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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Politics » Political Ideologies » Communism & Socialism

Oil Titans

National Oil Companies in the Middle East

By Valerie Marcel, John V. Mitchell

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Format: Paperback, 322 pages
Other Information: Illustrations
Published In: United States, 01 December 2005
Ninety percent of the world's oil reserves are entrusted to state-owned companies. Originally created as political instruments, these so-called national oil companies (NOCs) face new demands amid today's dwindling oil reserves and simmering social pressures. Increasingly, state-owned oil firms --particularly in the Middle East --are having to balance the political demands of their governments with the need to be commercially competitive. In this ground-breaking new volume, Valerie Marcel draws on unprecedented access to the politicians, engineers; and businessmen directing five Middle Eastern state oil companies to shed light on one of the most secretive segments of the international oil industry. The author tells the stories of Saudi Aramco, Kuwait Petroleum Corp., the National Iranian Oil Co., Sonatrach of Algeria, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. --oil titans which together produce one quarter of the world's oil and hold half of the world's known oil and gas reserves. Dr. Marcel explains the complex bond between each state and its oil company, tracing the relationship's evolution from the politically charged days of foreign concessions to today's world of profit-driven decisionmaking. Drawn from over 120 interviews with company executives, middle managers, and oil-ministry officials, the author identifies a number of surprising new trends in these companies' strategy, and she paints a picture of their nascent sense of corporate identity. The book provides rare, up-to-date insight into how state-owned companies are striking a balance between their national mission and their commercial needs. The book also provides an insider's guide to these companies' unique culture. Executives and researchers in the region --both inside and outside the oil industry --will find it a valuable tool for understanding business in the Middle East.

Promotional Information

"Valerie Marcel has conducted a far-reaching study. The number and quality of her interviews, and the accuracy of her analysis produce a result both new and most useful. Rather than the usual description of the national oil companies from the outside, she gets them to reveal themselves in a striking psychological exercise." --Jacques de Boisseson, former director for international relations, TOTAL "The companies analyzed in this excellent book produce one-quarter of the world's oil. Still, the world knows little about these national oil companies and their perspectives... Marcel had unique access to the inner life of the companies and is able to shed light on the drivers, goals, and challenges they face." --Willy Olsen, former senior adviser to the president & CEO of Statoil

About the Author

Valerie Marcel is principal researcher at Chatham House.

Reviews

"Marcel's path-breaking analysis is particularly adept at showing the great diversity across her sample of NOCs." --Robert Looney, Naval Postgraduate School, Middle East Journal, 9/1/2006 "by far the most detailed account available about Middle Eastern national oil companies...Marcel had remarkable access to senior officials at the companies and the associated government oil ministries." --P. Clawson, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, CHOICE, 11/1/2006 "OIL TITANS is a thorough and readable comparative study of national oil companies... Marcel is to be congratulated for this timely and well-done report from the field." --Mary-Ann Tetreault, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) "State-owned oil companies such as Saudi Aramco and National Iranian Oil, not the remnants of the so-called Seven Sisters, control most of the world's reserves and production. These secretive outfits are likely to exert, at least indirectly, a growing influence over how we live. For readers interested in learning how they behave and what motivates them, Oil Titans: National Oil Companies in the Middle East by Valerie Marcel is a good place to start." --Stanley Reed, Business Week, 6/12/2006 "In her recently published book, Oil Titans: National Oil Companies in the Middle East, Dr. Marcel comprehensively examines the challenges facing five regional NOCs as they strive to balance their domestic obligations with their commercial ambitions in a global market place." -- Middle East Economic Survey, 5/29/2006 "A useful handbook for understanding five of the world's most important national oil companies." --Julia Nanay, Middle East Policy, 9/1/2007 "by far the most detailed account available about Middle Eastern national oil companies, specifically those in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Iran, and Algeria. Marcel has remarkable access to senior officials at the companies and the associated government oil ministries." --Patrick Clawson, Middle East Quarterly, 9/1/2007 "This is an informative analysis of these important organizations and their evolving relationships with their government owners." --Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs "Valerie Marcel has conducted a far-reaching study. The number and quality of her interviews, and the accuracy of her analysis produce a result both new and most useful. Rather than the usual description of the national oil companies from the outside, she gets them to reveal themselves in a striking psychological exercise." --Jacques de Boisseson, former director for international relations, TOTAL "The companies analyzed in this excellent book produce one-quarter of the world's oil. Still, the world knows little about these national oil companies and their perspectives... Marcel had unique access to the inner life of the companies and is able to shed light on the drivers, goals, and challenges they face." --Willy Olsen, former senior adviser to the president & CEO of Statoil

EAN: 9780815754732
ISBN: 0815754736
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Dimensions: 23.01 x 15.44 x 2.13 centimetres (0.50 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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