A New Era Is Dawning: The Rise Of The Hybrid National Oil Company

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Executive Summary

A new era is dawning for national oil companies. They are expanding, not only beyond their borders, but also in the sophistication of their organizational structures and the ways in which they do business. This trend is reflected in the recent proliferation of what are being labeled as 'hybrid' National Oil Companies (hNOCs). These are not nationalised companies; they are entities that quietly move between both the private and public sectors. This fluidity enables hNOCs to enjoy the best of both worlds: a safety net from the public sector - largely backed by the government in terms of ownership and financing - and the risk-taking of the private sector. As an example, their global reach provides their home countries with opportunities to gain access to the best resources while being able to borrow money from local banks at favorable rates thanks to government guarantees. In light of these advantages, many traditional NOCs - those that are 100 percent owned by the government and operate exclusively within their country's border - may want to consider making a shift to a hybrid model, but this transition is not without its challenges. The most obvious is that hNOCs are continuously assailed by a myriad of contradictory pressures. This most often takes the form of balancing the needs of government - money for the treasury and jobs for the local population - with traditional business requirements of capital investment and operational efficiency.

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