2008 Think Corner

CEE's Research on National Oil Companies (NOCs) 
Michelle Michot Foss & Miranda Ferrell Wainberg - December 2008

In 2007, CEE released a working paper titled Commercial Frameworks for National Oil Companies authored by Ms. Wainberg, Dr. Michot Foss and Mr. Dmitry Volkov . That paper encompassed initial thinking and logic for evaluating operating and financial performance of national oil companies (NOCs), given their prominence in global oil and gas supply and their unique positions in global oil and gas industry organization. In 2008, CEE initiated cooperation with the World Bank on a longer term study effort. The first releases from the World Bank program are now available...

"Tightening grip" of Gazprom: a reality check 
Dmitry Volkov - November 2008

A great deal of hyperbole permeates the trade and general press when it comes to Gazprom's outbound investments. A more sober look at Gazprom activities abroad produces another picture -- the advent of Russian foreign direct investment in activities considered to be core, strategic businesses has taken at least a decade just to be launched.

Gazprom has tried to engage in exploration and production projects abroad since the mid-1990's, yet there is only one major project currently in the production phase -- a 30 percent share in South Pars 2 and 3 in Iran initiated in 2001 (Shakhpakhty field in Uzbekistan, another producing venture abroad, holds about 9 bcm of reserves and is insignificant in terms of production volumes - less than 0.5 bcm annually)...

A Comment on LNG Regasification Optionality
Mariano Gurfinkel & Michelle Michot Foss - May 2008

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification capacity utilization has increased in the United States during the last decade. In recent years it has also showed marked variations throughout the year. The ratio between the highest observed natural gas sendout and the lowest surpassed 5 in 2007. This short note attempts to provide a first order explanation to the variation in capacity utilization...

Supporting Biofuels: A Case Study on the Law of Unintended Consequences?
Gürcan Gülen & Bhamy Shenoy - January 2008

Biofuels have been gaining new prevalence in recent years. There are primarily three reasons for this new popularity:

  • the search for substitutes to oil that is becoming more expensive to develop and is geopolitically riskier;
  • the desire to lower emissions; and
  • support for agricultural sectors, especially in the developing countries.

These are the same reasons that led to previous rush to biofuels in the 1970s...