Keywords: energy restructuring, deregulation, privatisation, corporate mergers, foreign investment, gas-, electricity linkage
Corporate restructuring of the global energy industry: an overview of events and issues
Before 1980, outside of the world's few major integrated oil companies, only a handful of energy companies could be considered multinational. In 1999, in addition to the scores of petroleum companies that can be classified as multinational, the scope of many electricity companies and natural gas transmission companies has become increasingly global. Through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic alliances, many of the world's energy companies have also become more integrated - and most recently, much larger. Natural gas pipeline companies have become electricity companies; regional domestic electric utilities have become multinational electricity companies; electricity distribution and transmission companies have become generation companies; generation companies have become distribution and transmission companies; and big oil companies have become even bigger oil companies. What have been the driving forces behind these transformations? It is in part due to a number of policy and market related developments such as deregulation, rising environmental concerns, privatisation, technological advances, and an evolution in global finance.