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Photos: Getty Images

Chevron and ExxonMobil are both going very big on U.S. shale.

By the numbers: Exxon said yesterday that it plans to increase production by 80% to over 1 million barrels per day of oil equivalent in the Permian Basin by as soon as 2024. That news arrived just after Chevron, the second-largest U.S.-based major, said it's planning Permian production of 900,000 barrels per day of oil-equivalent by 2023. That's more than double current levels, per an investor presentation.

Why it matters: I'm hardly the first person to point out any of this, but the plans are a stark sign of how the world's biggest players are throwing their weight around in a region first developed by smaller, independent companies.

  • "The two Big Oil giants are advantaged because of their scale with large acreage positions, greater access to pipelines and guaranteed sales to their own refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast," Houston Chronicle notes.

The intrigue: It also makes things even more complicated for OPEC.

  • The Financial Times' Ed Crooks points out, "The ambitious expansion plans also lay down a marker for Opec, the oil producers’ cartel, that competition from US shale, which has put downward pressure on prices and transformed global crude markets over the past decade, can be expected to continue well into the 2020s."
  • Jason Bordoff, who heads a Columbia University energy think tank, tells Bloomberg that the Permian is "challenging OPEC’s ability to prop up prices while retaining market share."

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 14 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook is a news media magnet

Expand chart
Data: Signal AI; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

New data finds that Facebook has been mentioned in more online stories in the U.S. in the past year than all of its major tech competitors combined.

Why it matters: Press scrutiny of Facebook has become so intense and negative that the tech giant is reportedly planning to rename itself as soon as next week to signal that it's more than just a social media company.

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