approval. The CA has 20 members: 12 are elected by the shareholders and 8 are elected by employees. defines their mandate. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans.Table 4. companies’ filings. and websites. CEO and top management leadership assessment and succession planning. External auditors. 10 7 Structure There are no public officials. but government approval is required at various stages. approval of business plans. Source: Authors. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. other than employee’s representatives. and Compensation. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges. annual reports. Appointment authority Directors are elected by the Corporate Assembly (CA). Ecopetrol ENI Gazprom GDF The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. but must obtain government approval for certain investments and foreign borrowing. The Nomination Committee. Financial Autonomy The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. and websites. External auditors. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. The BOD has decision making authority on budget and investment plans. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges. and president and CEO. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. External auditors. The annual general meeting of shareholders elects the Nomination Committee. corporate governance. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. powers of attorney and terms and conditions of employment. Material information disclosure policy in accordance with Colombian and US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) standards. size dir. and legal affairs Term of service 2 years The BOD appoints the Audit. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. annual reports. Table 4. management compensation issues. External auditors. and no company representatives on the BOD. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges. finance. companies’ filings. which comprises 3 independent directors and the Director General of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. approval of quarterly and annual results. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. 92 . Reports according to national accounting guidelines. the external auditor and approves all financial reports. monthly performance reporting. KMG E&P OGDCL ONGC Source: Authors. on the recommendation of the Nomination Committee. safety and environment review. Audit Process and Disclosures External auditors.8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs NOC CNOOC Budget Autonomy The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. enterprise risk evaluation and an annual review of the BOD's governing documentation. External auditors. The BOD has modest decision making powers on financial matters. External auditors. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges. health. Reference year: 2008. Reference year: 2008.

The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. but budget is subject to approval by the Ministry of Energy and the Parliament The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. Petrochina. The standards are derived from institutions such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission. and the UN Global Compact among others. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges Uses external auditors. TThe BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. Budgets are approved by the General Assembly. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plan. Reports according to national accounting guidelines. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges Uses external auditors.Table 4.8 – Internal governance processes for selected NOCs (continued) NOC PDVSA Budget Autonomy The Minister of Energy and Petroleum establishes the NOCs overall policies. Sarbanes-Oxley. Petrobras Pemex. corporate governance. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Marathon. corporate social responsibility. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters.3. BP. Since 2005 the NOC no longer submits audited financial reports to the SEC. Reports according to national accounting guidelines and US GAAP since 2006 Uses external auditors. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges Statoil Source: Authors.62 The Management & Excellence (M&E) ranking measures oil and gas companies’ compliance takes into account 387 international standards related to sustainability. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. ConocoPhilips. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Dividend policies linked to the government's financial needs. annual reports. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Chevron. namely Statoil/Hyrdo.2 Selected NOCs corporate governance scorecard Compared to the corporate governance standards for a sample of large oil and gas corporations examined in another study. The BOD has modest decision making powers on financial matters. the NOCs in our sample appear to have reasonably sound institutional arrangements (M&E 2008). and websites. Table 4. Reference year: 2008. ExxonMobil.9 compares the corporate governance standards for our sample NOCs to the result of the M&E study for the criteria surveyed in both studies. but must obtain government approval for certain investments and foreign borrowing. and Lukoil. and approves annual production levels. captital expenditures and operating budgets. PDVSA. Uses external auditors. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. OMV. The Auditor General of South Africa. Partnerships with POCs require the National Assembly’s approval. Saudi Aramco. Total. Petronas PetroSA Uses external auditors. Shell. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Petrobras Petro China Uses external auditors. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. ADNOC. Financial statements are always audited by the governmental Office of The Auditor General of Thailand with reports filed in Bangkok. Pemex The BOD has modest decision making powers on financial matters. Annual reports are published by the NOC. PTT The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Uses external auditors. International Labour Organization. The NOC reports according to IFRS. ENI. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. Audit Process and Disclosures External auditors. Reports are publicly disclosed. Financial Autonomy The BOD has modest decision making powers on financial matters. Dow Jones Sustainability Index.. ENAP. Gazprom. Reports filed on relevant stock exchanges Uses internal auditors. but budget must be approved annually by Congress. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. companies’ filings. Uses external auditors. Global Reporting Initiative. The 2008 study reviews the performance of 20 major international and national oil companies. Repsol. 4. The BOD has decision making powers on financial matters. 62 93 . but Congress approves investment budget. but must obtain the approval of the National Development and Reform Commission for a broad range of investment projects. The BOD has decision making powers on budget and investment plans. QP Rosneft Sinopec Sonatrach All budget decisions are executed through the office of the Emir in concert with the BOD. ethics and transparency.

33 53. M&E 2008.00 6 30.00 5 25.00 14 70.00 √ Score Nr.10 provides a comparison of internal and external governance arrangements for the NOCs in our sample.00 13. 94 . We have assessed the sample NOCs against a set of dimensions that reflect the OECD guidelines and the latest trends in corporate governance of large corporations. they represent an important subset and are objectively measurable.00 6 30.Table 4.10 – Governance scorecard for selected NOCs NOC CEO and No Govt Stock Mainly Official chairman officials exchange indep.33 53. Although these criteria do no capture all dimensions of good corporate governance.33 53.00 60.33 53.00 14 70. Table 4.00 16 80.00 √ √ √ Directors Strategy are re. large oil and gas companies.67 66.00 4 20.00 13 65.00 60.00 26.00 4 20. CG policy different on the listing directors persons BOD √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ No external approval needed √ √ √ √ Committees of the BOD Corporate Audit Compens. Table 4. Nomination Ethics governance √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 17 85.00 60. Note: Percentage scores – last column – are calculated by dividing the governance indicators observed for each NOC by the total numbers of indicators (15).33 46.67 46.67 20.00 4 20. of observations % of total √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Source: Authors.00 10 50.00 4 20.00 60. The last line shows the percentage of the sample NOCs for which the relevant governance indicator was observed.67 60.00 53. Criteria M&E survey’s results 85% 60% 70% 45% 55% 35% 15% 25% Sample NOCs 85% 80% 70% 20% 30% 20% 25% 20% Company has an official corporate governance policy Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the BOD are different persons Compensation Committee Corporate Governance Committee Nomination Committee Ethics Committee Sustainability Committee Board directors are re-elected annually Source: Authors.67 66.00 16 80.33 - Ecopetrol OGDCL GDF ENI ONGC Pemex Petrochina Statoil CNOOC Gazprom KMG Sinopec Petrobras Petronas PTT Rosneft Petro SA QP Sonatrach PdVSA No.9 – Governance standards: sample NOCs vs. 10 10 10 9 9 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8 7 7 6 4 3 2 0 % 66.67 40.Extenal Sustainability or elected auditor equivalent annually √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ 10 50.

where Anglo-American corporate governance systems are fused with stricter bureaucracy and more centralized decision-making. and the weight of minority shareholders. the Asian business system is based on patriarchal cultures. the adoption of Western practices and adjustments to international norms is deemed necessary for reasons of legitimacy to gain access to international markets and global finance (Ahlstrom and others 2004. The Chinese. Malaysian. ‚The real problem is misalignment of interest between majority and minority shareholders. in many Asian corporations.‛ Hence. in these markets. this may require the development of a hybrid system of governance that allows the company to achieve its objectives while maintaining its ability to interact with its domestic environment. nomination committees that are largely controlled by the majority shareholder are less likely to be free to make objective suggestions. Similarly. whether the members are mostly independent and non-executive directors). the state often hold the totality or the majority of the voting rights in the share capital of the NOC. Nonetheless. the role played by board committees with respect to improving the quality and transparency of the BOD’s decisionmaking processes largely depends on the skills of the committee’s members (that is. For some firms. For example. In other words. Sam provides an interesting analysis of cultural differences between Asia and the United States and their impact on corporate governance arrangements (Sam 2007). The procedures and processes that govern the functioning of such structure can be more critical for the quality and strength of corporate governance than the structure itself. 95 . Russian. the composition of the committee (that is. and Kazakh NOCs are examples of cultural adaptation. or indirectly through external approvals for decisions that have strategic or sizable financial implications. our finding may not be indicative of a general trend. As a result. while the Anglo-American model of governance is characterized by diluted ownership and clear separation of ownership and control. Given the relatively small size of our sample. The author notes that. the minority shareholders have limited power to overturn the decision of the majority shareholders. This was not attempted in this paper. and companies are less likely to appreciate the benefit of undergoing costly reforms. the organization of governance) is only one element of good corporate governance. the practice is difficult to assess. Ethics committees that are staffed with executive directors or government appointees may lack the credibility of more balanced ones. But even the most internationally oriented companies have to deal with domestic reality. The state tends to exert more influence over NOCs that enjoy special privileges. But a word of caution is in order: the institutional structure (that is. our review of the corporate governance arrangements of the sample NOCs did not reveal significant departures from generally accepted standards for SOEs or POCs.At least in terms of legal and institutional arrangements. NOCs that derive a considerable part of their revenue from international operations tend to have faster decision making processes. although on paper NOCs appear to fare well on corporate governance. it seems that resource dependent countries and countries that depend on imports to satisfy most of their energy needs opt for the centralized model of ownership. Cultural differences across countries also play a significant role in explaining why similar corporate governance structures may function is a very dissimilar manner. Carney 2005). and tends to influence the decision making power of the NOC directly through the appointment of government officials on the BOD. The assessment of the overall quality of corporate governance of the NOCs included in our sample would require access to information that is often not publicly available and would entail a certain level of subjectivity. and not between investors and executives as found in Anglo-Saxon countries. Therefore. Thai. In these countries. whether the members are experts in the subject matters that are assigned to the committee). In practice. the issue of corporate control cannot be expected to play a significant role.

since the POCs are usually allowed to recover project expenses (including the share that accrue to the NOC) with a limited or unlimited carry forward. and security of supplies. Ample literature exists on these topics. it is important to ensure coherence and coordination between the NOC and other policy tools. But defining what constitutes maximum social welfare is essentially a political question. and market regulation is beyond the scope of this paper. Although there are established criteria to guide policy formulation in cases that involve a certain level of value judgment. Progressive fiscal regimes can correct inefficiencies at allocation due to asymmetry or lack of information on the real value of petroleum resources that will be extracted from a particular area. Economic considerations. Tordo (2007). which helps explain the variety of objectives pursued (and policy tools used) by governments over time. energy self sufficiency. usually motivated by the strategic relevance of petroleum or its importance to the country’s economy. determine the types of policies and tools available to policy makers. Johnston (2003).4.65 See for example Pareto (1927). See for example Garnaut and Ross (1975). especially on concessional terms. and (iii) increase the level of competition (Tordo 2009). In particular. the promotion of bilateral trade. depending on the type of fiscal regime. Since the NOC is only one of these tools. in practice deciding whether or not establishing the NOC maximizes value creation is a matter of political choice. Whether a government chooses to establish a NOC or to rely on POCs to achieve the objectives of its petroleum sector policy. 63 ‚The impact on project economics of the government’s participation through the NOC deserves special consideration. may have an impact on the attractiveness of the country to POCs and on the government take. together with each country’s unique constraints and concerns. This implies that subjectivity is unavoidable when comparing the relative benefits of the NOC and other policy tools. are seldom the primary reason for establishing the NOC. in particular the petroleum rights allocation system. through the allocation system can be designed to: (i) ensure that petroleum exploration and production rights are awarded to the most efficient operator. Baunsgaard (2001). its primary concern should be to maximize the social benefits derived from such policies. or pays it only partially) this would have implications for the net present value of project cash flow accruing to the POCs. and other tools such as market regulation. But in some cases other policy tools may be more effective. (ii) reduce the possibility of collusion among bidders. Moreover. the promotion of backward and forward linkages. the government’s direct participation through the NOC. Hayek (1945). 64 For example. Kaldor (1939). governments often pursue a variety of development and socioeconomic objectives. Samuelson (1947). These objectives and their relative priorities. and Tordo (2009). such as the desire to address market deficiencies or inefficiency or to maximize rent capture. In addition. 64 A detailed discussion of value creation through the design of allocation systems. Chu U Kalu (1994). fiscal regimes. If concessional conditions apply to the government back-in interest (if the government does not pay its way in.63 NOCs are used to achieve a wide range of policy objectives. NOCs are often the product of a political choice for direct government intervention in the sector. Allocation systems and fiscal regimes may be more effective than direct state participation to maximize the size and value over time of the rent captured by the government. Hicks (1939). including inter-temporal equity. Bergson (1938).4 Lessons learned In addition to the maximization of the net present value of the economic rent. the fiscal regime. and Webb (1976). to stimulate the development of a local supply industry or the creation of forward linkages fiscal incentives or market regulation may be more effective and sustainable than relying on the NOC. this may result in an implied borrowing 65 96 .

Unrecovered expenses affect the calculation of project profitability indices. These are summarized below:  Special privileges granted to the NOC by its home government do not necessarily translate into value creation. Figure 4. petroleum exploration and development activities require specific rate for the host government that is higher than its marginal borrowing rate. Figure 4. 97 . Whatever the reason for establishing the NOC. and concerns that are unique to each country. These define the boundary conditions for value creation by the NOC.2 and 4. drawing from experience of the NOCs analyzed in sections 4. To be successful. including corporatization. its role. This argues in favor of policies that foster the NOC’s efficient behavior. objectives. this section focuses on policies and measures that aim to achieve economic objectives. it is difficult to identify general principles for NOC value creation that apply to all countries in all circumstances. and governance need to be tailored to reflect the set of objectives. there would be no economic justification for the participation of the NOC if its economic efficiency is lower than that of private investors. which in turn may affect the level of government revenue when profit sharing or taxes are determined on these bases‛ (Tordo 2007).1 – Value creation flow chart Country’s objectives • Political • Economic • Social Country’s constraints • Geology and geography • Structure of the economy • Energy sources • Institutional and regulatory framework • Ownership of and access to reserves • Market regulation Exogenous factors • Oil and gas price • Economic cycle • International sanctions Sector policy and institutional framework Pace of exploitation Sector participation Institutional responsibilities Degree of regulatory intervention Local content requirements Policy tools NOC Allocation system Fiscal regime Other Social Value Creation Source: Authors.1 provides a simplified representation of this approach. and the elimination (or at least limited use) of special privileges and other discriminatory practices. constraints. Therefore. commercialization. and concerns are often country specific. Since social and political objectives.3.In principle. constraints. if the fiscal system is efficient in allocating risks and sharing benefits between the state and the private investors.

implying a veto power on all development decisions. protectionism shelters the NOC from competition. special privileges are granted to the NOC through constitutional provisions that reserve the ownership and exploitation rights exclusively for the state. However. Risk aversion therefore likely translates into increased levels of bureaucracy and slow decision making. allowing it to focus on developing the necessary competence and economies of scale.1 – The grant of special privileges to a NOC: opportunities and pitfalls Statoil (Norway). Special privileges are not the only component of the government’s ownership strategy. Statoil became more commercially oriented. although scale is an advantage in the oil and gas business. In some cases. These included: (1) the right of first refusal on any onshore oil and gas rights.1 illustrates the opportunities and pitfalls of special privileges. the government granted it a series of commercial privileges by law.knowledge of the relevant geological basins. project management expertise. and inefficiency arising from excessive risk aversion. if the state loses money because exploration is unsuccessful. In principle. which affects the operational freedom and efficiency of the NOC. If the NOC knew that it could rely on special privileges forever. ranging from the monopoly over all or some petroleum activities. the conventional wisdom is that public criticism is harsh. The preferential treatment of the NOC can be an effective tool to address information and capacity asymmetries. However. growth by acquisition as oppose to growth through the drill bit). the decision to revoke Statoil’s special privileges proved to be advantageous for both the state (which could rely on efficient exploitation of its non-renewable resources) and the NOC (which wanted to become an international operator and needed to improve its efficiency and reduce its operating costs to do so). In the second half of the 1980s. The NOC was only recently created in 2004 through the merger of two exploration and production companies. 66 98 . or assets offered for sale in Kazakhstan. Ultimately. the marginal benefit associated with it becomes negative after a company reaches a certain optimal size. aimed at facilitating its future growth. During its first decade of operations. JSС Uzenmunaigas and JSС Embamunaigas. the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) revoked these privileges. Since KMG EP’s initial portfolio of assets contained mature fields. which need not necessarily be acquired in the specific country or the specific petroleum basin. KMG EP (Kazakhstan). The NOC’s parent company. to the exclusive right to conduct petroleum activities (solely or in association with POCs). it would have limited incentives to become efficient and competitive. All of these factors are a direct function of experience. to mandatory minimum levels of NOC participation in petroleum operations. Box 4. technological competence. carried through the exploration phase. If exploration results in commercially viable discoveries. Statoil benefited greatly from two key privileges: (i) minimum participation of 50 percent. NG KMG. by then Statoil had already developed solid technical competence and a large domestic portfolio of assets. The government wanted its NOC to have a modern corporate governance structure to give its management the flexibility needed to execute its non-organic growth strategy (that is. Box 4. is an integrated oil and gas company wholly owned by the government of Kazakhstan. (3) the right to ask NG KMG to enter into direct negotiations with the government for rights to any unlicensed oil and gas acreage in Kazakhstan without a competitive tender process. Furthermore. On the other hand. the option to increase the participation by up to 80 percent based on a sliding scale linked to production levels. and the ability to bear and manage associated risks. There were worries about the influence of Statoil on the domestic economy and potentially domestic politics. Following this decision. many petroleum producing countries choose to grant special privileges to their NOC. and (ii) once a discovery was declared commercial. and its relationship with the state became increasingly arm’s length.66 To overcome these deficiencies. interests. (2) preferential access rights to NG KMG’s oil and gas transportation assets. and (4) the right to acquire those rights from NG KMG. special treatment of the NOC is most effective when it is granted on a temporary basis. insufficient scale of operation. like many forms of industrial policy. in all petroleum licenses. This means that newly established NOCs are likely to be disadvantaged compared to experienced POCs or NOCs from other petroleum producing countries owing to information asymmetry. These policies gave KMG EP a clear competitive advantage. In 2005 KMG EP was partially privatized. the decision is rewarded. KMG EP does not have large noncommercial obligations and is not required to undertake non-core commercial activities beyond those Policy makers are normally reluctant to take the political risks of petroleum exploration.

Furthermore. (vi) be coherent with other government policies and tools. Foreign companies could carry out upstream activities but only with a minimum 51 percent participation by Sonatrach.2 contains examples of 99 . midstream. Thanks to the coherent set of policies adopted by the government. NOCs have little control over their government’s local content policies. The reform seemed well timed. Sonatrach was able to replenish its hydrocarbon reserves at a time when the NOC had extremely limited financial and technical resources. and the countries’ petroleum production was starting to decline. But it also has to shoulder the burden of maintaining its share of producing assets while stepping up exploration efforts in declining economic conditions and investors’ confidence. (ii) set realistic objectives that take into account the degree of technological strangeness. Sonatrach (Algeria). However effective this strategy has proved in helping KMG EP rapidly build an asset portfolio and economies of scale. and its special privileges in the upstream sector were to removed. But the results depend on policy design. Sonatrach was able to retain key special privileges. The assets acquired by the NOC are maturing. This is particularly relevant in countries where the NOC is the only company authorized to carry out petroleum activities and thus has limited possibilities for sharing the exploration and development risk with other parties. In terms of implementation. But the fall in oil prices in the 1980s and state’s increased dependence on petroleum revenues underpinned a partial policy change. Sonatrach was created with the initial intention to fast-track the resolution of contentious pipeline issues and later to be the instrument of state control over the industry. either in terms of policy objectives or implementation choices. A law was passed in 1986 that partially liberalized the upstream petroleum sector. a law was passed in 2005 to restructure the sector The NOC was relieved of its regulatory powers. Furthermore. Especially in developing countries (and in developed countries in the early stages of development of the sector). it has not quite helped the NOC to achieve competency in the management of petroleum exploration activities. a superior level of operational efficiency and the ability to prioritize core business investments. In particular. oversight and enforcement of local content policy—a role that belongs to the state— should be separated from the facilitation and implementation of the policy—a role that can be played by both the NOC and POCs. but as long as the government’s protectionist policy remains in place. or all of them). Oil prices were starting to rise and the country’s stability had improved. and (vii) be flexible and dynamic. After a long debate.  The NOC can be instrumental to the promotion of forward and backward linkages. More often than not. along with good geology. the NOC was seen as a national champion with a considerable role in social and economic development. Except it was not. It was indeed hard for the NOC to let go of its special privileges once its cash flow started to increase again. the law was partially amended. When Algeria gained independence in 1963. leaving the NOC with the option to participate up to 30 percent in exploration and production contracts with other state and private companies. and downstream (refining) projects with a minimum controlling interest of 51 percent.acquired at the time of its creation. (iv) focus on the development of local capabilities that can be transferred to other sectors. By 2001 oil prices were low again. In 2006. The economic efficiency and the effectiveness of a local content policy depend more on its design than they do on who implements it (the government. when oil prices were rapidly surging and nationalization sentiments were growing in several producing countries. the POCs. Policies that disregard these principles risk creating long-term inefficiency and distortions. the NOC may well be given a prominent role among other stakeholders. The industry was nationalized at the beginning of the 1970s. among other things. This may range from the creation of backward linkages to processes and activities aimed at creating forward linkages and in some countries may go beyond the oil and gas sector value chain. the policy should: (i) aim to achieve clear and measurable targets. But the government needs to avoid overburdening the NOC with non-core non-commercial objectives that may be at odds with other functions of the NOC. and in some cases even corruption. KMG EP became the second largest Kazakh oil producing company in 2009. the NOC. however. NOCs tend to be given a primary role in advancing local content. The government is pleased with KMG EP’s results and has not explicitly indicated its intention to lift the special privileges granted to it. Although the reform did not produce the results that the government was hoping for. The NOC was mandated to participate in all upstream. there may be no real incentive for the NOC to diversify its portfolio internationally or to assume exploration risk. (iii) gradually maximize local value added. since this strategy requires. Chapter 1 outlined the elements of good local content policy design. Once again the government considered changes in the special privileges policy to attract foreign investors. (v) provide for the assessment and disclosure of progress towards targets. Box 4.

Petro SA’s asset ownership strategy tends to be geared towards sustainable national growth. The remaining fields are of lower quality. By comparison. Petrobras does not have to enforce its government’s local content policies. Agencia Nacional do Petroleo. and production levels are declining. But South Africa and Petro SA are not blessed with good geology. there was no oil industry in Brazil.2 – Local content policies and NOC value creation Brazil and Malaysia have some similarities when it comes to the design of local content requirements and the role played by their NOCs. and the NOC has to import petroleum to satisfy its country’s consumption needs. the Brazilian government did not impose specific targets or interfere with Petrobras’ strategic and operating decisions. Contrary to Petronas’ experience. The NOC’s strategy and investment choices reflect an attempt to balance the need to invest efficiently and secure supplies with domestic economic development and wealth redistribution objectives. By comparison. Given that the Petroleum Act of 1974 gives Petronas exclusive rights and powers over Malaysia’s hydrocarbon resources. Investing in technology. The country was not perceived as prospective. This includes opportunities for local participation. only 60 percent of its proved reserves are developed. To this end. Most Malaysian fields have been producing for over 30 years. “increasing the contribution of the sector to local economic development” is among the objectives of their petroleum sector policy. This not only affects Petronas’ business strategy and its government’s energy policy. Petrobras' domestic success with the drill bit is likely to further strain the regional oilfield services industry. The Brazilian government would need to be watchful to avoid choking local capacity. production is declining and no major discoveries have been made. Brazil awards petroleum rights in competitive licensing rounds on the basis of three parameters: cash bonus. Brazil has strongly enforced local content policies in the past. The country has opted for a local content requirement mandated by law to fast-track equitable access to and sustainable development of South Africa’s mineral and petroleum resources. Petronas has invested in creating a skilled workforce. Similar to the behavior of the Malaysian government toward Petronas. Petrobras has adopted local content as its own operating strategy. However. To support future growth. Petro SA has a track record of overperformance in local content development and BEE implementation. including the sub-salt province. since this is the task of the regulator. but energy security was paramount. even when they generated less revenue for the government. The country still has a large number of sub-mature and frontier acreage.NOCs that have played a prominent role in promoting local content in their country and assesses their impact on NOC value creation. when Petrobras was established. For example. and local content. it also affects the extent to which local content policy can be used to further Malaysia’s economic development and the type of local content requirements that should be chosen going forward. the decision to locate the Coega refinery in one of the poorest provinces in South Africa was largely guided by social development considerations. work program. developing technology. Heading for a change? One thing that Malaysia and Brazil do not have in common is geology. Brazil’s regulator. the two NOCs were able to define local content policies that suited both their government’s objective to use the petroleum sector as a springboard for growth and economic development and their own business and value creation strategies. Owing to the strong domestic focus of its operations. and far from existing infrastructure. Box 4. the NOC has been the main vehicle for its country’s local content policies. Petro SA employs primarily South Africans and relies on local companies and suppliers for the majority of its procurement needs. As a result. and the development of the domestic supply industry was inevitable. although Brazil is a large oil producer. However. which translate into contractual obligations under petroleum sharing contracts that Petronas negotiates and enters into with participating POCs. It also includes employment and procurement requirements. and costs were higher than those in more established oil provinces. Malaysia mandates local incorporation of foreign companies and a minimum share of domestic equity holding and requires petroleum companies to acquire all materials and supplies locally or to purchase them directly from the manufacturer when not locally available. This choice allowed the NOC to build a strong competitive advantage and to reduce its own operating costs and remains at the core of Petrobras’ business strategy. determines the minimum acceptable share of local content. as this would result in increased costs and delays for Petrobras and other operators and ultimately slow the pace of development of the pre-salt deposits and the value created from their exploitation. The recently introduced Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policy requires minimum equity holdings by previously disadvantaged parts of the population. and supporting the local supply industry. the NOC has been stepping up its exploration expenditure and aims to pursue a strategy of vertical integration to mitigate project risk. Petro SA’s operational performance has been deteriorating since 2006. in that the country aims to address both technological disadvantages and broader societal issues. building on existing industrial capability and shipbuilding expertise. minimum local content requirements are encouraged through the licensing process. In addition. relatively small in size. But it may have good reason to relax some of its local content requirements in the future. in policy implementation. For both countries. The financial crisis and related credit crunch have increased demands on Petro SA to extend financial assistance to its domestic suppliers to fulfill the 100 . For both countries the hierarchy of objectives was clear: backward linkages were important. South Africa’s local content policy is different from other petroleum producing countries. The criteria for investing include job creation and poverty alleviation. This situation left Petrobras no choice but to develop the industry from scratch. human capital. Petrobras and Petronas. which is already under pressure because of the government's insistence that more of the equipment used offshore be owned by Brazilian firms or built in Brazil. Petrobras is well known for its superior technology and operating experience in deepwater and ultra-deepwater exploration and production. This capability was developed domestically. which differs depending on the location of the block and the phase of development.

reserves and production were declining. Changes had also been made to its internal governance arrangements. a critical success factor for sector and NOC governance reforms is the length of the gestation period—that is. which could issue shares on the Colombian stock exchange provided that state ownership did not drop below 80 percent. The government and its NOC did not waste time. In 2003 the government lifted the minimum NOC equity requirement in preparation for a more radical reform of Ecopetrol. the proceeds of which it was allowed to fully retain. Box 4. The NOC was given financial autonomy and no longer had to compete for resources under the state budget. In others.  Sector reforms that have a long gestation period generate uncertainty and hamper value creation. the security situation had greatly improved. By 2007 the NOC was debt free thanks to the IPO. But reserves kept declining while production increased. or if the time lag and direction of changes can be reasonably anticipated. Colombia’s crude oil reserves reached their maximum in 1994 and have been declining since. Petro SA had sufficient funds to carry out its planned investment program. and an independent regulator. At the same time. pace of implementation. Petroleum sharing contracts were introduced. the government may have to consider a more flexible mix of commercial and social objectives that leaves the NOC with sufficient resources to build a more solid portfolio of producing assets. and up until 2003. Ecopetrol’s board of directors was restructured to include a majority of professional board members.3 – Consistency and speed of government reforms and NOC value creation Ecopetrol (Colombia). Based on the experience of the countries and NOCs reviewed in this section. improved governance. which by then had 76 exploration and production sharing agreements with POCs. Box 4. which resulted in the signing of 32 new contracts (Palacios 2002). and its choice to increase the involvement and role of Ecopetrol over time was probably necessary. These reforms have had mixed results. which affects the ability of the NOC and POCs to create value. The NOC had a minimum 50 percent interest carried through exploration. At the end of 2008. the clarity. By the early 2000s. reforms that take a long time to get off the blocks tend to generate uncertainty.requirements of the government’s local content policy. Prior to 1955. In general. creating value at sector and NOC levels is easier when sector and NOC reforms follow a clear trajectory and are philosophically consistent over time. Following the often observed pattern that links government dependence on petroleum sector to increased government control. and Ecopetrol’s role had evolved accordingly. which is characterized by long project cycles and high levels of capital investment. and POCs were required to associate with Ecopetrol.3 explores the experiences of two countries with sector and NOC reforms. The political conflict and violence that had afflicted Colombia since the early 1950s had been a barrier to sector development. particularly when the institutional environment exhibits a high level of overlapping responsibility among government entities. Indeed. they tend to change direction and appear to respond more to short-term circumstances instead of a long term vision. was created. with obvious economic consequences. and other political or economic objectives. oil and gas production had grown. But if new discoveries are not made soon. Complex reforms that require a long implementation period are at particular risk of being derailed from their intended objectives or from achieving their intended results. When Ecopetrol was established in 1951. the large discoveries of the 1980s were sufficient to generate interest. In 2006 the government authorized the capital increase of Ecopetrol. The NOC participated in upstream activities with private companies operators and owned the two largest refineries in Colombia. the National Hydrocarbon Agency. All countries reviewed in this section have a long history of government attempts to reorganize their petroleum sector or their NOC in pursuit of efficiency. and a new 101 . it was a wholly state-owned industrial and commercial company responsible for administering Colombia’s hydrocarbon resources. and consistency of political commitment also vary widely across the sample countries. In an effort to improve production levels and exploration activity. Although the fiscal terms were rather unattractive to private investors. This is particularly relevant in the oil and gas sector. higher levels of activity. Setting aside differences in policy objectives and tools. greater control. and Colombia was risking the loss of its self-sufficiency and its exporter status. in 1974 Colombia reformed its petroleum sector and redefined Ecopetrol’s role. they exhibit a predictable and evolutionary pattern towards a consistent long-term goal. and it oversaw POCs that carried out exploration and production activities under a concessionary system established in the 1920s. In some cases. Ecopetrol’s role was administrative and regulatory. The fiscal regime was relaxed to attract foreign investment. the government decreased Ecopetrol’s minimum carried participation to 30 percent. Colombia’s petroleum sector policy options were limited. however. By the 1970s. Ecopetrol was relieved of its regulatory and policy responsibilities.

The government’s choice to move forward with the reform was clearly linked to the broader need to address historical inequalities. especially when partnership and alliances with POCs are not the prevalent business strategy. This perception may be due to insufficient investment in exploration due to the gradual withdrawal of POCs during the 1970s and 1980s as a result of political sanctions. But the timing and bureaucratic complexity of the reform hampered the achievement of its objectives. did not apply until 2008.‛ where the inflow of foreign currency and its impact on the country’s foreign exchange rate have destructive effects on the non-oil tradable sectors. and unequal access to opportunities for large swath of its population. was affected by the decrease in activity. whose strategy is to partner with POCs to mitigate exploration and operational risk. Petro SA’s operational performance and value creation capability has been suffering in the past few years.4 contains two examples of NOCs’ experience with value creation in different geological contexts. Petro SA (South Africa). if not more efficiently. The size of a country’s resource endowment may also affect its resource extraction strategy. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act of 2002 included a complex set of social and sector reforms. Petro SA. The 2002 Act. This decreases competitiveness and further increases the country’s dependence on the oil sector.3 percent between 2000 and 2003. Columbia’s experience would seem to indicate that political commitment and cooperation between the NOC and its government and fast and coherent execution are critical to the implementation of far-reaching sector and corporate governance reforms. with upside potential in deep water. In September 2008. Led by concerns over the increasing cost of oil import. gas.corporate governance policy was established. The measures envisaged by the 2002 Act required important institutional and market adjustments. these reforms could have important long-term effects. in 2002 the government set out to reform its petroleum sector once again. Hence. there was uncertainty over how it would be implemented. there appears to be a negative correlation between oil dependence and sector openness.  Good geology does not always translate into value creation. compared to 9. which in turn is linked to the size of the petroleum sector compared to the rest of economy. and the pace of exploitation (Tordo 2009). Based on the experience of the NOCs in our case study sample. than those with more favorable geology. Petro SA’s current production of oil and gas is used for domestic consumption. The law mandated holders of leases that were granted before 1994 to renegotiate the terms of their leases to incorporate the new requirements. NOCs that belong to countries with small resource endowments and complex geology can generate value as efficiently. Although it is too early to assess whether the measures taken by the government and its NOC will be sufficient to reverse the trend in reserves and production. Although the direction of the reform was reasonably clear. which did not become effective until 2004. This would suggest that institutional and behavioral factors can mitigate initial conditions. A study on the behavior of oil producing countries in Latin America carried out by Palacios (2002) concludes that oil exporters have been less prone to liberalize than oil importers. Countries that have large oil and gas resource endowments are more exposed to the risk of ‚Dutch disease. Ecopetrol’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. In general. Government control over and intervention in the petroleum sector is generally linked to a country’s dependence on petroleum revenues. which was exacerbated by rising equipment and operational cost across the industry. rapidly declining oil and gas reserves. the average rate of decline for the period after the reform until 2009 was 2 percent. Box 4. South Africa’s petroleum prospectivity is generally considered low. 102 . and paved the way for the introduction of new regulatory bodies in addition to the already thick network of agencies and state companies involved in the oil. After all. the vast majority of Columbia’s sedimentary basins are still underexplored. including policy decisions about industry participation. Uncertainty over the final terms of their leases led investors to invest cautiously. and this dependence is often linked to a country’s oil exporting status. Earlier in this section we suggested that countries and NOCs that enjoy large resource endowments may have fewer incentives to produce them efficiently and to maximize the net present value of their extraction. licensing strategy. and energy sectors.

At the end of 2009. PDVSA’s mandatory minimum participation in exploration and production activities is 60 percent. PDVSA. Following the reform. ranging from undertaking geological surveys and identifying hydrocarbon resources to commercially 103 . Perhaps PDVSA is an example of the challenges of managing very large resource endowments. following the nationalization of the oil industry.4 – Geology and NOC value creation PDVSA (Venezuela). The sector underwent gradual restructuring until the early 1970s. Petronas was created and given exclusive power to develop the country’s petroleum sector resources. exploration and production activities were carried out by multinationals under concessions agreements. following Indonesia’s example. Although the NOC was (and still is) subject to considerable government control through the Prime Minister’s office. The exploration. Venezuela established its first NOC. By the early 1990s. Since the start of the reform.Box 4. Besides having the largest resource endowment of the countries in the case study sample. but a significant amount of petroleum production—35 percent—comes from POCs. from the very beginning the government gave it a clear commercial and profit-oriented mandate. Petronas has a dominant position in Malaysia. The first integrated petroleum law was enacted in 1943 and reflected the 50-50 fiscal regime that had been launched by AGIP (the Italian NOC) in Egypt (see chapter 2). Sixteen years later. Sovereignty in the Venezuelan case was motivated more by a desire to capture oil rents than to control the production of resources. the government’s dependence on oil revenue had grown. Since the NOC had decision-making power over the development of the sector. unlike Venezuela. Oil production in Malaysia is declining fast. the NOC’s and government’s objectives and actions have been aligned for the most part. In 1978 Petronas started exploration and production activities. which explains the sometimes tense relationships between the state. Oil exploitation in Venezuela started in the early 1900s.4 percent of world crude oil reserves) and 88 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (1. Thus. Sarawak. The decision was controversial. It is a net exporter of both crude oil and natural gas. Although Petronas has exclusive privileges in the petroleum sector. Almost seventeen years later. Malaysia’s reserves were about 5. the organization of Malaysia’s hydrocarbon sector has been stable since the nationalization in 1974 despite the periodic reorganizations of ministries and regulatory entities. and foreign investment had to be authorized by congress. A comparison of operational and financial performance of Petronas and PDVSA over the period 2004-08. and far from existing infrastructure. The majority of its fields have been producing for over 30 years. Petronas (Malaysia). More importantly. PDVSA was created in 1975. did not interfere. However. Venezuela has no private refiners. The NOC strategy focused on operatorship. At the time. By the early 1990s. Indeed. risk sharing with POCs. Finally. which require specialized and costly refining processes in order to obtain desirable end products such as gasoline and aviation fuel. which had to compete for concessions with POCs. ranked second behind Saudi Arabia in proved oil reserves and eighth in proved natural gas reserves at the end of 2009. developing technical skills. The government does not reserve the right to natural gas and refining activities. the latest set of reforms (2006-07) appeared to be triggered by rising oil prices and the government’s desire to increase rent capture. Petronas’ revenue from international operations reached 40 percent of total revenue and surpassed export revenues. when declining reserves and production levels triggered a change of policy that increased the level of government control over and direct participation in the sector. but the government. PDVSA was tasked with the development of the petroleum resources and with providing revenue to the government for economic development and social welfare needs. adjusted to take into consideration differences in economies of scale.3 percent of world crude oil reserves). and more demands were placed on PDVSA. and the POCs (Palacios 2002). one of the first measures it took was to introduce petroleum sharing contracts. Petronas is an example of the incentives that come from having to rely on small and complex resource endowments to create value. much of Venezuela’s resource endowment consists of extra-heavy crude oil and bitumen deposits (most of which are situated in the Orinoco Belt). which at times affected the NOC’s ability to invest in its operations. and Terengganu regions and developed by foreign oil companies under a concessionary system. But since the domestic price of products is below market price. Government policies have not been particularly effective in addressing the Dutch disease. significant oil resources were discovered in Malaysia’s Sabah. and remaining fields are of lower quality. and production of petroleum entail various activities. development. reveals Petronas’ superior value creation capability. the government and its NOC have taken a longterm view to sector development and have pursued a strategy of partnering and risk sharing with private companies. relatively small in size. Venezuela is also one of the most dependent on oil revenue. In the 1960s. This seems to have taken a toll on the NOC’s operational efficiency (see full case study analysis in part II of this paper) and its ability to create value in core business activities. and supporting the local supply industry to improve its efficiency and its value creation capacity. In 1974 the government launched the reform of its oil sector to increase its control over a strategic commodity. POCs were initially reluctant but eventually accepted the new regime. concerned with energy security.5 billion barrels of crude oil (0. Venezuela has one of the largest hydrocarbon endowments in the world. PDVSA’s mission has evolved to include a wide range of social and developmental services. The law imposed restrictions on the participation of domestic POCs in the sector. and Petronas decided to look for oil and gas abroad.  Risk sharing and competition have positive effects on NOC value creation. Malaysia’s resource base had matured.

gas. Due to the lack of investment. new discoveries in the United States and in Venezuela. Insufficient investment clearly contributed to Mexico’s loss of exporter status. ‚governments and investors are much more likely to observe higher levels of activity (and ultimately faster economic growth and higher profits) if they can spread their investment over several projects through partnering with other market participants‛ (Tordo 2009). the situation was dire. In the early 20th century. an amendment to article 27 of the constitution provided for the inalienability and imprescriptibility of ownership rights to petroleum resources vested in the state. but by then Mexico’s internal consumption had also increased. The average exploration success rate worldwide is approximately one in three wells. finding and development costs. It is difficult to determine the existence and size of oil and gas resources. Risk management is an important feature of the oil industry. and the largest investments occur several years before production. Mexico’s constitution asserted state ownership of the subsoil. and future prices in advance. Dissatisfied with the decision of the supreme court. however. Risk is not. The government did not have the expertise or capacity to manage the newly nationalized petroleum sector. This is the case in countries that have very strict access-to-resource policies. POCs and NOCs use partnering to lower the risk and improve efficiency of operations. Box 4. high-tech equipment and skills that are often not available (or available in limited quantities) in the host country. which were settled by the ruling of the Mexican supreme court and were the trigger for nationalization. international oil companies began a boycott of Mexican oil. Since price controls were in force in the domestic market. their NOCs. the government proved unable to contain the pressure of the workers’ union. Furthermore. the only challenge that governments. POCs were invited to help Pemex through service and risk contracts. By 1917 approximately 90 percent of all oil properties were foreign-owned (de la Vega-Navarro 1998). As a consequence. Capital investment is usually high. shifted investors’ interest away. or do not enjoy sufficient levels of budget and financial autonomy. In 1938. and POCs must face. Risk and financial leverage management are even more crucial for NOCs that are not allowed by their government to operate internationally. and achieve higher growth rates. which made the establishment of the national oil industry even more challenging for Pemex. Petroleum exploration and development activities require specialized. By choosing the right partners.exploiting them. improve return on investment. petroleum exploration has the highest level of risk of all activities in the value chain. Improper reservoir management in producing fields and low levels of exploration followed. production levels declined by 80 percent in the period 1929-32 (Palacios 2002). which Pemex had to sell in the domestic market at subsidized prices. In the 1960s the average was one in six (Tordo 2009). But ten years later. Tensions between the unions and uncompromising foreign investors led to litigations.5 explores the relationship between sector openness and NOC value creation. it will have to bear the risk of exploration and development entirely. their quality. potential production levels. and products. Box 4. and the largest exporter in the world (El Mallakh and others 1984). and harsher fiscal terms in Mexico. In 1920 Mexico was the second largest producer after the United States. POCs accounted for the majority of Mexican oil exploration and production.5 – Openness and NOC value creation Pemex (Mexico). processing. transportation. Risk contracts with foreign companies were abolished by the late 1950s. Mexico is the most restrictive of the case study countries regarding access to petroleum reserves. but it was not the only factor. Therefore. and distribution of oil. where the NOC has exclusive rights to explore and produce petroleum and limited capacity to partner with POCs or other NOCs. the reduction in export volumes was particularly hurtful for Pemex. If a government chooses to develop the resource directly or to hire POCs to develop the resource on its behalf. Although the chance of exploration drilling success has been steadily rising over the last 50 years—mainly driven by advances in seismic imaging technology—exploration remains risky. Pemex was relying on domestic drilling 104 . and deciding who should take the risk and in what measure are important policy (and operational) decisions. refining. This is often the case for NOCs in oil dependent countries. and the NOC’s employment levels swelled beyond proportion. The trend in production levels quickly reversed. Pemex was established with monopoly rights over the exploitation. In the meantime. By the 1950s. Like in most other countries. in the mid-1960s Mexico started importing oil. The NOC. POCs and NOCs can also improve their technical and project management skills. but the petroleum sector was not reserved to the state. These activities involve different levels and types of risks and uncertainty.

Pemex’s faces unique limitations. important new petroleum discoveries or particularly high commodity prices have often triggered changes in the level of government intervention and interference in the management of their NOC. In most countries in our sample group. Unfortunately. Petronas has exclusive rights over the country’s petroleum resources. In October 2008. Sonatrach. whose country also limits foreign participation. This was a curse. but they have limited impact on policy decisions made by the majority shareholder. but this may not be possible given Mexico’s institutional and political environment. which proved to be extremely costly. Indeed. The latter appears to be more closely related to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the petroleum sector to the specific country than it is to the percentage of independent BOD or BOD committees members. Every other NOC in our study group uses some form of risk sharing and partnering. has never excluded POCs from participating in petroleum operations. The interests of Pemex and the government became increasingly misaligned. which included changes to the NOC’s corporate structure to improve its efficiency and decision-making process and changes to the fiscal regime to attract private investors in high-priority projects. independent professional members of the BOD can enhance the quality and transparency of NOC decisions. Pemex had to borrow heavily to finance its operations. with limited government interference in strategy and financial management even when the BOD mostly comprises government officials. In fact. The pattern of excessive rent capture. more recently. a new reform attempt was made. PDVSA relied on POCs to develop its more complex heavy oil fields. The impossibility of partnering with other companies has deprived Pemex of access to technologies and managerial expertise and left it to assume the drill bit risk entirely. particularly in cases where market discipline weak. and. Large discoveries in the second half of the 1970s allowed the country to once again become an exporter. The histories of PDVSA. The case studies suggest that the level of technical and managerial competence of the NOC is a distinguishing factor for value creation. which are also endowed with special privileges. together with the extent of government interference in the management and decision-making processes of the NOC. Judging from the ratings produced by Standard & Poor’s (S&P). strong government support provides the NOC with a competitive advantage over POCs and other NOCs. On the other hand. as Pemex began to generate revenue. which it exploits through production sharing contracts with POCs. underinvestment. pursue a strategy of collaboration and risk sharing with POCs and other NOCs. Since the nationalization of the oil industry in Malaysia. Pemex. PDVSA. and since 2006 it has had majority participation rights in all upstream. and downstream activities. Pemex’s experience speaks to the importance of risk sharing and partnering strategies. The stronger a government’s commitment as perceived by ratings analysts. KMG EP and PetroChina. In some cases. Finally. which allowed the government to sustain its expenditure and development patterns and to postpone badly needed macroeconomic and sector reforms. the quality and skills of human resources is crucial to NOC value creation. however. Its most recent nationalization reform intended more to increase rent capture than to increase government control over petroleum operations. changes in NOC governance that had a positive impact on value creation were triggered by changes in the balance between domestic supply and demand. But there are risks associated with government support.  Corporate governance matters to value creation. NOCs tend be given a commercial focus. the more favorably the NOC is 105 . midstream.contractors. Among the case study countries. In net importing countries that face increasing domestic energy demand. The Mexican Congress approved ten bills. Unable to contain its costs and subjected to increasing demands from the government. in some cases leading to the reversal of previous corporate governance reforms. capital markets view the creditworthiness of a NOC more positively if its government is clearly prepared to provide financial support in times of stress. Sonatrach has exclusive rights over its country’s petroleum resources. But some aspects are more relevant than others. and inefficient operations has continued to this day. Government interference and excessive fiscal take further compromised Pemex’ ability to create value. implementation has been slow and controversial. All other things being equal. An important underlying assumption of the conceptual model described in chapter 3 is that governance affects the strategic options available to NOCs and is therefore important to value creation. Petrobras are examples of this tendency. even when the NOC benefits from a large resource endowment. and it was investing part of its scarce financial resources in petrochemicals (Bermudez 1976). More drastic reform would be needed to reverse production declines.

and in S&P’s ratings reports. By that time. The three countries wanted to use the petroleum sector as a springboard for economic development and diversification. Although local content policies were mandated by law. Since a strong local supply industry would decrease outflows of foreign currency as well as the cost of operations. NOCs are viewed to be critical to their governments as major sources of funding and to the country’s economic growth and diversification. The policies were designed to enhance existing capacity. These features have always characterized their strategy. When the Storting decided to partially privatize Statoil.6 – Corporate governance and NOC value creation Petrobras. notwithstanding the prevalence of government officials on their BOD.6 explores examples of the relationship between corporate governance and NOC value creation. NOCs from importing countries (such as China and Thailand) may enjoy similar levels of government support due to their strategic critical role in ensuring their country’s energy security. the situation has changed. eight benefit from indications that their governments would provide extraordinary support if needed and six NOCs from indications of strong and almost certain support by their government (appendix 5). which would not have occurred had the NOCs passively relied on their special privileges. Consequently. Managerial and technical competence provided them with a dominant position in their domestic markets. Box 4. and its corporate governance was reformed to reflect the requirements of a joint stock quoted company. since their establishment. The NOC had to compete with POCs for access to petroleum resources. The three NOCs adopted a similar strategy with respect to investment in technology and human capital. the larger the credit safety net offered by the government. Indeed by that time special privileges were useless and counterproductive to the rapid development of Brazil’s resource base. Special privileges have been chosen to protect and exploit the newly-found resources. In general. However. What triggered changes in corporate governance for these NOC? Brazil and Petrobras were pursuing energy self-sufficiency when the NOC was partially privatized. Control over the pace of exploration of the large pre-salt resources and increased rent capture motivated a further change in Petrobras’ corporate governance. Clearly governments are unlikely to provide critical support to the NOC without representation on or control over the BOD and decisionmaking processes. Its privileges had been revoked almost 14 years earlier over concerns about the growing influence of Statoil on politics and the domestic economy. special privileges were granted to these NOCs with the objective of fast tracking economies of scale by allowing the NOC to build a portfolio of assets and technical and managerial skills through mandatory participation in contracts or concessions operated by POCs. and had feasible objectives for the creation of new capacity and therefore were not a burden to their NOCs. The strongest evidence of this trend in our case studies. the respective governments have granted their NOCs administrative and financial independence and given them a commercial focus. Each company benefits from the freedom to enter into partnerships and joint ventures with POCs and other NOCs and operates in a petroleum sector that is relatively open to competition. much of which was internally generated as the companies evolved. the wider the support afforded to the NOC. allowing them to improve efficiency and develop competitive advantages. the interests of the government and those of its NOC were aligned. Therefore. Fifteen of the NOCs analyzed in this paper are rated by S&P. In fact. Petrobras had already developed a knowledge of domestic geological basins and deepwater technology that gave it a natural advantage over other market participants. Similar to the special privileges discussed above. Nevertheless. and poor macro-fiscal management. and Statoil are often offered as examples to demonstrate the relationship between value creation and technological advantages and managerial prowess. it was against the backdrop of decreased profitability due to the oil price crash in 1998. Brazil is no longer chasing energy self-sufficiency. this type of safety net may in some cases become a deterrent to efficiency and innovation for the NOC. government support is not always beneficial for the NOC. and the NOCs were given a special role in promoting them (this no longer formally applies to Statoil). Hopefully the government will look to the experience of other large resource owners and avoid the pitfalls that come from excessive self-reliance. they were tailored to the development of backward linkages that would benefit the NOC and the country as a whole. even when their governments have afforded them special privileges. Box 4. the government generally did not interfere with the NOC’s strategy and operational management. Competent management meant that. the government revoked Petrobras’ special privileges. Among those NOCs. Statoil had 106 . interference with the NOC strategy and management. comes from the NOCs and countries that have the largest and most lucrative resource endowments. In these cases. After the recent large discoveries in the pre-salt area. and significant cost overruns by the NOC. Petronas. At the same time. the higher the government dependence on the petroleum sector. the less autonomy it grants the NOC. More private investment was needed to leverage the NOC’s capacity.rated.

but the new entity was bigger and stronger. a symbiotic relationship has developed over time between the NOC and its government. its privileges would have been revoked in 1994 when Norway decided to join the European economic zone. Regardless. Its role was— and remains—so indispensable to the economy that through several governments and various price cycles the NOC managed to keep its tax contribution below 30 percent until the early 1980s. which required adherence to non-discriminatory market policies. promoting energy self sufficiency. Petronas’ corporate governance arrangements do not rank particularly high on the governance scorecard shown in table 4. which was also restructured. but wanted to expand internationally.developed a large portfolio of domestic assets and operational knowledge that mitigated the loss of privileges. Petronas is wholly owned by the government of Malaysia. State ownership in the combined entity dropped to 67 percent (from 80 percent). and the need to strengthen Statoil’s position in the Norwegian Sea and the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. the government initiated a series of sector and governance reforms aimed to improve checks and balances and to pave the way for increased competition. stiffer competition for international acreage. A consolidation with Norsk Hydro seemed ideal. Statoil was hoping to receive part of the petroleum assets managed by the State Direct Financial Interest (SDFI). But these deficiencies do not appear to have significantly affected the NOC’s performance. On the contrary. The NOC already had a dominant position at home. and it now fluctuates around 35 percent. which is one of the lowest tax takes in the NOC study sample. The trigger for the merger was not rent capture or control over the industry.10 primarily because of the level of government presence in the corporate structure and the absence of external checks and balances that are associated with quoted companies. Prior to privatization. and it hoped to limit the cost of acquiring participation in new assets through a license swap. With partial privatization in mind. Petronas’ experience suggests that the corporate governance structure may be less relevant to value creation than the procedures and processes that govern the functioning of such structure. with rising oil prices and falling production levels. Petronas’ strategy of helping to create forward and backward linkages. Three of its subsidiaries are listed on the Malaysia Bursa. Rather it was Norway’s declining fields. Statoil was looking to fast-track its international expansion. The government favored the merger and asked the Storting to approve it. It did eventually receive the majority share of SDFI’s divested assets. A few years after privatization. and seeking diverse sources of energy has played an important role in the Malaysian economy. 107 . an environmentally harsh deepwater region of the Arctic that may hold large hydrocarbon deposits.

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All other things being equal. NOCs that are wholly owned by the state tend to have larger national missions objectives and fewer incentives to improve efficiency than partially privatized NOCs. 110 . Is it easier to create value for NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments? In theory larger petroleum endowments should lead to more value creation. internal governance mechanisms – the procedures and processes that govern the functioning of the institutional structure of governance – are more critical for value creation than external governance mechanisms. but they have limited impact on policy decisions made by the majority shareholder. But the production. ceteris paribus. the Orinoco belt in Venezuela contains the largest heavy crude oil reserves in the world. financial autonomy. Cultural differences across countries play a significant role in explaining why similar corporate governance structures may function is a very dissimilar manner. nimble decision-making processes and budgetary. the physical qualities of the resource. This has implication for the cost of production as well as the price of crude oil extracted which. many technical. External governance – the ownership structure and organization of ownership – influences the NOC’s mission and objectives and the presence of incentives that promote cost efficiency and innovation. The adoption of Western practices and adjustments to international norms is often deemed necessary for reasons of legitimacy. and where minority interests do not receive same levels of protection. Hence owners of heavy crude oil reserves are more exposed to downswings in oil prices since their operating leverage is. independent professional members of the BOD can enhance the quality of NOC decisions. In general. Particularly in the petroleum sector where prices. competition. which in turn lead to more efficient value creation. and high levels of technical and managerial competence are crucial to value creation. transportation. and its location affect the cost of exploitation. On the other hand. Conclusion Are certain corporate governance structures more likely than others to affect positive value creation? One of the premises of our research was that corporate governance matters because it affects the strategic options that the NOC has to create value. as well as their transparency. trades at a discount to lighter quality oils. The geological properties of a basin. and management techniques are continuously changing. economic. Assessing the independence of BOD members is a complex endeavor. regardless of whether or not the NOC is wholly owned by the state. and institutional factors affect the efficiency of resource exploitation. to gain access to international markets and global finance. Setting technical considerations aside.5. technology. Government interference in the NOC decision making processes seem to be more closely related to the degree of economic or strategic relevance of the petroleum sector to the specific country. especially in companies with high concentration of ownership. and refining of heavy oil poses special challenges compared to lighter quality oils. In practice. owing to its characteristics. For example. But diluted ownership and clear separation of ownership and control – that are characteristic of the Anglo-American model of governance – may work in a different way in countries that have a tradition of bureaucracy and more centralized decision making processes. rather than the percentage of independent BOD or BOD committees members. intuitively the exploitation of large petroleum fields and large resource endowments enjoys the advantage of economies of scale. higher than that enjoyed by owners of lighter quality crudes.

and eventually value creation. In some cases restrictions on private participation stem from constitutional provisions that reserve certain strategic sectors to the state. When this behavior becomes entrenched. In other words. In other words. Given the complex network of often conflicting interests between efficiency of exploitation and state needs. It is more difficult to guard against the risk of Dutch disease when the inflow of foreign currency is very large. ranging from granting their NOC the monopoly over all or part of the petroleum sector value chain (although restrictions on downstream or midstream activities are less frequent) to mandating minimum state ownership or minimum state participation in all or some type of petroleum activities. The motive for imposing restrictions on access. countries that are blessed with good geology tend to adopt more restrictive access policies than countries with smaller endowments. especially when partnerships and alliances with POCs and other NOCs are not the prevalent business strategy. This in turn affects the efficiency. which in turn is linked to the size of the petroleum sector compared to the rest of the economy. or to exercise a stronger control over the exploitation of the resource. Can restrictions on access to petroleum activities be effective policy tools to enhancing value creation by the NOC? Most petroleum producers have used some form of restriction to the participation of the private sector in petroleum activities. Alternatively. the decision to carry out sole risk operations has consequences. in some cases displacing vital maintenance and exploration investment and endangering the long term sustainability of the NOC. and pace of extraction. Also public knowledge of the presence of large reserves makes it difficult for governments to maintain a rigorous fiscal policy stance. following this approach may be harder for NOCs that belong to countries with large resource endowments. and societal qualities of a country – more than the actions of its NOC – are critical to determining to what extent the gift of nature will translate into value creation. the policy may be motivated by the desire to increase rent capture. Dutch disease further deepens the country dependence on oil revenue. including limited access to technology and knowledge sharing. Countries that have large oil and gas resource endowments face a more difficult task when it comes to macroeconomic management. and the country’s international obligations 111 . The experience of the NOCs analyzed in this paper would seem to indicate that large resource endowments are a disincentive to efficient production and the maximization of the net present value of their extraction. Often the NOC is the custodian of the country’s resource wealth. the political. but the manner in which it is exploited matters more. Countries that take this development model to the limit choose to bear all risks associated with extraction. which in turn leads to further government control and political involvement over the exploitation of the resource and the NOC decision making processes. Although the chance of exploration drilling success has been steadily rising over the last 50 years.Empirical evidence suggests that government control over and intervention in the petroleum sector is generally linked to a country’s dependence on petroleum revenues. or simply by country circumstances that make the participation of the private sector a difficult proposition (think of Colombia during the guerrilla period). than it is for their peers in less endowed countries. Large resource endowments lead to higher value creation if the resource is extracted efficiently and revenues from its sale are re-invested to support production levels and replace reserves. cost. and in some case the sole company authorized to explore for and exploit the resource. existing capacity at country level. the size of the resource endowment matters to value creation. Ultimately. institutional. and funding limitation. a cycle of negative value creation starts. Furthermore. exploration remains a risky business. Countries that exhibit high levels of oil dependency are more likely to impose higher financial burdens on their NOC or to use their NOC to finance budget gaps.

creating employment opportunities. or have imposed. This is often the case for NOCs that belong to importing countries which are concerned with energy security issues. Generally these privileges have taken the form of mandated association between the NOC and POCs. it would be difficult to point to ‚monopoly‛ as the single most important contributor. (iv) reducing exploration risk. some form of restriction on the participation of the private sector in petroleum (in some cases limited to crude oil) exploration and production activities by granting special rights to their NOC. The chosen policy in turn affects the strategies that the NOC can pursue to create value. (iii) increasing rent capture. However. Nonetheless. Well designed restrictions on access – that is those that take into consideration the characteristic of the resource. it enhances NOC value creation. Among the countries surveyed in this paper. On the contrary. and leaves their home States’ treasuries to bear the burden of inefficient capital allocation. this policy has decreasing effects on value creation over time and. Given the number of factors that interact to create value. When it comes to NOCs there is hardly such thing as a ‚purely commercial mandate‛. and might reduce their incentive to maximize profits. Typically these NOCs would receive support from their government. Full exclusion of industry participation in petroleum exploration and production activities is rare. It is mostly a matter of degrees.affect the policy options that are available to the government to achieve the desired results. This formula is often used by countries and NOCs that are new to the petroleum sector with several aims: (i) fast tracking the learning curve through the association with experienced industry participants. domestic capacity. which in turn hinders the NOCs’ ability to raise capital on the financial market. it can be noted that there are decreasing marginal gains from economies of scale beyond a certain optimal size even in the petroleum sector where size is important. and optimal depletion strategy. many impose. Does the pursuit of national mission objectives hamper the creation of value by the NOC? What constitutes ‚the national mission‛ is country specific. It is often argued that the pursuit of national mission objectives imposes costs on NOCs. the national mission is lock step with the NOC’s core business. from a purely economic view point it would seem that NOCs and their country would derive less advantages from the adoption of a policy of prohibited access to exploration and production activities than they would from a policy of limited access. may discourage the NOC from developing efficient and competitive processes. with minimum levels of state participation. For some NOCs national mission objectives constitute a large part of their mandate. NOC financial autonomy. and do create demands on scarce resources that would otherwise receive a different allocation. only Pemex has monopoly rights. including actions that shore up the NOC’s outbound investments. Sheltering the NOC from competition helps it to focus on developing the necessary competence and economies of scale. This policy decision was driven by political and philosophical reasons more than by economic considerations. (ii) reducing information asymmetries between industry participants and the state. and financial and 112 . setting aside considerations related to risk management. and (v) accelerating the exploration and production of the country’s resources while maintaining control over sector activities. unless granted on a temporary basis. transfer of technology and expertise. and promoting economic growth and diversification – and may include energy security and energy self sufficiency. For others. operating and financial leverage. Hence. and does not create competing demands on its resources. and the grant of wider decision making. and market structure – can be very effective tools to address information and capacity asymmetries. Among the NOCs analyzed in this paper. but it usually includes the creation of some kind of backward or forward linkages – such as fostering the transfer of technology. increasing local ownership and control. the fiscal regime.

such as the efficient and sustainable conduct of activities related to the exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources. with limited possibility to share the exploration and development risk with other parties. and support the local supply industry. inter alia. forward linkages enhance value creation by capturing the advantages of vertical integration.budget autonomy to the NOC. It is clear from the experience of the NOCs analyzed in this paper that national mission objectives hamper value creation when their pursuit is in conflict with other key value added functions of the NOC. When conditions are in place. NOCs that operate only in the domestic market are often required to invest in creating a skilled workforce. a superior level of operational efficiency and the ability to prioritize core business investments. The requirement to develop forward linkages is more challenging since developing industries that make use of the oil and gas sector’s output requires large scale operations and technology that is not available in all petroleum producing countries. Defining proper national mission objectives for the NOC is thus critical to value creation. This is particularly relevant in countries where the NOC is the only company authorized to carry out petroleum activities. develop technology. 113 . since this strategy requires. But this should be part of the NOC’s strategy to lower the cost of operations and obtain the ‚social license to operate‛.

Appendixes 114 .

Through complex computer analysis. developing new markets for it is much more expensive than for oil. More detailed information about specific locations is then obtained through seismic surveys. Oil can therefore be classified along several dimensions. Density is measured according to guidelines set by the American Petroleum Institute (API): light crudes generally exceed 38˚ API. 115 . and a number of impurities. products. Over the past decade.1 shows the evolution of the active drill rig count index over the past 20 years. much gas had been found by chance when the real exploration target was oil. gas is described as either wet or dry. iso-butane. gas that has little or no commercial value because it has no identifiable market. sour. land. previously. If the sulfur content is less than 1 percent. and natural gasoline. Suitable sedimentary basins for oil and/or gas exploration are usually identified using relatively simple means such as aerial and satellite photography. but in most cases it contains pure natural gas (also known as methane. efforts to find gas have been stepped up considerably. which is colorless and odorless). which are considerably more expensive. its physical appearance varies from a light. The market for drill rigs and drilling services is considered a reliable lead indicator of the industry’s overall activity and investment levels. or in combination with or in solution in crude oil (associated gas). natural gas liquids (NGLs) such as ethane. and describes their connections. Exploration and production The principal hydrocarbon resources are crude oil and gas. Dependent on the NGL content. Figure A1. Since gas has to be moved by pipeline or by dedicated liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels. crudes are usually described as sweet. and services are associated with drilling. if it exceeds that level. the data are interpreted to create images of geological formations and possible deposits of hydrocarbons.1. Much ancillary equipment. of which density and sulfur content are two of the most important. gas is also often associated with condensate. Crude oil is not a homogeneous material. Exploratory drilling using rigs suitable for the specific environment (that is. butane. or deep water) is the next step. propane. This has led to a large amount of ‚stranded gas‛— that is. including carbon dioxide and water. shallow water. relative to other crude oils (Bacon and Tordo 2005). illustrated in figure A1. Within the reservoir. The quality of a crude oil is reflected by its price.Appendix 1– Key stages of the value chain This appendix provides a brief technical introduction to the key stages of the value chain. while heavy crudes have an API gravity of 22˚ or less. The composition of gas produced at the wellhead varies widely. as well as magnetic surveys. almost colorless liquid to a heavy viscous black sludge. and many petroleum companies typically contract an outside services company for these purposes. a light oil that is gaseous under reservoir conditions. Gas can be found either in separate accumulations from oil (nonassociated gas).

for example. and the installation of surface-mounted or submersible pumps. 67 Although there appears to be no danger of hydrocarbons running out in the foreseeable future (Lynch 2004. 1990–2009 4000 (No. Hopson. in the case of crude oil. on the reservoir’s characteristics. Tertiary recovery methods (or enhanced oil recovery. Source: Baker Hughes. Even on a standard upstream project it is not unusual for five years to pass between the initial exploration stages and full-scale commercial operations. and the building of infrastructure to connect the wells to local processing facilities or evacuation routes. however. Non-U. or infrastructure requirements. on the properties of the reservoir rock and. Onshore infrastructure tends to be less complex and much cheaper than offshore infrastructure. These time horizons. the development process begins with the drilling of appraisal wells in order to better assess the size and commercial viability of the discovery. If hydrocarbons have been found in sufficient quantity.S. The decision as to whether—and which— secondary or tertiary recovery methods are appropriate for a certain reservoir often involve trade-offs between commercial considerations (significantly increased production costs can accelerate and possibly increase overall output) and geological considerations (aggressive production can damage a reservoir and lead to lower overall recovery factors). it depends. coupled with the fact that sudden changes in well-flow management can damage underlying reservoirs (see the section on production/depletion management below). For projects with challenging access. which often exacerbate price swings. Mabro 2005.S.Figure A1. the most traditional onshore and shallowwater offshore fields are rapidly depleting. the lead times can be longer still. Secondary recovery methods include the injection of water or gas into the reservoir. of active drill rigs) 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 0 U. geological. Mitchell 2004. EOR) involves the use of sophisticated techniques that alter the original properties of the oil. result in structural rigidities in petroleum supply. leaving projects that are more technically complex (for Adelman (2004). and Li 2006. Most observers agree that the oil and gas industry is a maturing one. In order to boost flow rates and overall recovery factors (the percentage of hydrocarbons recovered for commercial purposes) in the face of inevitable natural decline rates. pointing to the industry’s track record of defying ‚gloomy‛ predictions.1 – Global active drill rig count. has long emphasized the importance of price incentives and technological progress. on the viscosity—in short. various methods can be used. and Watkins 2006). 67 116 . Greene. This is followed by drilling for full-scale production. Natural (primary) pressure typically recovers much less than 50 percent of oil and 75 percent of gas. The speed at which the pressure in the reservoir forces the petroleum upward is known as the flow rate.

with a capacity of approximately 6 million barrels per day.be. 69 As an illustration. NGLs can be transported either by pipeline or by tanker truck. Refineries. the Trans-Alaskan pipeline. The prohibitive cost of the necessary pipelines severely limits the trade of natural gas around the world. DouglasWestwood 2008). Transportation and storage From a production site. which is described in more detail below. 69 Natural gas may be stored underground in a variety of methods. Well-known long-distance pipelines include the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to Europe. Major pipeline projects require substantial up-front investment. An option for long-distance gas exports is LNG. most commonly in depleted reservoirs. oil products can be distributed by the same means as crude oil. UBS 2004. compression can be lowered or stopped until a change in the market or available storage capacity occurs. otherwise it would just sit inside without moving forward. some producers have strengthened their refining business. a sound revenue/tariff model. such networks can also be used as additional storage facilities. or domestic consumer. By adjusting the degree of pipeline compression. Road transport is most common. Petroleum can also be stored at various points along the value chain for reasons that include securing supply and price hedging/speculation. and/or tanker to refineries for processing. and current gas flow exceeds market demand. truck.68 Having completed the refining process. and are not viable without clearly identifiable (and ideally long-term and committed) users. railroad.example. In nonexporting countries. in a bid to capture a greater share of the petroleum value chain. 70 Powerful compressors are required to force the gas through a pipeline. for example) using multiple types of pipelines and pipeline networks along the way. aquifers. include the Houston Ship Channel. the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. the gas producers do not usually own major parts of the gas pipeline infrastructure (transmission grid) and instead sell the gas at the entrance point to the main gas grid. Rotterdam. but dry gas (methane) can only be transported by pipeline. and Singapore. Piped gas has to be transported all the way from the production site to the final destination (a power station. possibly. Crude oil is stored in large-diameter holding tanks and is transported by pipeline. When storage is unavailable. deep-water offshore reservoirs or those in remote areas with challenging climates and no existing infrastructure links) and thus more costly (Goldman Sachs 2003. which usually are located near major import hubs to limit additional transport charges. But in major gas-exporting countries. each with extensive storage and loading facilities. a map of all Western European refineries and crude oil and oil product pipelines can be downloaded at http://www. Saudi Arabia’s Ras Tanura facility in the Persian Gulf is the world’s largest offshore oil-loading facility. such as Russia and Norway. Major import and trading hubs. increasing their share of product export versus crude export. crude oil and gas need to be transported to the appropriate processing facility. and even then not across the seabed of deep oceans. The transport options for gas depend on its physical state. short-term trading as well) is a highly complex task. but extensive networks of product pipelines can be found around the world. 68 117 . Many key export ports are in or close to the important petroleum-producing regions of the world: for example. and tailored In recent years. or salt caverns. and the recently opened Baku-TbilisiCeyhan pipeline (which connects the Caspian with the Mediterranean Sea).70 The physical balancing of an integrated gas network to enable scheduled transits (and. from there they are distributed or marketed. the state-backed producers frequently hold long-term supply agreements as well as an equity stake in the gas pipelines serving international target markets. But ocean tankers are the most common medium of intercontinental transport.concawe. purchase crude on the open market or directly from producers. industry.

While in developing countries heavy fuel oil is still in considerable demand for industrial uses. Oil refining is the process of separating the hydrocarbon molecules present in crude oil and converting them into more valuable finished petroleum products. The transport and nonenergy markets have a low vulnerability. or hydrogen. There are also nonenergy or process uses. Then the different fractionations are directed to conversion units to be chemically altered through the introduction of heat. current and anticipated product prices. desired product mix (product slate). catalysts. and the relative price of the crude oil available. The different end uses differ markedly in their vulnerability to fuel substitution. though. This is due to the exceptionally high demand for gasoline relative to other oil products (motor and aviation gasoline account for 46 percent of oil product demand in the United States. but once they have been made they can dramatically improve the economic viability of many actual and potential petroleum projects in the vicinity. gas oil. Crudes that are lighter (in terms of density) and sweeter (in terms of sulfur content) naturally produce a higher yield of lighter. Because of their chemical properties different crude oils produce very different yields when refined. and oil). jet/kerosene. naphtha. depending on each refinery’s individual configuration of process units. coal. however. sunk costs are a substantial risk. and sources of operational information. Gas oil and jet/kerosene are often described as ‚middle distillates. making them relatively captive markets for oil. such projects are also subject to geopolitical considerations (Victor. and heating. The configuration or sophistication of a refinery depends on its technical capability to process different kinds of crude feedstock into a large number of different products. 72 but even these trade at a premium in the market. 71 118 . As with any supply or evacuation infrastructure. When more than one country is involved. such as feedstock for the petrochemicals industry. the markets can easily switch among fuels (especially among gas. that the United States is the only major consuming market where seasonal demand peaks in summer. but only for 22 percent in the European Union) and the fact that summer is a so-called ‚driving season‛ in the United States. For power generation and heating. the importance of Preston (1998) provides a good introduction to the history of refining as well as key technical terms. gasoline.‛ The three main energy-related uses for oil are transport.71 Refineries can consist of a number of different process units that undertake the separation. 72 Fuel oil has long been used as an energy source in heavy industry but has become unpopular in developed countries for its high pollution and undesirable combustion levels.financing. The output of these conversion units is then treated or blended. with the main product categories being fuel oil. Jaffe and Hayes 2006). It can also be processed into petroleum coke and asphalt/bitumen. The initial stage of a refinery run involves the heating and separation of crude into its constituent parts in a distillation column. Refineries are usually categorized by size and configuration. In other countries of the northern hemisphere. Refiners strive to process an optimal mix of crude oil (crude slate). pressure. Oil product demand usually follows a seasonal pattern: it is interesting to note.‛ and gasoline and naphtha as ‚light distillates. Refining and marketing Crude oil almost always needs to be refined into oil products prior to consumption. conversion. so their price elasticity tends to be higher (UBS 2000). developed countries—with their service economies and focus on personal mobility— require mostly middle and light distillates. more valuable products such as gasoline and a smaller one of lowervalue products such as residual fuel oil. power generation. and treatment of oil. The key driver of oil product demand patterns is a country’s or region’s level of economic development. and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

heating oil, propane, and kerosene as heating fuels create a winter peak in the seasonal demand pattern (UBS 2000; BP 2008). Refining is a global, highly cyclical business in which profitability is sensitive to marginal changes in product supply and demand. The principal measure of profitability is the gross refining margin (GRM), which is calculated as the difference between the revenues received and the cost of feedstock plus other cash costs such as labor, maintenance, and working capital. The GRM excludes noncash costs such as depreciation, so a positive GRM may still translate into an accounting loss. The margin after noncash costs is the net refining margin. Both margins are usually expressed on a per-barrel basis. Although refining margins are unique for each plant, refineries in the same region tend to experience similar margins because their output markets share the same product prices, the same availability of crude grades, and, therefore, often similar technical configurations. The three primary refining centers in the world, for which refining margins are typically quoted, are the U.S. Gulf coast, northwestern Europe, and Singapore. Marketing refers to the distribution and sale of refined products, whether through wholesale or retail. Road transportation fuels are primarily distributed at retail stations, heating oil is usually delivered to residential and industrial customers, kerosene is purchased directly by individual airlines and airports, and residual fuels are also sold directly to shipping companies, utilities, and industrial plants. Marketing margins (pretax pump prices less spot prices for oil products) tend to be more stable than refining margins, and the overall profitability of retail stations is further enhanced by the everincreasing nonfuel sales of items such as convenience goods.
Gas processing and marketing

Many petroleum companies are involved not only in the production of gas but also in its processing and marketing. Usually, gas must be processed in dedicated plants (so-called fractionators) to become suitable for pipeline transportation: NGLs and impurities are extracted from the gas and the NGLs are further fractionated into their constituent parts and sold. In addition to piped natural gas and NGLs, LNG is a third, core ‚gas product‛; gas-to-liquid (GTL) technology might also have significant future market opportunities. The distribution of piped gas to the end consumer is usually done by utility companies, but petroleum firms are involved in longer-distance transmission and in direct deliveries to industrial users, power plants, and so on. NGLs are also sold to industrial, wholesale, and retail clients (in the latter case usually through stations). The GTL process converts natural gas into a range of highquality, colorless, odorless, and biodegradable products normally made from crude oil; these include transport fuel, naphtha, and oils for lubricants. Although so far the technology has been largely applied in smaller demonstration plants, Qatar is now building several world-scale GTL facilities in order to diversify its gas commercialization strategy. Of the total production of 2,940 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2007, only 550 bcm (18 percent) was traded internationally by pipeline and only 226 bcm (8 percent) was traded in the form of LNG, implying that about three-quarters of global output was consumed domestically (BP 2008).73 But due to declining indigenous production and the expected increased significance of gas in the future, the trade in LNG is projected to grow strongly over the following years and decades. At the moment, Japan and South Korea still account for more than half of all LNG imports, but the market is bound to become more geographically balanced over time.

The BP Energy Review does not provide a breakdown for NGLs and GTL, but it is plausible that NGLs are largely consumed domestically and that GTL output is still insignificant.
73

119

The technical process of producing LNG involves three stages: first, the processed natural gas is progressively cooled to minus 160˚C, when it becomes liquid at atmospheric pressure and shrinks to one six-hundredth of its gaseous volume. The liquefaction process is done in dedicated LNG plants close to the wellhead and gas-processing plant. The LNG is then stored in insulated tanks before being loaded into dedicated cryogenic tankers for shipment. At the destination, it is received at an LNGreceiving terminal, where it is regasified and injected into the local gas grid. LNG projects are capital intensive, and it is common practice to enter into at least a 20-year supply contract in order to reduce project risks and justify investment. Traditionally, the LNG plant and export terminal were owned by the upstream petroleum company, whereas the import terminal and tankers were owned by the receiving company (in most cases an electric utility). Because of the increasing competition among LNG-producing sites worldwide, however, major oil and gas firms increasingly hold an equity stake in the receiving facility to ensure that they benefit from their LNG production.
Petrochemicals

Petrochemicals are chemicals made from crude oil and natural gas; they account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s chemical market. The two main groups of primary or base petrochemicals are olefins (including ethylene, propylene, and butadiene) and aromatics (including benzene, toluene, and xylene). Chemical products based on these base materials include polyethylenes, polyvinyl chloride, styrene, and polystyrene, as well as polypropylene, which in turn are the basis for a wide range of everyday products such as pipes and tubing, plastic bags and bottles, telephones, coffee pots, electronic components, and car tires. The oil industry became involved in petrochemicals from the 1920s, since naphtha (from refineries), natural gas, and NGLs constituted the principal feedstock. Because of the inherent advantages, refineries and petrochemicals plants are often situated close to each other and are often linked by pipeline. The most common profitability measure for petrochemicals is the cash margin per ton, usually reported for the two main ‚upstream‛ products, ethylene and propylene.

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By the 1990s.html . and petrochemicals. http://www. Local participation ranged from favoring the NOC. Between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s. Statoil has expanded internationally both upstream and downstream. Statoil’s responsibilities had gradually changed over the previous 30 years. However. The company originally exploited waterfalls to generate electricity used in the production of nitrogen fertilizers. the Petroleum Act (Sections 8. each serving as the strategic and financial center for its composite divisions: agriculture. In 1971 the Norwegian government increased its stake in the company to 51 percent.com/companyhistories/Norsk-Hydro-ASA-Company-History. light metals. While no legal sanctions were imposed on companies with low local content.Appendix 2– Examples of local content policies In 1973. there was a general expectation that these companies would find it more difficult to be successful in a licensing round (Cameron 1986). and the government of Norway's stake was reduced to 44 percent. The office also monitored purchases made by oil companies. In 1999. the United Kingdom’s Offshore Supplies Office provided financial assistance to the local supply industry to increase local participation in the supply of goods and services to the oil industry. and it is now operating in 25 countries (Olsen 2002). in licensing rounds—on the premises that this would increase the chances of developing local suppliers—to encouraging the use of locally produced goods and services and leveraging the country’s expertise in shipbuilding and marine services. Norway is known for its approach to the development of strong local service and construction sectors related to oil exploration and development. and (iii) the Norsk Hydro was founded in 1905 by Norwegian entrepreneurs Sam Eyde and Kristian Birkeland as Norsk Hydro-Elektrisk Kvaelstofaktieselskap (Norwegian Hydro-Electric Nitrogen Corporation). When prices started falling and oil majors started to rationalize their business and cut costs. the UK experience would seem to indicate that local content policies may be redundant (Auty 2008).fundinguniverse. (ii) operating companies are required to inform the Norwegian supply and contractor industry in advance of the bidding process. oil and gas. regional concentration. the company's size justified a decentralized organization plan grouping the company into four business segments. To paraphrase Auty. In 2006 Statoil merged with Norsk Hydro.74 Even before the merger. and the Goods and Services Office was established to: (i) support the local supply industry through joint ventures and encourage research and development and transfer of technology. local firms initially supplied technically simple products and services. In 1972 local content polices were formalized in legislation. and its role as an instrument for local content development gradually disappeared. (ii) review tendering procedures to ensure that local companies are given a fair chance to participate. and (iii) establish minimum local content requirements and monitor their implementation. there were fears that local suppliers would find it difficult to survive. the rise in oil prices and increasing production intensified local demands for government intervention through incentives and local content policies. These fears proved overblown. a private-public company in which the Norwegian government had held a 44 percent share since 1999. Hydro acquired Saga Petroleum ASA. and oil majors relied mostly on established foreign suppliers. and investment in research and development (Chapman et al 2004). and local firms adjusted to the new environment through diversification to cater to different sectors. 23. Gradually the company expanded its business into other sectors. and 54) lays down requirements regarding oil companies’ purchasing policy: (i) competitive Norwegian suppliers shall be given genuine opportunities to secure orders. At the time. 74 122 . Statoil. This happened while the government was stepping down local content requirements owing to increased pressure towards fair competition from the European Union.

By this point. bidders were asked to commit to the development of Nigerian expertise and knowhow. some countries have entered a number of bilateral agreements that affect trade. Petronas. many countries have adapted their local content strategies to overcome WTO’s restrictions.operators have a duty to perform in Norway at least 50 percent of all research and development required by field development. Twenty fields were offered under operating service agreements. The Venezuelan government has relied on its NOC. The latest oil price rally 123 . it also restricts the use of preferential policies that can increase local content. and exporters to use a greater share of indigenous Nigerian service companies and personnel in their project development plans. A three-year grace period is provided to allow foreign companies to adjust their procurement and investment strategies. However. Since WTO rules focus on the bidding phase. every multinational company must hold a minimum of 10 percent of its annual profits in a Nigerian bank. In addition. locally incorporated companies with a majority—usually 60 percent—of Nigerian shareholders). Local content requirements became more stringent in the 2005 marginal fields licensing round: bidders were required to associate their bids with local content vehicles in the form of Nigerian companies (that is. has had a profound global impact as a norm setter (WTO 2007). to fund and implement a heavily interventionist strategy. While membership in WTO and other international trade bodies is often a high priority for governments. while the international company would be the technical partner. However. embodying a set of multilateral liberalization agreements. According to some industry observers. this may be a challenging policy objective since the continuous instability in the Niger Delta has driven many investors to consider exiting the country (BMI 2010). however. These requirements were strengthened in the 2000. scaling up of local steel plate and pipe manufacturing. Furthermore. The country’s NOC. 2010. The Bill further strengthens the requirements for developing the local industrial and services sectors and introduces mechanisms to coordinate and monitor implementation. PDVSA. has been a key factor in the development of local capabilities and an industrial base to support oil and gas exploration and production since the 1970s. which included: (i) mandatory local incorporation of foreign oil companies and a minimum share of domestic equity holding. and increasing the availability of low-interest loans to local contractors. The entry of the United Kingdom and Norway into the European Economic Area in the 1990s affected their ability to continue granting preferential treatment to local companies. Furthermore. These requirements mandate the use of local goods and services if they are of equal quality and availability to imported ones and if their prices are no more than 10 percent higher than imported goods and services. these countries had already developed a solid base for the local supply and contractor industry. training and local employment obligations are common. The Nigerian company would provide local goods and services. The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Bill was approved on April 22. In 1997 Venezuela launched its third licensing round in the oil and gas sector. NNPC. 2005. the World Trade Organization (WTO). long-term investment is needed to build local capacity. producers. In addition. and (ii) the obligation to acquire all materials and supplies locally or to purchase them directly from the manufacturer when not locally available (Klueth and others 2007). Malaysia’s NOC. the low uptake by the market may be an indicator that the restriction was too stringent given local capacity levels (Tordo 2009). operates a Nigerian Content Division that promotes local content in the oil and gas sector by training engineers and welders. among the criteria for award. while five fields were reserved for Venezuelan companies or consortia with a Venezuelan operator (Tordo 2009). and 2006 licensing rounds during which. The development of a local supply sector was encouraged through licensing requirements. Requirements for the use of local goods and services are common in petroleum contracts in Nigeria. in a move designed to boost local investment funds. The law requires all oil and gas explorers. transporters.

this is likely to affect the sustainability of Venezuela’s local content policies. 75 Brazilian Government at http://www. In Trinidad and Tobago. the government’s price controls have concealed underlying imbalances within the Venezuelan economy.gove. But the pursuit of this strategy has weakened PDVSA’s ability to invest in the oil sector. economic sustainability has been the major driver for the development of a local content and participation policy for the energy sector. Sonangol has created a strong network of service companies. Sustained increases in social spending have brought about only modest social benefits (Hults 2007). But the eight licensing rounds aimed to further reduce Petrobras’ market advantage by limiting the number of concessions that could be awarded to the same operator in specific basins.75 South Africa’s post-apartheid Black Economic Empowerment program. International oil and service companies are encouraged to share their expertise through education and training. Overall. the employment of nationals. endangering its capacity to generate revenues. In addition. The Ministry of Trade’s green paper on local investment in Trinidad and Tobago lays down the targets of the government’s industrial policy and the measures planned for the period 2007-12 (Ministry of Trade and Industry 2007). which offers preferential training and employment to black communities. mandates minimum levels of local content for all sectors of the economy. contracting of local companies. In the long term. has been the main vehicle for enhancing local participation in the oil and gas sector.brazil- 124 . In addition. By leveraging its important role as concessionaire. in the ninth licensing round held in 2007. and a 20 percent weight to local content broken down between exploration and production phases (Tordo 2009). banks. and (ii) to increase the contribution of the sector to local economic development. The liberalization of the sector allowed the country to accelerate the exploration and development of its petroleum resources. But formal legislation specific to oil and gas is still in its early stages. the average local content was 25 percent during the exploration phase and 27 percent in the development phase. The South African Oil & Gas Alliance (SAOGA) is a non-profit organization established by the provincial government of the Western Cape to support and promote the growth of local industry in the upstream These numbers are provided by the rounds. The policy objectives of the Brazilian government were: (i) to encourage the exploration and production of the country’s petroleum resources to remain self-sufficient in oil production and to reduce natural gas imports. Cash bonus and local content were the only bidding parameters for the first four licensing rounds. At the same time. through joint ventures with international service companies. In 1987.br/portugues_topo/resumo_geral. The bid evaluation criteria used in the most recent licensing rounds assign a 40 percent weight to each cash bonus and work program. In the first licensing round in 1999. Petrobras. Brazil opened its petroleum sector to companies other than its NOC. respectively. By then the development of Brazil’s industrial and services sectors was already advanced. more or less directly linked to the oil sector. The surpluses derived from this sector have been targeted for the development of other sectors and the diversification of the country’s economic base.allowed the government to direct a considerable share of oil revenues to improve social conditions. and insurance companies. Petrobras’ extensive knowledge of and operating experience in Brazil’s petroleum basins allows it to remain the largest individual holder of concessions and to maintain a majority interest in most other concessions. Sonangol recently widened the scope of its business to include an airline. Angola’s NOC. Sonangol. These percentages increased gradually. it maintained firm control of the sector through regulation and the direct participation of the NOC. Sonangol’s national mission includes the promotion of local content in many sectors. and the use of local capital (Ministry of Mines and Energy 2004). reaching 69 and 77 percent.asp# .

publishing a suppliers directory. and (iii) promote investment in South Africa by attracting international upstream supplier companies to establish local branches or partner with local companies. and public policy intervention.oil and gas sector. (ii) carry out marketing and business development activities on behalf of member companies by organizing trade missions and conference trips. 125 . running networking and matching events. and identifying opportunities through market research and liaison with procurement managers. SAOGA is also the membership organization for approximately 170 local upstream suppliers. The three main strategic imperatives of the organization are to: (i) build local industry by facilitating infrastructure projects and access and through skills development and training programs. suppliers development and certification programs.

‛ World Bank Workshop on Petroleum Revenue Management.: The Right-Hand Man of the Government. Najman. Daily Oil and Gas Alerts. and Cumbers. 2007. G. Tordo. R.‛ In The Economics and Politics of Oil in the Caspian Basin. 2007. M.‛ World Bank Working Paper No. Washington. S. and Zarate.. 2004. Olsen. D. Klueth. D. WTO (World Trade Organization).. 2008. S. ‚Exploration and Production Rights: Allocation Strategies and Design Issues. London: Rutledge.gov. 1986. U. London: Financial Times Business Information Ltd.‛ Government of Trinidad and Tobago. A. 2010. International Monetary Fund.‛ Working Paper 70.. D. Cameron. ‚How Can the WTO Help Harness Globalization‛.pdf Ministry of Trade and Industry.. 159-175. 126 . D. Washington. http://www.‛ Green Paper. and Raballand.‛ IMF Working Paper WP/07/213. Pastor. Business Monitor International. ‚Improving the Beneficial Socio-Economic Impact from Hydrocarbon Extraction on Local/Regional Development in Caspian Economies. G.. 2002. Washington. ‚Petroleum Revenue Management: an Industry Perspective. Pomfret. DC.W. P. ‚Petroleos de Venezuela. Chapman. R. Hults. Segura.T. 2007. ‚Local Content and Local Participation Policy and Framework.tt/content/72. World Trade Organization.. W.C. ‚The Oil Supply Industry: A Comparative Study of Legislative Restrictions and their Impact‛. W. Ministry of Mines and Energy. Stanford University. ‚Adjustment or Renewal in Regional Clusters: A Study of Diversification among SMEs in the Aberdeen Oil Complex‛. B. 2009. 179.energy. A. June 23. World Bank. ‚Inter-sectoral Linkages and Local Content in Extractive Industries and Beyond – The Case of Sao Tome and Principe. BMI (Business Monitor International). K.References Auty. Government of Trinidad and Tobago. 2004. ‚NNPC Accuses Chevron of Failing to Meet Local Content Requirements‛. MacKinnon.H.. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 29: 389-96.C. 2009. ‚Trinidad and Tobago Investment Policy 2007-2010.A.

Perotti 1995. D’Souza et al (2005). however. Tullock 1965. 76 but no conclusive evidence exists of the superiority of one or the other in promoting economic efficiency. 76 127 . But no sufficient evidence was provided as to the superiority of state ownership or the effect on performance of country specific or sector specific factors. Jensen and Meckling 1976.and post-privatization performance of a wide range of companies privatized through public share offerings. (1994). To identify the drivers of performance. empirical literature has so far provided mixed evidence. supply seemed secure. Milgrom and Roberts 1988. Niskanen 1971 (and public choice theory). Alchian and Demsets 1972 (property rights). and efficiency of NOCs started to interest the research community. and the general public. and the fall of communism opened new opportunities for the major international oil companies (Wolf 2008). Pollit 1997 (theory of influence of activities) and Sappinton and Stiglitz 1987. Buchanan 1968.and postprivatization performance of SOEs in various sectors of the economy. As discussed below. governance. researchers frequently used cross-sectional analysis of ownership effects and longitudinal analysis of pre. Alchian 1965. The results were generally consistent and indicative of underlying trends and causes common to all industries. the industry received limited attention: oil prices were low. Laffont and Tirole 1993 (agency theory). this has been partially addressed in more recent work on the effects of macroeconomic and corporate governance reforms on SOEs performance. and Pollit 1997 (the notion of privatization as a credible government commitment to reduced future interference). Similarly. What do we know about state-owned enterprises? Most of the existing literature on the theoretical basis for state intervention in the economy and its comparative advantage vis-à-vis private ownership was produced between the 1960s and the early 1990s. The following sections contain a brief review of some of the most salient literature on state-owned enterprises (SOEs)—particularly NOCs—and provide a background for this paper. Research in this area mostly relates to the effect of internal governance mechanisms (mainly the ownership structure of the firm) and external governance mechanisms (capital market monitoring and the legal and institutional systems) on the performance of SOEs. Empirical analysis during this period was mainly concerned with investigating the effect of ownership on the performance of SOEs. It was not until the early 2000s that the transparency. A number of important papers on oil resource ownership were written in the 1980s and early 1990s. 77 Megginson et al.Appendix 3– Overview of key research on NOCs Until recently. Boubakri and Cosset (1998). researchers had largely neglected national oil companies (NOCs) and their performance. Thereafter. One group of analyses compares the pre. policy makers. 77 The findings are generally consistent across For a review of these arguments see Williamson 1964. Gupta (2005). Do ownership and control affect the performance of SOEs? The relationship between institutional structures and the performance of SOEs has been the subject of intense debate in the economic literature. Jia et al (2005). A number of authors have reviewed the theoretical arguments related to the differences between state and private ownership.

In particular. who analyzed data on partial privatizations for 339 manufacturing and service sector firms owned by the central and state governments in India. dividend payments. these results provide useful input to the design of partial privatizations in similar institutional environments. investment. However. financial liberalization. while transferring management control improves labor productivity. and financial liberalization is associated with higher output changes. and output increases. Even if privatization is possible. Ying. reform of SOEs focused on privatization. many of which are inconsistent with economic efficiency. and Guedhami (2005) suggest that changes in performance vary with the extent of macroeconomic reforms and the business environment—particularly the relative development of the stock market and the protection of property rights—and the effectiveness of corporate governance. scale. Do ownership and control matter to the performance of NOCs? Despite the economic importance of NOCs. In particular. SOEs with uncapped environmental or other liabilities have no real hope of attracting private buyers. ‚economic growth is associated with higher profitability and efficiency gains. and enforcement of property rights. Although preliminary. appear to be more relevant in developing countries.‛ They found that ‚on average state-owned enterprises are 61 to 65 percent as technically efficient as private. efficiency. trade openness. and technical efficiencies. They concluded that if NOCs were converted to private. private capital. and legal and regulatory system needed to make privatization successful. and output and a decrease in financial leverage. Cosset. and Qiu (2005) looked at the effect of corporatization without privatization on performance in China. while external factors. For most of the 1990s. The authors analyzed the behavior of 44 companies during the period 197682 and attempted to measure differences in allocative. suggesting that it may be optimal for governments to corporatize SOEs before privatization. 78 128 . efficiency gains. trade liberalization is associated with higher levels of investment and output.‛ The authors argue that there are important differences between the sources of post-privatization performance in developed and developing countries. There may also be strong political and labor opposition to privatization. such as economic growth. He finds that listing on the stock market improves profitability. they could satisfy demand with nearly less than half of their current resource inputs. Furthermore. stock market development and protection.industries and countries: privatized companies show a significant increase in profitability. The first comparative efficiency analysis of NOCs and privately owned oil companies (POCs) was carried out by Al-Obaidan and Scully (1991) using various frontier analysis methods. some countries lack the competitive marketplace. for-profit firms. Aivazian. or provide important public services. have strategic value. Boubakri. They argued that the sources of efficiency can be traced to the reform of the internal governance structure of these firms. which was seen as the most direct solution to the problems of state ownership. The relinquishment of control by the government is a key determinant of profitability. some authors began to investigate the effects of corporatization on SOEs performance. The effects of the separation of ownership and control on performance are investigated by Gupta (2005). for-profit enterprises. for all economic sectors. there is surprisingly little empirical research on the effects of ownership type in the petroleum sector. internal governance mechanisms appear to be more relevant in developed countries. Recognizing that privatization is not always a viable option for SOEs. 78 Looking at the efficiency of integrated NOCs the authors concluded that ‚SOEs’ managers serve many principals and are required to pursue multiple goals. governments may choose to own enterprises if they are natural monopolies.

fiscal regimes. and hydrocarbon regulation. flexible fiscal and capital budget regimes. and level off after the initial change in ownership. and comparable data in their annual filings of the US Securities and Exchange Commission) and use of comparable accounting principles. are in line with the theoretical predictions developed by Harley and Medlock (2007). Researchers at the University of Texas compared the performance of five NOCs relative to their stated commercial goals using business analysis. Wolf and Pollit (2008) show that privatization is associated with comprehensive and sustained improvements in performance and efficiency. corporate governance. 80 The authors select Pemex. The author hypothesizes that the adoption of more conservative reserve management policies by NOCs. researchers at Rice University completed one of the most comprehensive studies on the changing role of NOCs in the international energy market.80 The researchers also analyzed the commercial frameworks for NOCs. although based on high level operational and financial data covering a short period of time (2002 to 2004). 79 Their results. and Statoil for the data availability (all companies provide easily accessible.Using both nonparametric and parametric techniques on a sample of 80 companies for the period 2002-04. good quality. 129 .‛ (Al-Obaidan and Scully. In March 2007. PetroChina. focusing on public sector governance. revenue generation. and Medlock (2007) argue that the relative technical inefficiencies of NOCs and POCs. Wolf (2008) further investigates the effects of ownership on performance using data from the Petroleum Intelligence Week’s Top 50 oil and gas companies over a period of twenty years. 1991). CNOOC. Petrobras. and the use of different reserves valuation criteria may partially explain these differences. output could be increased by 55 percent to 63 percent. Eller. The definition of the variables and the fact that their data base covers the period 1979-82—the height of the ‚second oil shock‛—may have affected the measure of relative efficiency. and compared their social and economic development performance against explicit and implicit targets (CEE. the author finds that on average NOCs produce nearly two-thirds less per unit of reserves than the largest POCs. for-profit firms. accrue over time. and generate significantly less revenue per unit of production. and profitability. The sample also permitted the authors to do a preliminary analysis of the effects of countries’ economic structures on NOCs’ performance (CEE-UT 2007). and upstream competition contribute to the performance of both NOCs and their countries’ hydrocarbon sector. Given the enormous resources utilized in the petroleum industry the relative technical inefficiency of SOE is hardly a trivial problem. but their conclusions appear to agree with more recent research. The authors argue that partial privatizations in the oil sector may capture a significant part of the performance improvement associated with private capital markets without the government having to relinquish control of its NOC. and (iii) all NOCs produce a significantly lower annual percentage of their upstream reserves than their private counterparts. (ii) OPEC NOCs show higher efficiency metrics than the private sector. or for the same level of output. The study aimed to provide a Alternatively.79 Victor (2007) also analyzes the relative efficiency of NOCs and POCs in converting hydrocarbon resources into production and revenue. Hartley. costs could be reduced by a similar amount by converting state owned enterprises into private. Using a univariate linear regression on a sample of 90 companies observed in 2004. Many of these improvements are realized in anticipation of the initial privatization date. 2007). ceteris paribus. Their findings provide some evidence that corporate governance structures. The author finds that: (i) non-OPEC NOCs underperform their private sector counterparts in terms of labor and capital efficiency. Using a dataset of 60 public share offerings by 28 NOCs between 1977 and 2004. are largely the result of governments exercising control over the distribution of rents. determined on the basis of commercial objectives only. commercialization. with the same level of input.

and performance of NOCs. 2007). The research. with particular reference to their impact on international oil supply. The study included case studies on the history and formation of fifteen state-owned oil companies and two economic modeling studies assessing the operational efficiency of NOCs. for the sample of NOCs analyzed. will influence the future availability of oil and future pricing trends.reference framework for analyzing the strategies. One of the difficulties in evaluating NOCs stems from the complex interaction between commercial and noncommercial objectives (such as job creation. the authors argued that oil importing countries would need to make major policy changes to their energy strategies. which is still ongoing. overseas investments are part of their countries' wider thrust into the world economy and are often supported by governments to increase bilateral economic and political relations. has produced a number of important contributions towards explaining the organization and performance of NOCs and the complex interaction between NOCs and their countries’ governments. South Korea. and Malaysia (Chatham House 2008). Japan. As defined in the study. promoting market competition. While firms vary in efficiency.82 and (iii) certain institutional and regulatory structures help the NOC to focus efficiently on its core business. Countries like Nigeria with vibrant political competition but limited institutional capacity pose the most significant challenge for oil sector reform: consolidated control over the sector is impossible. for most of these companies. industrialization and economic development. expand production. including promoting free trade. pricing. and local development). In March 2008 a group of researchers at Chatham House published a report on investment trends in foreign oil projects by companies from China. performance. the authors conclude. and commercial functions—the so called ‚Norwegian Model‛ (Thurber and others 2010). and implications for global energy markets. To reduce the vulnerability to changes in NOCs’ investment patterns. foreign and strategic policy and alliance building. but separation of functions is also difficult. the authors argued. objectives.81 (ii) in some cases. The researchers also analyzed the consequences of noncommercial objectives on operational efficiency and the effect that NOC operations abroad have on the societies in which they work. which leads them to depart from classical profit-maximizing behavior. and perform in a technically efficient manner. When technical and regulatory talent is particularly lacking in a country. One of the most recent findings relates to the exportability or desirability of the institutional separation of policy. and geopolitics. The authors suggest that the separation of functions is most useful and feasible in cases where political competition exists and institutional capacity is relatively strong. In 2006 researchers at Stanford University launched a study on NOCs’ strategy. national goals include oil wealth redistribution to society at large. replace reserves. on average the efficiency of government held firms is only 60 to 65 percent that of the privately held international oil majors (Eller. The efficiency of NOCs. and curbing political interference in NOC’s commercial investment decisions. The authors concluded that: (i) national goals are important to NOCs and go well beyond the maximization of returns on capital to shareholders. In such cases. wealth creation for the nation. technology transfer. India. The authors observed that. national priorities interfere with the NOC’s ability to maximize the value of their oil resources. better outcomes may result from consolidating these functions in a single body until institutional capacity has further developed. 82 On average. those that both are fully government-owned and sell petroleum products at subsidized prices are only 35 percent as technically efficient as a comparable firm that is privately-held and has no obligation to sell refined products at discounted prices. reformers should focus on making incremental but sustainable improvements in technical and institutional capacity. regulatory. adopting measures to improve the efficiency of NOCs. energy security. 81 130 . and participation in national level politics.

The OECD Guidelines on the Corporate Governance of State-Owned Enterprises (2005) provide a benchmark to help governments assess and improve their ownership of these enterprises. which suggest that corporate governance directly affects the level and sustainability of SOEs’ performance. A report on good governance in the petroleum sector (Lahn et al. system of government. transparency. Fremond O. Wong (2004) argues that in many countries. The guidelines offer suggestions on how to solve typical corporate governance challenges. previous SOE reform efforts failed to deliver sustained improvements in performance because they did not fully address the core governance deficiencies of public enterprises— multiple and conflicting objectives. Marcel (2005) argues that good governance requires (i) a clear definition of the NOC’s mission. (ii) objective and effective decision making. The report summarizes the lessons learned from the experience of thirteen petroleum producing countries presented at a meeting held under the Chatham House rule. (ii) institutional capacity—that is. and political insulation are preliminary conditions for improving SOEs’ efficiency and proposes a set of governance reforms for two classes of SOEs: those with a singular focus on value maximization and those with a mixture of commercial and social objectives. Among the key recommendations for improving the competitiveness and transparency of SOEs.Do better corporate governance and transparency affect the performance of SOEs? The corporate governance of SOEs has been the subject of several papers. it must demonstrate a capacity to effectively demarcate its roles as operator and regulator. which should act independently and in accordance with a publicly disclosed ownership policy. and opacity. excessive political interference. which affects local content policies and the level of political interest in the sector. The governance structure of NOCs has not been widely investigated. 2007) further investigated Marcel’s findings. The author suggests that clear objectives. In countries where the NOC has sector oversight responsibility. Successful changes in governance of the national petroleum sector depend on the following national elements: (i) the national culture. and (ii) the centralization of ownership functions in an ownership entity or the effective coordination of ownership entities. and administrative structure. The participants emphasized the importance of the national context on systems of governance at sector and NOC levels. and (iv) the level of a country’s general development. (iii) dependence of the economy on petroleum revenue. role. and commercial responsibilities. The report advocates the separation of policy. and responsibility to the state. 131 . and (iii) transparent performance measurement systems. regulation. et al (2006) review the corporate governance arrangements in a number of SOEs in emerging market economies. the adequacy of existing skills and abilities to adapt to new institutional settings. and particularly the way power and authority is exercised and the patterns of behavior that are encouraged or incentivized. They conclude that effective corporate governance provides a coherent and tested framework for addressing key weaknesses in SOEs that is consistent with indefinite state ownership or continuing privatization. In a position paper on good governance for NOCs. the guidelines underline the importance of (i) the strict separation of the state's ownership and regulatory functions.

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Several potentially useful proxies were excluded due to a lack of data. PTT. Petrobras. Petrobras. Initially. Most of the missing data relate to measures of national mission performance. the period of analysis was to cover 10 years. Local content data could only be found or estimated reliably in some years for a handful of NOCs: Ecopetrol. Rosneft and Statoil based on country policies or given the clear information provided in company publications. Gazprom. GDF. some NOCs specifically note the absence of non-core and noncommercial activities in their reports (CNOOC. each of its underlying proxy variables is standardized. proxy variables were used extensively due to the lack of publicly available data and/or available measures. In particular:     Data necessary to calculate the Reserves Replacement Ratios (RRR) could not be found for OGDCL. QP and Sonatrach. KMG. the RRR could only be calculated for one year. The share of domestic production operated by the NOC was not included in the NOC sector strategy and behavior driver.Appendix 4 – Exploratory statistical model: data limitations and issues VCI Data limitations and issues In calc