SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Tobin, Damian (2019) 'Technical Self-Sufficiency, Pricing Independence: A Penrosean perspective on China’s Emergence as a Major Oil Refiner since the 1960s.' Business History Review, 61 (4). pp. 681-702.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


International embargos and the withdrawal of Soviet technical expertise had by the early 1960s effectively engrained China’s approach to energy and technical self-sufficiency. Chinese officials cited reasons similar to those advanced by Edith Penrose in her critique of the international oil companies’ (IOC’s) investments. Drawing on Penrose’s approach, this article shows that although self-sufficiency led to significant progress in primary capacity, self-sufficiency had to be reconciled with increasing demand for more complex petrochemicals. Modernisation increased China’s reliance on the IOC’s technology and reduced pricing independence, confirming a historical regularity in the market imperfections underpinning the power of the IOCs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Penrose, international oil firms, national oil companies, China, petroleum industry
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
ISSN: 00076805
Copyright Statement: © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Business History Review on 03 Jan 2018, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 21:53

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item