Mercados del petroleo en asia

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New Multinationals from Emerging Asia: The Case of National Oil Companies
ANdrEA GOldstEiN
The history of global foreign direct investment (Fdi) and of the rise of multinational enterprises is, to a large extent, the history of the global oil industry. in the twentieth century, oil-producing Asia was one of the main destinations of global oil Fdi flows and in the early twenty-first centuryAsia, including both producer and consumer countries, is home to some of the most dynamic oil companies worldwide. This paper first examines the oil industry in Emerging Asia to identify the main actors in terms of production, ownership, and governance. The main features of the multinational expansion of the largest Asian national oil companies, in terms of country of operation, patterns ofintegration, and entry mode, are discussed. The concluding section outlines some of the main implications of this international drive, comparing it with the rise of the italian energy company Eni in the 1950s.

I. INTRODUCTION Analyzing the growth and development of multinational oil companies is crucial for analyzing changes in the geography of international business.1 The oil sector was one of the firstsectors to become global in terms of trade and foreign direct investment (Fdi) flows. in fact, some of the world’s largest multinational corporations (MNCs) developed in petroleum (Jones 2005). in 1973, the top five American oil companies were making 80 percent or more of their profits abroad
1Unless indicated, this paper refers to the oil sector including operations in extraction and productionas well as oil refining and distribution. Although natural gas is not oil, these two fuels are related by a number of significant links (Mabro 2002). increasingly, the oil and gas businesses are linked both in upstream and downstream areas.

Andrea Goldstein is an associate researcher at Econpubblica, Università Bocconi, Milan, italy. The author gratefully acknowledges incisive comments fromEdmund Amann, Juthathip Jongwanich, and the participants of the Workshop on Outward Foreign direct investment from developing Asia held on 27 July 2009 at Asian development Bank Headquarters. The opinions expressed and arguments employed are the author’s sole responsibility and do not necessarily reflect those of Econpubblica. Asian Development Review, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 26–56 © 2009 Asiandevelopment Bank


(Frieden 2006). in 2006, there were four oil companies among the world’s top eight nonfinancial MNCs, ranked by foreign assets (UNCtAd 2008). The industry is also interesting because of its relatively strong long-term dynamism (Maugeri 2006). Between 1928 and 1973, seven large verticallyintegrated and mostly private-owned oil MNCs (orinternational oil companies [iOCs]) were major market players and price setters.2 Beginning in the 1960s, producing countries carried out successive nationalization processes, and by 1973 they controlled most of their oil production. some of these countries formed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to coordinate and unify petroleum policies in order to secure fair and stableprices for petroleum producers; an efficient, economic, and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations; and a fair return on capital to those investing in the industry.3 The seven sisters’ share of the world’s oil trade fell from about 70 percent in 1970 to around 50 percent by 1980. state-owned national oil companies (NOCs) control the majority of worldwide hydrocarbon resource endowments,as well as many of the major oil and gas infrastructure systems (Pirog 2007). As globalization has progressed since the early 1990s, exclusive access to oil reserves has made NOCs from the south the leading players in the oil market.5 some of these enterprises have expanded their operations globally—both upstream to diversify their portfolio and downstream (into petrochemicals, refineries, and...
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