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Regional assets and network switching: shifting geographies of ownership, control and capital in UK offshore oil

Bridge, Gavin and Dodge, Alexander (2022) 'Regional assets and network switching: shifting geographies of ownership, control and capital in UK offshore oil.', Cambridge journal of regions, economy and society. .


Evolutionary approaches to strategic coupling show how regions harness and match assets, then negotiate their alignment with lead firms. For regions intersected by multiple networks in the same industry, however, the reconfiguration of network-territory relations can have aggregate, co-evolutionary effects that exceed coupling to a single lead firm. In such cases network switching rather than asset matching can be a primary driver of regional transformation, as assets transferred from one lead firm to another become embedded in qualitatively different production networks with contrasting power dynamics and logics of value capture. We analyse transformation in UK offshore oil to reveal three trajectories of change—in ownership, control, and capital—arising from the transfer of regional assets between different categories of lead firm; and identify simultaneous processes of globalisation and localisation in network geographies. We argue that network switching—guided by a heuristic of ‘re-territorialisation’—can complement strategic coupling.

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Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:21 April 2022
Date deposited:26 May 2022
Date of first online publication:15 May 2022
Date first made open access:26 May 2022

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