Rising investment costs and falling prices have cut the potential returns on new oil and gas plays, especially more ambitious ones that present greater risks, prompting some companies to delay or curtail them.
Its wild success in exploration – it found more reserves than any other conventional energy firm last year – risks becoming a burden as it now has a plethora of projects to monetise across every continent.
"Given market circumstances we need to find a better balance between growth and return that also gives us earlier free cash flow so that we can also service the shareholders," chief executive
Lund has made
Investec said its "sell" rating on
Other analysts said upside for the stock was limited as
After dividends, several energy majors risk bleeding cash for years to come until they rein in investment. Majors like Shell,
The index of European oil stocks has trailed those of other sectors, falling 1 per cent over the past year even as the broader market has gained 17 per cent.
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