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ExxonMobil - the oil world's champion

ExxonMobil hasn't exactly sailed through the downturn. But it remains convinced by oil's long future and undeterred by commodity cycles

If a test of management is the ability to ride tough times, ExxonMobil is in the exam hall. The world's biggest publicly traded oil and gas company is caught in an upstream bind as it invests heavily in unconventional fuels, in some cases at hefty prices, while struggling with the production of the crude that its own research predicts will provide most of the world's energy for another 20 years. Exxon's sanctions-hit Kara Sea exploration in partnership with Rosneft is a case in point. Its model remains positively old-fashioned. Collaboration is the buzzword in the industry these days, but Exxon is sticking to vertical integration: downstream profits, it thinks, are the natural hedge agains

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