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US balancing act

The majors are facing a capital spending conundrum sooner than many in the industry expected

As a flurry of positive quarterly earnings statements marks a return to health for the oil industry, executives are confronted once again with the issue of how best to allocate capital to generate superior total shareholder return (TSR) performance. After nearly four years, during which oil companies kept a tight grip on capital in a "lower-for-longer" oil price environment, some shareholders are clamouring for companies to return cash to investors in the form of special dividends and share buybacks. But industry executives would be wrong to listen wholly to the call, according to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Its inaugural Oil Sector Value Creator Report, to be published later this ye

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