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The majors' messy divide

Two gassy Europeans, two shale-obsessed Americans and one in between is too simplistic a division

It remains true that there are striking similarities between the five largest oil majors' strategies—focus on value over volume growth, lower production costs and high grading of portfolios through asset divestment, capital discipline and a commitment to shareholder value. But the shorthand for how to separate them may be less apposite. The received wisdom is that you can split the firms into the two firmly European majors, Shell and Total, which have bet significantly on LNG and got firmly on board with various energy transition technologies. The two US heavyweights, ExxonMobil and Chevron, have retrenched to international mega-projects and a domestic shale oil core. BP, with its British r

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