Buyers' Market for Oil Companies in Davos

Reuters

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Oil executives normally travel the world to win big contracts - but rarely do government officials travel the other way.

This week in Davos, however, some of the most powerful oil CEOs gathered on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum and were presented with an embarrassment of riches.

While the appearance of Iran's new president and oil minister in front of the heads of BP, ENI, Total and Lukoil made most headlines, the executives also heard presentations by officials from Canada, Mozambique and Mexico.

The head of BP Bob Dudley drew a simple conclusion: "It just shows how big the shifts are in the industry."

Oil prices peaked at $147 a barrel in 2008 amid growing fears that the world was running out of oil. Five years on, oil is considered plentiful thanks to the U.S. shale oil revolution and the discovery of massive oil and gas fields elsewhere.

Some executives are beginning to talk about an easing of resource nationalism, one of the hottest topics in the industry over the past decade as countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan became increasingly assertive about developing their reserves themselves.

"Today a number of countries which have huge reserves of oil and gas begin to say that they need investments to develop them," said the head of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov.


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