Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Stanford University


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National Oil Companies

This study will explore the factors that explain the organization and performance of the world's largest NOCs. It will involve in-depth case studies of over a dozen NOCs that include the enterprises that control the worl's largest oil reserves as well as several NOCs that have large marketing operations.

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March 9th, 2014

Will the U.S. surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in oil production? Who cares.

PESD in the news

In a TV interview on NBC Bay Area, PESD associate director Mark Thurber argues that it doesn’t make a lot of difference whether or not the U.S. becomes the world’s top oil producer. Read more »



June 13th, 2012

Risk attitudes shapes national oil company strategies

PESD News

Based on the research in Oil and Governance, PESD researchers Mark Thurber and David Hults argue that the incentives an NOC faces to take, avoid, or manage risk critically determine its strategy and whether it can achieve the particular goals of its host government. Read more »



July 5th, 2011

Thurber, Hults, Heller publish "Norwegian Model" study in Energy Policy

PESD Announcement

In their Energy Policy article, entitled "Exporting the ‘Norwegian Model': The effect of administrative design on oil sector performance," PESD researchers Mark Thurber, David Hults, and Patrick Heller present work casting doubt on the idea that imitating best practices from Norway is necessarily the best route to improved oil sector performance for other countries. +HTML+ +PDF+
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December 13th, 2010

Nolan and Thurber identify risk as a major driver of whether countries use private or state-owned oil companies

PESD News

In a new working paper, PESD affiliate Peter A. Nolan and associate director Mark Thurber find that considerations of risk help explain why oil-rich states may choose international oil companies rather than state-controlled enterprises to find and extract oil in "frontier" territories. +PDF+
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September 10th, 2010

PESD releases study of Nigeria's national oil company NNPC

PESD Announcement

Nigeria's national oil company NNPC is at the center of a profoundly dysfunctional oil sector in a country that some argue embodies the "resource curse." In a new study, PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber and PESD affiliated researchers Ify Emelife and Patrick Heller find that NNPC's persistent underperformance stems from its role as the linchpin of a sophisticated and durable system of patronage. Read more »



May 24th, 2010

PESD releases study of Norway's national oil company Statoil

PESD News

Norway is lauded as the rare example of a major oil and gas exporting country that has managed to avoid the "resource curse." A new study by PESD Associate Director Mark Thurber and Consulting Research Associate Benedicte Tangen Istad looks more closely at the Norwegian petroleum experience and the role of national oil company Statoil in it. The reality is messy and political but nonetheless an impressive story of how Norway built a vibrant domestic oil and gas industry on the back of national champion Statoil and a robust system of governance that could curb Statoil's excesses as needed at a few key junctures.




April 22nd, 2010

PESD releases new Working Paper titled "Adapting to Shifting Government Priorities: An Assessment of the Performance and Strategy of India's ONGC

PESD News

In PESD's Working Paper #91 titled "Adapting to Shifting Government Priorities: An Assessment of the Performance and Strategy of India's ONGC," research fellow Varun Rai attempts to unpack the dynamic between India and its largest state-owned company Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) devoted to exploration and production.





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