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Title: Why are joint venture agreements the preferred form of co-operation agreement in the Qatari gas industry?
Author: Al-Emadi, Talal Abdulla
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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While still being classified as a developing country, Qatar has evolved from being a primarily oil-based economy to one that includes the largest natural gas field in the world, named re North Field. But there is very little in the academic literature that examines why joint venture agreements between the Qatari state-owned petroleum company, Qatar Petroleum, and international oil companies are preferred in the Qatari gas industry over other possible types of co-operation agreements such as concession agreements, service contracts, and production sharing agreements. This thesis seeks to fill this gap. It addresses the question: Why is there a preference for joint venture agreements in the Qatari gas industry? In order to answer this, the thesis starts from the idea that the choice of joint venture agreement is the outcome of a decision-making process involving Qatar Petroleum and international oil companies. In analysing this decision-making process, the thesis develops an approach that integrates a micro and a macro level of analysis. On a micro level, the thesis examines the reasons for the choice of joint venture agreements provided by international oil companies. Here, the thesis draws on what is known in the international business literature as Dunning's 'eclectic' paradigm of ownership, location and internalisation (DU) advantages. I argue that international oil companies, often multinational enterprises, undertake joint venture agreements, a form of foreign direct investment, because these agreements allow them to fully exploit three sets of interdependent advantages. First, joint venture agreements allow international oil companies to capitalise on ownership advantages such as the possession of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) technology, multinational experience and an effective human resources management. Second, joint venture agreements enable international oil companies to exploit location advantages of Qatar, as a host state, such as Qatar's North Field and Qatar's political stability. Third, joint venture agreements allow international oil compa1ifes to reap the benefits of joint internalisation advantages such as minimising transaction-related d social-related costs. In doing so, this thesis extends Dunning's ‘eclectic' paradigm that is normally associated with explaining a wholly owned subsidiary to explain the choice of a joint venture agreement. On a macro level, the thesis develops an innovative perspective in drawing on Anthony Giddens' structuration theory for exploring how the organisational culture of the Qatari gas industry contributes to a preference for joint venture agreements. In particular, I examine organisational culture as constituting three structures of rules and resources: domination (made up of allocative and authoritative resources); signification (consisting of semantic rules); and legitimation (consisting of normative rules). First, I examine the structure of dominati09 as the interactive positions of power of both Qatar Petroleum and international oil companies grounded in their access to allocative and authoritative resources. Second, I discuss the structure of signification based on the role of religion in general and Islam in particular in creating a cost of learning about Islam. Third, I analyse the structure of legitimation as the normative expectation to facilitate technology transfer. Hence, this thesis unlocks the empirical potential of Giddens' structuration theory by conceptualising organisational culture based on the structure of domination, signification and legitimation. At the same time, integrating Dunning's eclectic paradigm with Giddens' approach fills a gap in Dunning's eclectic paradigm, the absence of explicit attention to the perspective of host countries in explaining the preference for joint venture agreements. In that sense, the integration of a micro-economic approach such as Dunning's eclectic paradigm rooted in international business literature with a macro-sociological approach such as Giddens' structuration theory rooted in the discipline of sociology breaks new ground in our understanding of the preference for joint venture agreements
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available