Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply

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Oil and Governance: State-Owned Enterprises and the World Energy Supply
by Edited by David G. Victor, David R. Hults, and Mark Thurber
Cambridge University Press, 2012
1,034 pp. $150.00
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This book is built around case studies of 15 state-owned oil companies, which together account for nearly 50 percent of global oil production and for 56 percent of the world’s proven conventional oil reserves. Its aim is to evaluate the performance of these companies in the exploration, development, refinement (where relevant), and distribution of oil and gas. The authors give grades to all 15 companies, with Norway’s and Brazil’s getting the highest marks and those of Iran, Kuwait, and Nigeria getting the lowest, and analyze how the states govern and monitor their oil firms. As the authors note, in some countries, state-owned oil companies are expected to accomplish many other tasks, such as providing (or saving) foreign exchange and offering jobs to relatives of the political elite. For that reason, they often have goals other than profit maximization.