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A Comparative History of National Oil Companies

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Edited By Alain Beltran

Oil is undoubtedly rather more than a mere hydrocarbon. It is a development factor, an essential element in energy balances, a strategic weapon, a resource characterized by unequal distribution, and also by unequal consumption. For more than a century now, it has showed its importance, whether during periods of crisis, or at times of strong growth.
Under such circumstances, few countries have allowed mere market laws to operate freely. Whether visible or discreet, the hand of the State has been present in many cases, depending on different purposes and taking various forms. Hence national companies developed, if only in order to deal with the Majors and their greatly feared power. One finds examples of national companies both in Western Europe and in certain developing countries that have substantial resources on their soil. Those companies did not all experience the same destiny, but they have sometimes influenced the rules of the oil game.
The colloquium held in Paris in 2003 («National oil companies: history, characteristics, comparisons from the inter-war period to the end of the 20 th century») provided some new facts and viewpoints in connection with this history, still relatively unknown.
You will read contributions here from various horizons making it possible to illuminate the present and the near future, since oil industry issues continue to challenge the world.

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A Comparative History of National Oil Companies. Introduction ...........................................................................................9 Alain Beltran PART I. FOUNDING ELEMENTS The Sources of Oil History. Total Group’s Historical Archives......13 Anne-Thérèse Michel The French Example. The 1928s Laws. Longevity and Effectiveness of the Approach to Creating and Maintaining a National Oil Industry in a Consumer Country – Appearances and Realities ..................................................................21 André Philippon (†) Life Stories and Family Histories of the French Oil Industry. The Rise and Fall of the Corps des Mines ..........................................55 Douglas A. Yates The Merger between CFP and Desmarais Frères in 1965. Toward Formation of Total Group....................................................69 Mohamed Sassi PART II. STATE AND ITS METHODS ABOUT OIL ISSUES SN REPAL, CFP and “Oil-Paid-in-Francs” .....................................93 Samir Saul Energy Supply and Economic Development in Italy. The Role of the State-owned Companies .........................................125 Pier Angelo Toninelli Oil Policies in 20th-Century Spain ....................................................143 Gabriel Tortella The SONATRACH Oil Company (Algeria). Development Lever or Instrument of Power?.................................163 Khaoua Nadji 8 Oil, National Security and Fuel Policy in France and the United Kingdom, 1945-1972................................................181 Martin Chick PART III. OIL AND NATURAL GAS EXPLOITATION: CASE STUDIES Pechelbronn from 1918 to 1962, or Constitution of a National Oil Company Based on a Local Deposit....................199 René Walther Société Nationale des Pétroles d’Aquitaine. An Industrial Strategy between National Interests and Local Expectations (from 1951 to the end of the 1960s) .........215 Christophe Briand The Natural Gas Industry in Italy since Autarky until Eni’s Hegemony (1935-1965) ...................................................233 Daniele Pozzi The Danish Oil and Natural Gas Company, 1972-2000 .................265 Mogens...

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