Workers on the walk at Pemex facility in Mexico

State-owned enterprises

State-owned companies are critical but sometimes overlooked players in the energy transition and in oil, gas and mining governance.

Photo by Armando Salgado for NRGI
Photo by Armando Salgado for NRGI

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are responsible for approximately 55 percent of global oil and gas production. Despite the imperative to transition beyond fossil fuels, national oil companies are planning $2 trillion worth of investment in hydrocarbon extraction. Their decisions have crucial implications for the economic futures of their countries and for global climate action. State mining companies will also have a huge impact on whether citizens benefit from the boom in transition minerals like lithium and cobalt, and whether supplies of inputs to green technology will be stable and adequate.

Our research shows that most SOEs are poorly governed. This creates risks of wasted public resources, corruption and negative impacts in producing communities. NRGI, a leader in SOE research and programming, maintains the National Oil Company Database; advises SOE officials and their governments; and advocates for SOE reform through global governance standards. 

Hidden giants

National oil companies are crucial decisionmakers in the energy transition, but they're often overlooked.