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ArtikelBig Oil's Bigger Brothers; The Oil Business  
Oleh: [s.n]
Jenis: Article from Bulletin/Magazine
Dalam koleksi: The Economist ( vol. 401 no. 8757 (Oct. 2011), page 63-64.
Topik: Crude Oil Prices; Petroleum Industry; Business Conditions
Fulltext: Big Oil's bigger ..pdf (19.98KB)
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Isi artikelBusiness could scarcely be better for the supermajors, as the world's biggest listed international oil companies are known. A barrel of Brent crude has changed hands for $100 or more for most of the year and cash is gushing in. On October 25th BP announced quarterly profits of $5.1 billion. Two days later Shell reported profits of $7 billion; Exxon Mobil was expected to unveil juicy results as The Economist went to press. But the tide of the oil business is turning. As the quest for oil intensifies, supermajors will probably take on more risks, both political (tie-ups with dodgy regimes) and geological (investing billions to extract hydrocarbons the Earth is reluctant to give up). They are already doing a fair bit of both. Even Exxon, renowned for its capital discipline, has struck riskier-than-usual deals in the Arctic and the Black Sea with Russia's state oil firm, Rosneft. Life is getting harder for the supermajors. Their edge over their rivals--the ability to extract oil from difficult places--is terrifically useful while prices are high. But since it is terrifically costly to extract oil from difficult places, their competitive advantage fizzles if oil prices fall. If it does, their bumper profits could vanish like a pool of petrol into which a lighted match has been carelessly dropped.
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