From QZ, a look at the changing nature of the large oil companies:
“This may be more than a passing carnage. We may be witnessing a more-or-less orderly industry retreat from Big Oil’s old, unsustainable size and Wall Street expectation, and toward a more manageable—and healthy—scale of business.
A common feature across Big Oil—a group that includes BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell—is a serious struggle keeping its weight on. Investor attention fixates on the prospect of growing daily production, which is treated as a sign of corporate health and future value. In the second quarter, Exxon for example had every incentive to produce higher volumes—its average oil prices were $94 a barrel, compared with $79 last year. Yet it—and all the companies—instead reported a year-on-year production decline. Last year, Chevron’s production dropped by 2.4% from 2011 and ExxonMobil’s by 6%.”