Is It Time For Big Oil To Split Up?

Last October, a hedge fund disclosed a stake worth $750 million in Shell and urged the supermajor to split its fossil fuel business from its renewable energy business in a move that just a decade ago would have seemed, to put it mildly, eccentric. “Shell has too many competing stakeholders pushing it in too many different directions,” the owner of the hedge fund, billionaire Daniel Loeb, wrote to his clients.

While the two companies held preliminary talks on the topic, according to Shell, there has been no news on any splits since last October, perhaps because the owner of Third Point is otherwise occupied with shareholder disgruntlement.

Yet earlier this month, a former industry voice lent itself to the split-Big-Oil idea: former BP chief executive and current chairman of…

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