As oil (otherwise known as ‘petroleum or crude oil’) continues to be the world’s primary energy source ahead of wind power and solar energy, the global oil industry has maintained its strong and steady growth, while the top 10 largest oil companies in the world are still retaining their dominance in the global oil market in 2018. Despite the growing trend of producing and adopting more renewable energy around the world, the global economy and many industries are currently still relying on the use of petroleum, meaning that the largest oil companies will continue to be some of the world’s biggest energy providers and generate a significant amount of revenue in the future.
Global Oil Market Overview
Oil has long been one of the world’s highest-in-demand commodities in the world, therefore oil production and oil consumption are still some of the most vital economic factors in many countries. According to the latest oil industry studies released by BP, global oil production totaled 92.65 million barrels per day (b/d) or a total 4,387 million tonnes in 2017, increasing marginally 0.7% from previous year, which was also one of the lowest production growth rates since 2013. When it comes to oil consumption, global oil demand is expected to rise 1.5 million b/d to 99.3 million b/d in 2018. The US, China, and Russia are some of the top oil producing countries, as well as some of the largest oil consuming countries in the world.
Due to their high oil reserves, oil production, and oil consumptions, major oil markets — namely China, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia — are also the homes of many world’s biggest oil companies. The world’s leading oil companies are mainly involved in the business of exploration, extraction, drilling, refining, transportation, and trading of oil and gas. IBISWorld reports that the global oil and gas industry generates over US$2 trillion in revenue a year and consists of around 347,000 businesses with a total employment of 4.2 million people worldwide.
The following list of oil companies are the largest oil companies by production and revenue.
Top 10 Largest Oil Companies in the World by Revenues
Saudi Aramco – 2017 revenue: $455.5 billion
Saudi Aramco currently occupies the top spot in the world’s largest oil companies list. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The company is a state-owned company that was founded in 1933 as the California-Arabian Standard Oil Company and renamed in 1988 as the Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco has the largest oil reserves in the world. Saudi Aramco also ranks 1st among the largest oil companies by production —producing the most oil on a daily basis at 12.5 million barrels per day making it the leading world petroleum company with about $455.5 billion revenue in 2017. The company also produces other products such as petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals.
Sinopec – 2017 revenue: $448 billion
China’s Sinopec Group is one of the world’s most profitable companies as well as one of the largest oil and gas companies. Headquartered in Beijing, the company is also known as China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation. In 2017, the company generated $448 billion in revenue, making it the world’s second and China’s largest oil producing company. The company focuses on aspects of the oil and gas industry such as petroleum and petrochemical engineering projects, exploration and production of oil and natural gas, as well as storage and transportation.
China National Petroleum Corporation – 2017 revenue: $428.6 billion
China National Petroleum Corporation is a state-owned organization established in 1988 with headquarters in Beijing and one of the largest oil companies by production. The company is among the top 10 oil and gas companies in the world with a revenue of $428.6 billion in 2017. The company is involved in refining, production of natural gas and petrochemicals, exploration of oil fields and marketing of its products. The company has branches and investments in other countries both in Asia and Africa and shares in other oil companies around the world.
PetroChina – 2017 revenue: $368 billion
PetroChina is a Chinese oil and gas company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), headquartered in Beijing, China. It is China’s second-biggest oil producer by volume. The company is involved in exploration, refining of crude oil and petroleum products, production and marketing of primary petrochemical products, derivative chemical products, and other chemical products. It employs over 851,000 people and has more than $368.69 billion in assets.
Exxon Mobil – 2017 revenue: $268.9 billion
Exxon Mobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company and one of the largest oil companies in the US, based in Irving, Texas, United States. Exxon Mobile is mainly engaged in the exploration, production, transportation and sale of crude oil and natural gas, and the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of petroleum products. The Company also manufactures and markets commodity petrochemicals, including olefins, aromatics, polyethylene and polypropylene plastics, and a range of specialty products. It is also leading the chart of the top 10 manufacturing companies in the USA. Exxon is consistently the most-recognized among American owned oil companies.
Royal Dutch Shell – 2017 revenue: $265 billion
Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, was founded in 1907 and is headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and in London, United Kingdom. According to the 2018 FT ranking, Royal Dutch Shell, produced about 595 million barrels of oil and gas liquids in 2017, making it one of the world’s largest oil companies by production. Shell is vertically integrated in the oil and gas industry and is a part of exploration, production, refining, and power generation, among other aspects of the industry.
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – 2017 revenue: $251.9 billion
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation is Kuwait’s national oil company, headquartered in Kuwait City. The activities of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) are focused on petroleum exploration, production, petrochemicals, refining, marketing, and transportation. KPC produces about 7% of the world’s total crude oil. KPC plans are to achieve crude oil production capacities in Kuwait to 4 million barrels per day by 2020.
BP – 2017 revenue: $222.8 billion
BP plc is a British multinational oil and gas company headquartered in London, UK. It is one of the world’s largest oil companies and gas producers. It is a vertically integrated company operating in all areas of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading. It also has renewable energy interests in biofuels and wind power. Today, BP operates in over 70 countries worldwide, producing around 3.6 million barrels per day of oil equivalent. It has proved reserves of 18.441 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Total SA – 2017 revenue: $212 billion
Headquartered in Courbevoie, France, Total SA is a French multinational integrated oil and gas company and one of the world’s largest oil companies in the world. Its businesses cover the entire oil and gas chain, from crude oil and natural gas exploration and production to power generation, transportation, refining, petroleum product marketing, and international crude oil and product trading. Total SA is also one of the world’s leading chemicals manufacturers.
Lukoil – 2017 revenue: $144.17 billion
Lukoil is a Russian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Moscow, specializing in the business of extraction, production, transport, and sale of petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products. The company has over $69 billion in assets and has spent more than $1.4 billion on exploration. The company has operations and subsidiaries in more than 40 countries with over 110,000 employees around the world.
Future of the Top 10 Largest Oil Companies in the World
Despite the fast-growing challenges from rival sectors such as renewable energy and electric vehicles, oil still remains the world’s leading fuel by far, accounting for a third of global energy consumption. The world’s major oil companies have witnessed a steady growth of their revenues over the recent years as the oil prices are recovering from their lowest levels in a decade. A barrel of WTI crude has been sitting around $50 a barrel all year, up from $30 in early 2016. Rising oil demand, increasing oil prices, in addition to operational cost cuts and the revenue generated from side projects, are some of the main factors that are bringing more revenues and profits to this list of oil companies, therefore the success and the market dominance of these top 10 largest oil companies are expected to be maintained in the near future.
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