*The five key majors’ results indicate plans to hike capex by around 8.5% for 2019. Exxon plans the biggest hike to an expected $30bn for 2019, up 16% on $25.9bn for 2018. A key focus is US shale, “to capture upside value in the Permian,” US Gulf downstream (see p7) and off Guyana and Brazil.

*Whilst the majors continue to tout capital discipline, spending has edged up – only BP saw a fall for 2018. And even for BP spending rose towards the end of the year: it was...