Nobody loves oil companies. Yet, the world’s disdain for its petroleum giants could carry a sting in the tail – a jarring price spike.

Oil may be on the way out, but it will be a long goodbye. Even if demand peaks, companies like ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell need to keep investing tens of billions of dollars every year in fossil fuels just to stand still. Right now, many investors would prefer to take that cash in dividends, or see it channelled into renewables.

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