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Unformatted text preview: verage capital employed is an industrywide problem. For example, Chevron (CVX +1.97%, news), one of the international majors that has been most successful at adding reserves in recent years, showed
a return on average capital employed 20% lower in 2011 than in 2008. Exxon Mobil (XOM +2.97% , news), which is historically more profitable
than its peers among the international majors, averaged a return on average capital employed of more than 27% from 2006 through 2010. In 2010,
the company's return on average capital employed fell to what was still an industry-leading 22%. (Exxon Mobil's big acquisition of
XTO Energy in June 2010 makes it tough to compare figures for 2011 with previous years.) These trends are just about what you'd expect from the peak-oil model. As reservoirs mature, oil produced from them gets more expensive as companies
have to invest more in methods to extract oil. As fields and national reserves mature, companies can continue to add new oil
discoveries, but the cost of...
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