Oil giants see virtue in being vertically integrated
The energy downturn has shown oil majors the virtues of “vertically integrated” oil groups, according to the Financial Times (paywall), which combine the “upstream activities” such as finding and developing oilfields with “downstream functions” like refining crude and selling petroleum products. The model not only creates a hedge against a drop in the price of crude, but also “captures the highest value for every molecule that flows through” facilities, according to Rex Tillerson, chief executive of ExxonMobil.
Meanwhile, the FT’s (paywall) Ed Crooks tells us that the drumbeats of US shale are softly sounding as the industry evolves in survival of the fittest. “The best of the shale companies, however, now look like evolutionary winners for the long term. It is the big oil companies and their mega-projects that increasingly look like the dinosaurs.
The IMF is sounding the alarm on China’s corporate debt, joining a host of other voices calling out the nation on its debt-riddled economy, according to the FT (paywall). “We have learned over and over in the past 20 years how disruptions in one country’s economy and markets can reverberate worldwide,” said David Lipton, the IMF’s number two and the leader of its latest mission, which ends on Tuesday. Lipton also cited the global “spillovers” from last year’s turmoil in Chinese markets.