Big oil is getting even bigger in shale, and that could speed up a shakeout among independents and force more mergers and joint ventures.
"All those companies [the majors] have demonstrated multi-decades history of delivering well on larger projects," said Nathan Strik, energy utilities sector leader at Fidelity.
Exxon expects to boost production to 1 million barrels a day in five years in the 75,000 square mile area that runs through West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Chevron expects to more than double its output to 900,000 barrels a day in four years.
The contrast between those major producers, who can realize profits even when oil prices are low, and some others in the oil patch was a topic of discussion at the industry's annual IHS Markit CERAweek conference.