I am an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. In this capacity I carry out research projects on national oil companies (NOCs) and governance issues, as well as strategic issues affecting the petroleum industry. I am also on KPMG’s Global NOC Team, which offers advisory services to governments and NOCs, with a particular focus on Africa. And I am a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on the Future of Oil and Gas.

My geographic focus is on the Middle East and Africa, with a strong interest in oil and political developments in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, the UAE, Lebanon, Algeria, Namibia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana and the DRC.

I organize and facilitate expert workshops and in-country stakeholder engagement discussions on governance issues in the petroleum sector. A particular focus is on the relationship between national oil companies and government.

My interest in this topic began with the research for Oil Titans in 2003. I realised that there wasn't very much out there about how national oil companies operated. I set out to get a closer look at the inner workings of these companies and interviewed over 120 NOC executives and officials from energy ministries in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Algeria. I discovered the importance of history, corporate culture, and most importantly the nature of the relationship between the government and the national oil company. The quality of this relationship is central to good governance of the national petroleum sector.

See The Latest page for information on current research on national oil companies, governance and the specific issues that emerging producers face. The Contact page includes a recent CV.

In December 2013 I relocated to London (again). I was previously based in Toronto, Dubai, Cairo and Paris.


My bio

    valerie.marcel (at)