Oil & Gas

The oil and gas industry consists of three sectors: the upstream, midstream and downstream. The upstream consists of the exploration for and development of oil resources. The midstream entails the logistics of storing and transporting crude oil. The downstream entails the refining, marketing and sale of petroleum products.

My research is focused on the upstream sector. The main actors in the upstream are the host governments who own and control access to oil resources and the investors who develop the oil resources. Investors can be grouped into the small number of large oil firms (referred to as the super majors) and the large number of smaller independent oil companies (referred to as the super independents). A third type of actor in the upstream is the National Oil Companies (NOCs). These state owned firms are used to manage the host countries hydrocarbon resources. The upstream oil companies mostly operate in foreign countries. Oil producing countries allocate exploration rights by direct negotiations or by using a process of competitive bidding. Once oil companies attain exploration rights, they invest in these countries and contribute to the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

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