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Charles Darwin said “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” While there is a lot of oil left in reservoirs, demand remains high and it doesn’t take much imagination to see oil-producing and service companies that are less responsive to change than others. High product prices cushion the impact of poor decisions; time and a demanding financial environment will eventually identify the dinosaurs and eliminate not just the weakest, but the least flexible.
As I write this note, the operator of one of the most significant discoveries of the last few decades continues to negotiate with the host government regarding the continued right to serve as operator in the field. There is little doubt that the host government will require the technological, personnel and capital strengths of a consortium of international oil companies.
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