Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Shell vs BP

From the Financial Times' Lex column:

In recent years, Europe’s two biggest oil companies by market capitalisation have embodied different bets on the oil price. With a much smaller refining base than its supermajor peers, and shunning costly, unconventional fuel sources like oil sands, BP has been counting on prices falling.

Lord Browne, chief executive until this summer, was banking on $40 a barrel in the medium term, slackening to $25 or $30 further out. Shell, meanwhile, implicitly believes in prices being stronger for longer. Since late 2004 it has gone out on a limb, developing big, long-life upstream projects, complemented by a solid downstream business able to process complex fuels....MORE