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Thesis & Antithesis

A critical perspective on energy, international politics & current affairs

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Location: Washington, D.C.

greekdefaultwatch@gmail.com Natural gas consultant by day, blogger on the Greek economy by night. Trained as an economist and political scientist. I believe in common sense and in data, and my aim is to offer insight written in language that is clear and convincing.

22 July 2006

The Stingy NOC?

That National Oil Companies (NOCs) pay a premium to gain access to reserves abroad is accepted almost as a given, especially by those who are alarmed by the expansion of Chinese oil companies in foreign lands. But here is a graph from Wood Mackenzie, printed in last week’s Oil & Gas Journal, that tells a very different story: it plots the implied price of oil in upstream acquisitions over time. True, this is an incomplete image of the argument, which includes the accusation that NOCs pay a premium to gain access to reserves (while this plot only looks at acquisitions). All the same, it is very interesting to see that NOCs have paid less than their International Oil Companies (IOCs) counterparts in recent acquisitions.

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