The Majors’ integrated business model, strong balance sheets and deep investment cuts have supported dividends in the downturn. These defensive qualities have also helped the group deliver better stock market performance than oil and gas sub-sectors since oil prices collapsed. Capital discipline will frame the strategic response into the recovery phase; value will win out over volume. Smarter capital allocation is already driving better returns on next generation projects. Positive free cash flow generation may not be far off; what’s less clear is whether this will signal a new phase of growth. We review how the down cycle has impacted the Majors' positioning on key performance metrics in this insight, using the latest metrics from our Corporate Benchmarking Tool. The report benchmarks the relative performance of BP, Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell, Statoil and Total.