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Supermajors spending more on investors than earning from business

March 08, 2021

NS Energy:

The oil supermajors combined to spend almost $50bn on payouts to their investors in 2020, according to a report.

The analysis by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) shows that the world’s five largest private-sector oil and gas companies – ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Total and Shell – collectively spent $49.9bn on shareholder dividends and share buybacks last year.

The firms generated $20.5bn from their core business operations in free cash flow throughout 2020 – marking a cumulative gap between free cash flows and shareholder payouts of $29.4bn, which is almost triple the previous year’s deficit.

“These results spotlight a harsh reality,” said Trey Cowan, an IEEFA energy analyst and co-author of the report. “Investors can no longer count on the oil and gas supermajors to generate abundant, sustainable cash returns.” 

[James Murray]

More: Oil supermajors spent almost $50bn to ‘please investors’ in 2020, report finds

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