Summary of Oil Titans

National Oil Companies in the Middle East

Brookings Institution Press, more...

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Oil Titans book summary
How national oil concerns in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Abu Dhabi and Algeria balance business and government interests.


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Don't look now, but five nationally owned oil companies (NOCs) control more than half the world's reserves of oil and natural gas. In today's media-steeped culture you might expect those companies to be under a constant microscope, but actually their operations tend to be cloaked in bureaucratic smoke. Valerie Marcel's book sheds valuable light on the way these companies operate and the red-tape constraints they face. While the book suffers from a rather colorless presentation, it more than compensates for this with insights into what the NOCs are and how they relate to the world's insatiable thirst for petroleum. getAbstract recommends this book to serious students of the global energy business.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What a powerful role national oil companies (NOCs) play in the global energy business;
  • How the NOCs' unique private-public hybrid influences the way they operate;
  • What unique challenges they face; and
  • How NOCs may grow in the future.


In the Beginning...
Creating national oil companies gave oil-producing states the technical and organizational means to one day take over the world's oil resources. Today, just five national oil companies (Saudi Arabia's Aramco, the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, the Iranian National Petrochemical...
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About the Authors

Valerie Marcel is a principal researcher at Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, a leading independent research organization. An expert on energy issues, she co-authored Iraq's Oil Tomorrow with associate research fellow John V. Mitchell.

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