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Title: Strategic oil company decision-making in the North Sea.
Author: Reid, Valerie Sue.
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 1993
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This study seeks to understand strategic oil company decision-making in the North Sea, focusing on company decisions to produce oil in the United Kingdom's Continental Shelf. The production of oil in the North Sea was extremely complex, with comparatively greater risk attached to key decisions than in other global areas of production. Arguably, like other businesses, oil companies wanted to minimise risks in order to maximise their returns. This thesis is a case study of this basic notion in action: how did oil companies make decisions faced with the complex business environment in the North Sea? The study's conceptual framework is developed from scholarly work on decisionmaking and strategy formulation, using three models: rational, incremental and interpretative to help in the understanding of North Sea decision-making. Part One of the study analyses the North Sea environment, including the legal and fiscal regimes, physical constraints and climatic conditions, identifying the roles played by these outside influences in the decision-making process. Part Two of the study tests this 'theoretical' view of the North Sea environment and company-decision-making discussed in Part One, exploring practical company experience further in a semi-structured interview survey of oil company decision-makers. The study concludes with a discussion of decision-making in light of the conceptual models. Analysis of the sirategic oil company decision-making reveals a pattern and sequence in the decision-making process at an industry level, made within the dual framework of (i) consortiums and (ii) the UK (iQvernment's licensing and fiscal regimes. The consortium was the formal decision-making body, with decisions characterised by a iterative process of negotiation between companies, the consortium committee and the Government. Risk minimisation in order to maximise rewards is identified as one of the main driving forces behind decisionmaking.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Industrial planning Management