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KICKING THE OIL CAN

BP said it will cut oil production 40% and the stock market didn’t blink

An image of a deepwater oil rig with a sunset in the background.
Reuters/China Newsphoto
Investors see a new dawn on the horizon for Big Oil.
  • Michael J. Coren
By Michael J. Coren

Climate reporter

One of the world’s largest oil companies just announced it would cut 40% of its oil production. During an investor presentation on Aug. 4, BP announced it would roll out the dramatic cuts over the next decade, while limiting future exploration for new sources of petroleum.

A few years ago, BP’s plan to pivot away from oil would been unthinkable. But it barely raised an eyebrow on Wall Street. 

BP’s shares closed up 1.6% on the news, scarcely different than rivals Exxon, Chevron, Total, and Shell. Their price rose 10% the following day. All this, despite news the company would slash its once untouchable dividend by 50%, even deeper than expected, and write off $6.5 billion in oil and gas assets.

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