Spending cycles favour Exxon, Shell amid oil slump

All oil majors face negative cashflow but Chevron, Total and BP will have to borrow more to stay afloat: Moody's


THE world's two biggest oil firms, Exxon Mobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell, may withstand the oil price collapse better than their rivals because they are closer to finishing expensive investment projects while others must keep spending.

The near halving of oil prices since June is likely to send all the biggest listed oil companies into negative cash flow this year, and has sparked a rush to cut costs across the sector as a result.

But depending on where they are in their spending cycles, some companies are finding those cuts easier to make than others. "Both (Exxon and Shell) had already entered a lower spending phase, with major projects reaching completion and coming on stream over the...

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