Watching the World: Remembering the megamergers

With oil industry attention still fixed daily on stubbornly overheated oil prices-and now the potentially fraught issue of future supply from Iraq-one of the most fundamental changes to the sector in the modern era, namely the sharp trend in mergers and takeovers, has largely fallen out of favor as a regular talking point. In fact, but for the recently announced marriage of Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc., the term "consolidation" itself might have slipped back into the corporate legal lexicon.Yet, as BP Chief Economist Peter Davies pointed out at the Oil & Money conference in London a few weeks ago, until recently, most of the majors had been "intact for the best part of 70 years despite t...

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