The Goldman analyst said oil firms only had to look at the steep derating of coal companies over the last 5 years to understand the shift in investor sentiment.
Della Vigna said until a transition to full renewables is made, the interim battle will be to own a greater market share of gas-based power. The analyst said with a huge capital cost of gas infrastructure, big state-backed companies looked best placed.
“We talk about the new seven sisters emerging, dominating the global oil and gas market because nobody else can finance these mega-projects,” he said.
The “new Seven Sisters” of oil are considered the most influential firms from countries outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
They have been identified as Saudi Aramco, Russia’s Gazprom, NIOC of Iran, China National Petroleum Corp, Brazil’s Petrobras, Venezuela’s PDVSA, and Petronas of Malaysia. The original “Seven Sisters” were firms in the 1950s who would later consolidate to become BP, Chevron, Shell, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
Della Vigna said European oil companies such as U.K. firm Shell and French company Total are also ahead of U.S. rivals in making the transition from “big oil” to become “big energy”.
Oil markets have been weak in recent days as oversupply concerns and fears of an economic slowdown have pressured prices. Both Brent and WTI contracts entered bear markets this week as prices fell around 20 percent from their most recent highs in October.