BP and Public Issues (Mis)Management

BP’s horrible missteps after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded were almost predictable, given the culture of deceit and arrogance that executive actions had encouraged. While the accident could have been prevented, BP might have avoided its intense and deserved public flogging if only it had respected the best practices for managing a crisis – and for managing. Readers of this article will learn what BP … [ Read more ]

John Browne

No matter how quickly-or how dramatically-a company’s competitive environment might change over time, it must hold two things constant: its sense of purpose and its commitment to creating “mutual advantage” for stakeholders. According to John Browne, group CEO of global energy giant BP, an unwavering focus on these objectives enables organizations to adapt to their competitive landscape-and in turn sustain shareholder value. Watch a video … [ Read more ]

How Conoco broke the convenience store mold

As the oil industry consolidated in the mid-1990s, Houston-based Conoco faced a major brand challenge. One of the world’s leading energy companies and a prominent petroleum retailer in U.S. markets, Conoco saw an opportunity to accelerate profit growth through the convenience store format. But in order to build a powerful convenience store brand, the company knew that it would have to break away from the … [ Read more ]

Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yukos: Chelovek c rublyom (Man with a Ruble)

In October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s richest man and the CEO of Yukos, the second-largest Russian oil producer with a market capitalization of US$26 billion, was arrested and thrown into jail on charges of fraud and tax evasion. Several days later he resigned as CEO of Yukos. This case study tells the story of the rise and (temporary?) fall of a young man whom some … [ Read more ]

Low-Tech High-Tech

Pacific Pride shows how good information can revolutionize even a sleepy industry- at little cost.

Mary Tolan’s Modest Proposal

A rising star at Accenture is advising Big Oil and the auto industry that they can revitalize the economy, mint profits, and save the planet — if they’ll just learn to stop worrying and love hydrogen.

Strategic Value Analysis for Competitive Advantage: An Illustration From the Petroleum Industry

Managers can do a far better job if they understand how each process they manage adds value. SVA is a tool for gaining that understanding.

Editor’s Note: this article will be most interesting to those who care about the oil & gas industry but the SVA concept seemed to me to be poorly elaborated and more useful as a hindsight analytical tool rather than a … [ Read more ]

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

Nothing rivals oil as the world’s most strategic commodity. Yergin’s deftly recorded history of the industry, which seems particularly relevant at the moment, culminates in Saddam Hussein’s attempt to take over Kuwait’s oil resources in 1990 and the resulting gulf war. An important read, because for the last 150 years or so, oil has equaled mastery, an equation unlikely to change-at least while SUVs roam … [ Read more ]

Ahlstrom Korea

A Texas oil tycoon takes half his trusty drills and heads for new territory. But he’s not moving West, he’s headed to the Far East. Can Tex count on any success from this globalisation? Professor Philippe Lasserre and Jocelyn Probert explain that for Ahlstrom Korea’s similar expansion effort, it must deal with a wealth of stumbling blocks to make headway.

BASF in China: the Marketing of Styropor®

BASF is a multi-national producer of petro-chemicals that has enjoyed a comfortable, well-padded history of success in the packaging industry. The company’s product Styropor®, one of the few branded chemicals on the market, is a commodity – somewhat like Lycra®. The authors explain BASF’s problem in this case study: since Styropor®, by nature, costs more than similar products produced locally in China, it needs to … [ Read more ]

Saudi Arabia

Can Crown Prince Abdullah lead his desert kingdom into the 21st century? An interesting look at the reform efforts and some general background of Saudi Arabia.

The New Old Economy: Oil, Computers, and the Reinvention of the Earth

“The New Economy is based on the production of knowledge. The Old Economy is based on natural resources and the production of physical goods. Now the line between them is beginning to blur. A New Old Economy is making productivity surge and ushering in an Age of Plenty.”

Excellent article looks specifically at the Oil industry and how it has moved into the modern technology era. … [ Read more ]