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Investors Don't Want Exxon, Chevron To Take On Solar, Wind

Many U.S. fund managers who are invested in Exxon and Chevron approve the strategies of the American oil supermajors not to seek growth in wind and solar projects, according to a dozen investors Reuters has recently contacted.

Unlike their European peers, the two supermajors in the United States, ExxonMobil and Chevron, are not touching solar and wind power. They are more focused on renewable fuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS), both to cut their own carbon footprint and to develop in partnership regional CCS hubs at heavily industrialized areas.

Several U.S. funds have told Reuters that they approve of this strategy from the American companies, preferring to see them return value to shareholders with subsectors that they know, such as oil and gas. Others see the strategy of focusing on oil and gas and shunning wind and solar as a winning one in a world where oil and gas demand continues to grow.

"At the end of the day, you don't invest in a company because they promise nice things," Mark Stoeckle, head of Adams Funds, told Reuters.

Adams Funds likes U.S. oil and gas producers and doesn't currently hold any stock in either of the European majors Shell, BP, or TotalEnergies.

Other managers told Reuters that they see the U.S. majors' approach to the energy transition as "more realistic" than the massive planned investment in renewable power generation from Europe's largest oil firms.

Chevron doesn't have any plans to reduce its oil and gas business to invest in solar or wind power, chief financial officer Pierre Breber said earlier this year.

Shareholder returns are more important for Chevron than investing in wind and solar energy, chief executive Mike Wirth told CNBC in an interview last month.

"These [wind and solar] are technologies that are relatively mature. There is plenty of capital that's available. The returns in wind and solar are actually being bid down, and we've concluded that management in our company can't create value for shareholders by going into wind and solar," Wirth told CNBC. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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