University of Twente Student Theses


Big Oil facing energy transition: implications, corporate strategies and role as incumbent regime companies

Franco, Giacomo (2019) Big Oil facing energy transition: implications, corporate strategies and role as incumbent regime companies.

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Abstract:The biggest Western private Oil&Gas multinationals, collectively known as Big Oil or supermajors, have to face the implications of the energy transition. This final thesis both analyses these business strategies in detail and considers Big Oil companies as examples of incumbent regime players, looking into the transition environment divided in landscape, regime and niches levels as required by multi-level perspective and socio-technical transitions literature. The companies developed different approaches, and a “Transatlantic divide” has emerged, since the European supermajors show more relevant sustainability commitments than the American companies. All of them are still keeping investing mostly in upstream activities, but common transition trends include operating emissions reduction, refocusing to natural gas and biofuels and, particularly for the European companies, especially diversifying towards renewable energy. However, as expected from the MLP literature, the supermajors still follow a resistance strategy, making use of several leverages to preserve their position as incumbent companies in the current energy system. Both the reasons for the Transatlantic divide and the elements which will determine the future role of the Big Oil companies are to be found in landscape level factors identified in this study: the interdependencies with the political system and the action of market forces.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 83 economics, 85 business administration, organizational science, 89 political science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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