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Latin America’s NOCs fall from grace

The state’s heavy hand will slow recovery for the region’s state firms, hurting production and new exploration for years to come

NOT LONG ago, national oil companies (NOCs) were seen as the future of the industry. Powerful state companies were gatekeepers to much of the world's remaining oil trove and international investors had little choice but to work with them. Nowhere was this truer than in Latin America. The region's state energy champions rose in prominence through the 2000s. Petrobras was the standard bearer - its $70bn public offering was the largest in history and its market value at one point surpassed Shell and Chevron. Others also thrived. Ecopetrol rode Colombia's oil wave to regional prominence. Mexico's Pemex and Venezuela's PdV have long showed signs of stress, but high oil prices made them vital cas

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