This article evaluates the importance of US international oil companies (IOCs) for US energy security and is particularly important given the absence of scholarly analysis of the subject area in both the energy security and international business literature. The analysis suggests that the interests of US IOCs and the US Government have not been exclusively aligned and that the two sides have historically, in most cases, acted independently in pursuit of their interests. The IOCs act in harmony with the US foreign and energy security policy only when their interests are congruent, or under severe threat, such as that of legal action. The US IOCs have historically played a very limited role in enhancing US energy security. In recent years, to the extent that they have been unable to secure access to new oil reserves and increase their oil production, they are not supporting US energy security interests.
Keywords: energy security, home governments, international oil companies, IOCs, multinational corporations, MNCs, oil industry, US Government policy, global energy, USA, United States