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Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale

  • Norway wants to dump its stakes in oil and gas companies
  • Proposal adds to doubts over industry’s long-term outlook

Big Oil is under pressure, unloved and on sale.

Energy giants from Exxon Mobil Corp. to Royal Dutch Shell Plc are struggling back to their feet after a three-year oil slump, while also fighting to prove they can survive for decades to come amid an accelerating shift to clean energy. So getting dumped by the world’s biggest investment fund wouldn’t be welcome news.

Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday that it wants to sell about $35 billion of shares in oil and gas companies to make the nation “less vulnerable” to a drop in crude prices. Global energy giants favored by long-term investors including Italy’s Eni SpA, PetroChina Ltd. and Russia’s Gazprom PJSC account for more than $20 billion of that total.

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