There is a book by Dr. Seuss called, If I Ran the Zoo. The gist of the story is that the main character wants to create a bigger, brighter, and more spectacular zoo than the run-of-the-mill places he’s visited. He wants to make big changes.
It seems to me that a number of National Oil Companies (NOCs) are finding themselves in the shoes of the zoo keeper. They have looked at how international oil companies have done business and have decided that they can do it better.
They have come into their own and are making waves well beyond their national borders. In fact, although they are known as “national” companies, they have become a very strong international influence.
NOCs control an enormous amount of the world’s reserves. Numbers I have seen are as high as 92%. Even if the lower number of 75% is accurate, it is huge. And when the NOCs join forces, which is happening more and more frequently, their impact is even greater.
I’ve heard talk that the United States has considered creating a national oil company that can compete on the same playing field as the likes of Petrobras, CNOOC, and PdVSA. Sounds silly at first, but it could have some merit as an idea.
If you consider that a lineup of operators based on reserves ranks a company the size of ExxonMobil eleventh behind ten NOCs, the idea begins to look a lot less hare brained. The combined reserves of the US Gulf of Mexico and all of Alaska and its offshore are nothing to sneeze at.
It might just be possible that the US Oil Company will be a part of our not-so-distant future.