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Supermajordämmerung

SHELL, DRIVEN TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

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The day of the huge integrated international oil company is drawing to a close

In the 1950s the seven sisters controlled some 85% of global reserves. Today over 90% of reserves are under the control of national oil companies (NOCs) which are owned, at least in part, by the governments sitting on the oil in question.

As well as missing some good opportunities, the supermajors seem to be pursuing some dubious ones. Shell’s misfiring attempts to explore the Arctic, now abandoned until 2014 after damage to vital equipment, look like an extreme example of lack of choice.

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RELATED: Why Big Oil will shrink and its stocks tumble

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