Definition: The “NOC” acronym means “National Oil Companies” and refers to the local oil producing companies owned by their respective government. Therefore there are nearly as many “NOCs” as countries in the world, but the most famous ones are: Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, Statoil, Petrochina, Sinopec, Petrobras, ADNOC, Qatar Petroleum, etc….
Comment: Historically the “NOCs” used to play a limited role in the Chemical, Oil& Gas business as they were most of the time only a financial partner of the “International Oil Companies” (“IOCs”) providing the technology to the “NOCs”, and running the operations. But on the last 10 years the “NOCs” change profile for a number of reasons.
The “NOCs” belonging to OPEC countries wanted to reduce the uncertainty of their revenues because of the fluctuation of the barrel price and US dollar. So they diversified their investments on the petrochemical side to export more intermediate goods. The development of this downstream industry was also encouraged by the governments to create thousand local jobs and to support high graduated educational programs. To secure their exportations they also had to build alliances abroad with their biggest customers in taking interest in large refineries and petrochemicals complex in Asia, Europe and North America.
Regarding the “NOCs” of the consuming countries, such as China or India, their mission changed for different reasons since the local production could not supply enough resources to feed the local needs. These “NOCs” were therefore mandated to explore all opportunities to produce more overseas, especially in Africa, South America and Canada.
Today most of these “NOCs” have operations or interests all over the world, they became by fact global companies, as the “IOCs”, with a very similar size for some of them. But these “NOCs” are still closely owned and managed by their government, in that respect they are no longer local but still national companies.
Having access to the resources and investing in downstream as much as in upstream, the capital expenditures of the “NOCs” are more than twice bigger than “IOCs”.