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Technological change and industry structure: A case study of the petroleum industry

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This paper is a case study of the impact of an exogenous improvement of a process technology on the structure of the petroleum industry. The paper examines the role of three-dimensional seismology in bringing about the 1990s oil industry consolidation. This proposition is examined in the context of evolutionary economics and in a non-cooperative game theory, concluding with a reference to Steindl's theory of industry dynamics. The significance of this contribution lies chiefly in highlighting the fact that exogenous technological change can, under appropriate conditions, play a significant role in industry dynamics. This reference to the exogenous change in technology is a departure from the traditional consideration of endogenity of industry structure in relation to technological development and, therefore, a novelty. Secondly, the documentation of 3D seismology as a significant process technology of the petroleum industry is significant.

Keywords: Industry dynamics; Mergers; Process technology; Seismology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Economics Program, Mail Bag 251, UWA Business School, The University of  Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, 6009, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2006

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