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To say the global oil industry is massive would be a gross understatement.
At nearly $400 billion, the oil industry alone makes up 3.8% of the world’s economy. In the United States, oil companies generate just over $180 billion in revenue each year and employ 9.8 million workers, accounting for 5.6% of all U.S. employment.
The industry also ties into nearly every other industry, providing the energy to enable the production of goods.
In this article, we’ll cover the 15 largest oil companies in the world and provide an overview of their operations.
These 15 largest oil companies are:
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Stock ticker: SNPMF
Revenue: $355.8 billion
Market cap: $53.9 billion
Net income: $10.8 billion
Also known as Sinopec, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp engages in the exploration and refinement of oil and natural gas, as well as the production and distribution of petroleum and petrochemical products.
The company’s main products are gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. They also sell goods such as adhesive resins, jet fuel, and synthetic rubber.
Although Sinopec produces only a fourth as much raw crude oil as its main Chinese competitor PetroChina, it manufactures over 60% more refined petroleum products per year.
The company owns large stakes in major oil and gas companies around the world, such as a 33% share of Egypt’s Apache Corporation.
Sinopec’s parent company, Sinopec Group, is the largest oil, gas, and petrochemical conglomerate in the world.
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Stock ticker: PTR
Market cap: $59.5 billion
Revenue: $320 billion
Net Income: -$1.8 billion
PetroChina is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world. The company’s main products include crude oil, oil derivatives, and various petrochemical goods.
In addition to the development and production of oil products, PetroChina also engages in petroleum exploration.
Recently in 2019, the company discovered over 358 billion tons of oil in the Ordos Basin. Later in the same year, PetroChina also discovered 740,971 million cubic meters of shale gas in the Sichuan Basin.
PetroChina is simply the exchange-listed branch of the much larger Chinese state-owned oil conglomerate China National Petroleum Corporation.
The company employs over half a million workers.
Headquarters: Dharan, Saudi Arabia
Stock ticker: Tadawul:2222
Market cap: $1.9 trillion
Revenue: $286.9 billion
Net Income: $64.5 billion
Saudi Arabian Oil Co, often simply referred to as Saudi Aramco, went public in 2019 and quickly became the largest company in the world by market cap.
The company is so large that it dwarfs the second-largest market capitalization by an oil company, Exxon Mobil, by a factor of 10:1.
Saudi Aramco’s main operations are the production and refinement of crude oil. However, it also engages in many other aspects of the petroleum industry, such as the manufacturing of petrochemicals and other oil derivatives.
The company owns the second-largest proven crude oil reserve in the world at 270 billion barrels. It also refines more oil than any other company, with a rate of 5.4 million barrels a day.
Saudi Aramco used to ship its own oil through a subsidiary named Vela International Marine. However, it now primarily employs independent tanker companies to manage these operations.
The company heavily expanded its level of global investment and non-oil and gas infrastructure in 2019 and 2020.
In 2019, Saudi Aramco paid $1.24 billion to acquire 13% of the South Korean oil refiner Hyundai Oilbank. In the same year, the company signed an agreement with PKN Orlen concerning the sale and purchase of its crude oil.
In 2020, Saudi Aramco sold its first barrel of liquified natural gas (LNG) to an India-based buyer. The company is currently seeking global partnerships to help it expand its LNG production capabilities.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
Headquarters: The Hague, Netherlands
Stock ticker: RDS.A
Market cap: $109 billion
Revenue: $263 billion
Net income: -$11.3 billion
Royal Dutch Shell PLC is based in the Netherlands and produces, refines, and explores petroleum through its many subsidiary companies.
In addition to operating over 44,000 service stations worldwide, the company also produces and sells lubricants, fuels, and other petrochemicals.
Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
Stock ticker: BP
Market cap: $68.1 billion
Revenue: $230 billion
Net income: -$21.9 billion
BP is the largest oil company in the UK, engaging in the exploration, production, and supply of many oil and petrochemical products.
Some of the company’s primary petroleum products include chemicals such as ethylene, polyethylene, and terephthalic acid.
BP also produces and sells solar energy, and is heavily investing in and expanding that aspect of their business.
Headquarters: Irving, Texas
Stock ticker: XOM
Market cap: $161.4 billion
Revenue: $213.9 billion
Net income: $7.2 billion
Exxon Mobil engages in almost every area of the oil and gas industry, including the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of petroleum products.
The company was formed through a merger of two of Standard Oil’s descendants, Exxon and Mobil, in 1999.
Exxon Mobil produces over 3% of the entire world’s supply of oil and 2% of its total energy through four main business segments:
Upstream. Oil exploration, extraction, and shipping account for just over 70% of the company’s total revenue.
It produces an average of 4.32 billion barrels of oil-equivalents each day through its vast oil field landholdings.
These landholdings include 14.6 million acres in the United States, 4.9 million acres in Germany, and 1.5 million acres in the Netherlands.
Midstream. Exxon Mobil’s midstream operations comprise a small portion of their activities.
These were in fact almost non-existent until the company entered joint ventures in 2019 with various pipelines to transport its upstream production.
Downstream. The majority of Exxon Mobil’s products are marketed through the brands Exxon, Mobil, and Esso.
The company’s gas service stations display the Mobil name across the west coast, while its gas stations throughout the rest of the United States use the name Exxon.
Exxon Mobil brands most of their service stations outside of the United States as Esso.
Chemicals. Exxon Mobil also produces petrochemicals such as plasticizers, elastomers, and adhesive resins. The company is the world’s largest manufacturer of butyl rubber.
Exxon Mobil is currently aggressively investing in a new clean energy business segment that will produce algae biofuels, carbonate fuel cells, and biodiesel.
However, these projects are in their extreme early stages and the company doesn’t expect to commercialize them until the 2030s.
Headquarters: Paris, France
Stock ticker: TOT
Market cap: $99.9 billion
Revenue: $146.1 billion
Net income: -$2.9 billion
Based in France, Total SE explores and produces natural gas, crude oil, and low-carbon electricity for sale across the globe.
The company also produces and refines petrochemical products such as lubricants, chemical fertilizers, and synthetic rubbers.
Total SE operates about 550 gas service stations in North America, and over 1,200 across Europe and Africa.
Headquarters: San Ramon, California
Stock ticker: CVX
Market cap: $147.5 billion
Revenue: $115 billion
Net income: -$8.7 billion
Chevron is a multinational energy corporation that engages in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, refinement, marketing, and distribution.
Although the company is active in over 180 countries, it mainly operates on the west coast of the United States, Southeast Asia, and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In 2019, Chevron produced an average of 823,000 barrels of oil each day in the United States alone. They also manufacture a wide range of petroleum derivatives, such as lubricants and additives.
The company operates over 11,000 oil and natural gas wells across the Permian Basin, making it the fourth-largest producer in the region.
Another major upstream asset owned by Chevron is a 40% stake in 13 concessions near the Niger Delta, which it obtained through a joint-venture with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Chevron currently owns no major midstream oil and gas assets. The company attempted to purchase Anadarko Petroleum in 2019, but lost the bid to Occidental Petroleum.
Headquarters: Findlay, Ohio
Stock ticker: MPC
Market cap: $21 billion
Revenue: $102.4 billion
Net income: -$7.7 billion
Marathon refines, transports, supplies, and sells its petroleum products around the globe.
The company mainly operates in the United States, where it owns or leases many thousands of miles of petroleum pipelines.
Marathon also owned Speedway until August of 2020, when it sold the company and its accompanying 4,000 gas service stations to the Japanese retail giant Seven & i Holdings.
Headquarters: Moscow, Russia
Stock ticker: LUKOY
Market cap: $40.3 billion
Revenue: $99.1 billion
Net income: $3.9 billion
PJSC Lukoil is a Russian oil and gas giant that mainly conducts its exploration, production, and refining operations in the Siberian region.
The company sells its petroleum and petroleum derivative products across the world, but mainly to customers based in Russia and the United States.
Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas
Revenue: $64.9 billion
Net income: $3.4 billion
Valero manufacturers, markets, and sells transportation fuels and other petrochemical goods.
The company owns and operates 15 refineries across the United States and Canada, and a single one in Wales. These combined produce an average of 3 million barrels of oil each day.
Valero also operates 11 ethanol plants producing 1.2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, as well as a 50-megawatt wind farm.
In 2013, the company spun off its retail operations into a new company called CST brands. Valero now supplies fuel to CST Brands, which then sells it to retail customers through its 7,400 gas service stations.
Despite being owned by CST Brands, these gas stations still typically display the Valero name.
Valero also generates several hundred millions of dollars in revenue each year through its defense contracts with the United States Defense Logistics Agency Energy (DLA Energy).
Most of these contracts are for Valero to produce and supply JP-8 fuel to the U.S. Defense Energy Support Center (DESC).
Kuwait Petroleum Corp.
Headquarters: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Kuwait Petroleum Corp is a fully-integrated oil company, engaging in petroleum exploration, refining, marketing, and transportation.
The company produces an average of four million barrels of crude oil each day, or approximately 7% of the world’s entire supply.
Kuwait Petroleum started rapidly expanding its natural gas operations after it signed a 15-year sale and purchase agreement with Qatar Petroleum in January 2020.
The agreement obligates the Kuwaiti government to purchase three million tons of LNG from Kuwait Petroleum each year for 15 years, starting in 2022.
Kuwait also sells its petroleum and petrochemical products worldwide under a subsidiary called Q8.
Q8 owns and operates over 4,600 service stations across Europe. Approximately a third of these are unmanned stations, called Q8 Easy.
Headquarters: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Stock ticker: MCX: GAZP
Market cap: $80.6 billion
Revenue: $118 billion
Net income: $19.6
Gazprom is a Russian partially-state-owned energy company based in Saint Petersburg.
The company formed in 1989 after the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Gas Industry was renamed to State Gas Concern Gazprom and became a state-run corporate entity.
After the USSR’s dissolution in 1991, Gazprom claimed over half of the country’s gas industry assets and secured a monopoly of its gas sector.
The company eventually became a joint-stock company in 1993. In 2020, public shareholders owned 62% of Gazprom, with the state retaining the remaining 38%.
The company is vertically integrated, engaging in nearly every aspect of the oil and gas industry. In addition to exploration and production, Gazprom also manages refines, transports, markets, and distributes petroleum and petrochemical products.
In 2020, Gazprom produced 512.7 billion cubic meters of natural gas, accounting for over 12% of the world’s supply.
Its subsidiary Gazprom Neft produced 41 million tons of oil in the same year.
Gazprom builds and owns thousands of miles of pipelines that it uses to distribute natural gas across Europe for sale. Two notable examples of these include Nord Stream and Turkstream.
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Stock ticker: PSX
Revenue: $78 billion
Net income: -$2.4 billion
Phillips 66 formed in 2012 as an independent company after ConocoPhillips spun-off its midstream and downstream assets.
The company’s primary products are various petrochemicals and natural gas liquids, which it sells in 65 different countries.
In addition to a one-fourth share of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Phillips 66 also owns 13 crude oil refineries and a 50% stake in Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.
Across all its subsidiaries, the company produces approximately 2.2 million barrels of oil each day.
In the United States, Phillips 66 mainly only operates in the Southwest and Midwest. However, the company has been slowly expanding into the New York City metro region through a licensing deal in 2016 with Motiva Enterprises.
Phillips 66 sells its products through service stations labeled as Conoco, Phillips 66, and 76 in the United States. In Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, their service stations are instead labeled as Jet.
Headquarters: Stravanger, Norway
Stock ticker: EQNR
Market cap: $39.9 billion
Revenue: $61.2 billion
Net income: $4.6 billion
Equinor ASA is a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company. Although main operations focus on the exploration, refinement, and distribution of petroleum and petroleum derivatives, the company also manages a growing renewable energy segment.
The company was originally established in 2007 through a merger between the oil and gas division of Norsk Hydro and Statoil. The public owns a collective 33% share of the company, with the government owning the remaining 67%.
Equinor is the largest oil exploration operator on the Norwegian continental shelf, responsible for 60% of all production. It also operates oil and gas fields in major countries such as Canada, Brazil, and the United States.
The company owns minor stakes in many major oil pipelines across Europe, such as Europipe I & II, Statpipe, and Franpipe.
Equinor also generates revenue through its commodity trading offices in Connecticut, Singapore, and London.
The company currently owns a 30-MW mind farm in Scotland and a partial stake in five major wind farms across Poland, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
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