EXXON: RISING VS CUTTING
At first glance, the decline in the number of shares outstanding in ExxonMobil might make it look like a company that is slowly winding itself up.
That is not how the group's executives put it, of course. They talk about Exxon's resource base of 92bn barrels of oil and gas, enough to sustain its production for 63 years at present rates.
But the company's focus on cash distributions to shareholders, and the fact that its oil and gas production is lower now than immediately after Exxon bought Mobil back in 1999, certainly look like evidence that it has given up on long-term revenue growth.
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