Understanding the role of large energy corporations in society is a crucial, yet challenging task for the social science of energy. Ethnographic methods hold potential for plying into corporations' own self-representations, to reveal the relations of power and politics that determine flows of energy and extractive capital at the global and local level. Ethnography help us move beyond structural analyses, to locate the agents and processes at work within economies of energy production, and identify tensions and dynamics both within the corporation and at the interface with society. We argue that a multi-method and reflexive approach can help social scientists reflect on frictions in corporate encounters, and more importantly that attention to frictions is in fact a gateway to gain new insights about the field. In our research project about Norwegian energy companies and their corporate social responsibility work when 'going global', applying a multi-method made us question dominant assumptions within anthropology of what constitutes "access". We discuss how multiple approaches to "access", which takes into account the positionality of the researcher, fluidity of research fields along with attention to power dynamics can shape the sort of knowledge that is produced when studying energy companies.

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