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On the State's Choice of Oil Company: Risk Management and the Frontier of the Petroleum Industry
Working Paper

Published By

Program on Energy and Sustainable Development

December 2010

Conventional wisdom holds that oil sector nationalizations are rooted in political motives of the petroleum states, which perceive value in the direct control of resource development though a state enterprise.  State motives are inarguably important.  At the same time, we argue in this paper that constraints of risk significantly affect a state's choice of which agent to employ to extract its hydrocarbons.  Implicit in much current debate is the idea that private, international oil companies (IOCs) and the state-controlled, national

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