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Oil firms plot different paths out of worst downturn in decades

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Crude prices have tumbled around 70 per cent over the past 18 months to around US$35 a barrel, leading to five of the world's top oil companies reporting sharp declines in profits in recent days. Royal Dutch Shell posted its lowest annual income for 13 years last week.

Houston

AS oil and gas companies cut ever-deeper into the bone to weather their worst downturn in decades, boards have adopted contrasting strategies to lead them out of the crisis.

Crude prices have tumbled around 70 per cent over the past 18 months to around US$35 a barrel,

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