July 2019
National Oil Companies in the Spotlight 

National Oil Companies (NOCs) are responsible for 55 percent of global oil and gas production and as much as 90 percent of worldwide reserves. They also play a dominant role in the economies of their home countries - collecting huge shares of public revenues, executing complex projects and, too often, sitting at the center of large corruption scandals. In spite of their importance, NOCs have been subject to much less scrutiny than private oil companies such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, in part because they have traditionally been opaque.
Senior Visiting Fellow Patrick Heller
This year marked an effort to change this equation with the launch of the National Oil Company Database, published by the Natural Resource Governance Institute and developed by CLEE Senior Visiting Fellow Patrick Heller. The database assembles financial, operational and performance information on 71 NOCs worldwide, drawing on company and government reporting. It is the first free public resource of its kind, enabling researchers and advocates to analyze global trends among these companies and helping oil-dependent governments benchmark how well their companies are delivering returns on public assets. The database and its associated research publications underscore the importance of improving company transparency, carefully setting rules on how much debt they can take on and subjecting company leadership to rigorous performance assessments.
Among other factors, borrowing and spending by NOCs will have a major influence on their governments' abilities to shift away from fossil fuels. Many NOCs are being tasked with championing their countries' efforts to promote energy transition, but they are deeply entrenched in the political economy of oil, and in many cases are reinvesting the majority of the money they collect back into new and ongoing fossil fuel projects.
Since its launch, the database has attracted the attention of policymakers in a number of oil-dependent countries, and has been featured in a range of international publications including the Financial Times, Foreign Policy, and The Economist.
Call for Applications
Interconnection Dispute Resolution Technical Panel: Non-Utility Member

CLEE is partnering with the California Institute for Energy and the Environment (CIEE) and the California Public Utilities Commission to develop and facilitate an expedited dispute resolution process for applications to interconnect distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, commercial batteries, and electric vehicle charging to the electric grid. CLEE and CIEE are now soliciting applications for qualified technical experts to serve on the expedited interconnection dispute resolution panel. Access the RFQ and list of qualifications here or contact Rule21@berkeley.edu with any inquiries. 

Faculty & Staff
In the News

Holly Doremus discusses how the Supreme Court's recent case Weyerhaeuser vs. US Fish and Wildlife Service could impact endangered species protections in The Regulatory Review

Patrick Heller writes about the impact of state-owned oil companies on how well their governments - and the international system - navigate major challenges. Read his piece in Foreign Policy on the importance of a more robust U.S. government approach to state companies.

Ethan Elkind comments on the relationship between housing development and climate change in The San Diego Union Tribune.
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