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In all the talk about National Oil Companies (NOCs) and International Oil Companies (IOCs), one thing has become clear: While the IOCs can usually be grouped as having a common purpose and method of business practice, the NOCs, despite their common acronym, often have nothing in common. That’s not to say that there aren’t numerous issues-there are. It’s just that there are often only one or two NOCs that have a given issue in common.
THE BIG QUESTION
One issue that is the most emotional, especially for those who consider themselves laissez-faire capitalists, is whether a given NOC exists for making money for itself and its shareholders, or whether it exists for strategic/national reasons to secure supply. Emotions can run high if the latter is suspected, because patriotism can run deep in every country; so if the business is viewed as making a deal for strategic/national reasons, money can be lost.
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