Publications: The Petroleum Economics Monthly

Big Oil: Nightfall Is Coming (December 2015)


In the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, the major characters repeatedly say "winter is coming," meaning they realize the world as they know it is coming to an end. In similar fashion, "nightfall is coming" for Big Oil. To illustrate this, our cover graphic shows a corporate logo moving slowly but inevitably toward its sunset. We chose the Royal Dutch Shell logo to make a point. At this time, we think it very likely that Shell will not be here in twenty years. We may be wrong. Shell could survive. If it does, though, it will be very different from what it is today. Furthermore, if Shell continues, it will operate in a world where most major investor-owned multinational oil companies no longer exist.


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