India and China, among others, are part of a growing trend of developing nations that are setting lofty energy goals and forming national oil companies.
In the face of high oil and natural gas costs and rapidly growing demand, India's ONGC and China's National Offshore Oil Corp. are buying up leases and other international companies and starting to fill some of their own needs, the Financial Times reported.
While they are some of the newer faces in bidding, India and China are fast becoming powerful buyers.
The FT reported that just last week CNOOC announced a $2.5 billion buyout of Awilco, a Norway-based drilling company.
Also recently, Taqa, based in Abu Dhabi, won bids for six oil fields in the North Sea from Shell and Exxon, the Times said. Joining the growing list, China's Sinochem bought assets worth $465 million from Soco, a Yemen-based oil firm.
According to the Financial Times, a recent report from Ernst & Young suggests ambitious national oil companies are now classified as either "resource holders" that are looking to enter new markets or as "resource seekers."
New oil and gas reserves are found in India.
The chief minister of the Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. in India, Narendra Modi, said the firm has found reserves totaling about 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and oil as well.
The reserves were discovered at the KG-22 well in the Deendayal Upadhyay block off the coast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, India's Economic Times reported.
"The discovery of KG-22 will make it one of the highest gas-generating wells in the country," Modi told the Times.
Modi said the find is significant because the gas that was found is under high pressure and is difficult to extract. Also, the discovery comes on the heels of another significant find in the same area but a different well, he said.
Australian firms are being told, "Use it or lose it."
The Australian government reportedly told oil and gas companies across the country if they make a discovery, they must develop the field where the discovery was made, The Age reported.
Australian Resources Minister Martin Ferguson told The Age the Resources Department will now be "more rigorously applying the commerciality test to retention lease applications and renewals."
Companies do not have to develop right away, but they must provide the government with a development plan within a year of making a discovery; otherwise it will be reclaimed by the government.
Supply constraints and rising prices of oil and natural gas have pushed the government to become stricter in its control of leases.
Closing oil prices, July 17, 3 p.m., London
Brent crude oil: $138.44
West Texas Intermediate crude oil: $138.76