Oil and gas is the most dominant sector in the world, not just on the basis of revenues and profits but also in terms of influence. Let us look at the list of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies based on revenue and a few of their current open positions.
1. Saudi Aramco
Officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, popularly referred as Aramco (formerly Arabian-American Oil Company), is a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company headquartered in Dhahran. It is regarded as the largest company in the world by revenue.
Bloomberg News claims it to be the most profitable company in the world. It has second-largest crude oil reserves and second largest daily oil production.
Location: Saudi Arabia
Location: Saudi Arabia
2. China Petrochemical Corporation,
China Petrochemical Corporation or the Sinopec Group is the world's largest oil refining, gas, and petrochemical conglomerate.
Headquartered in Beijing, its business segments include oil and gas exploration and production, chemical marketing, petroleum engineering, petrochemical refining and refined products marketing, engineering and construction, as well as international trade.
The rise in crude oil prices and the boost in sales volume of natural gas has led to the surge in revenue for the company in the recent times. The company credits its petrochemical refining and distribution segment for over half its revenue contribution.
A US-based international oil and gas company, ExxonMobil markets oil and gas products within six continents. The company was formed by the merger of Exxon (formerly the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey) and Mobil (formerly the Standard Oil Company of New York).
It acquired the InterOil Corporation and a 25% stake in the Area 4 block in Mozambique in 2017.
Exxon reported that its upstream and downstream activities are the prime drivers of the revenue.
4. Royal Dutch Shell Plc
Royal Dutch Shell is headquartered in the Netherlands and is incorporated in the United Kingdom. The company operates in more than 70 countries worldwide and produced more than 66 million tonnes (Mt) of LNG year ago.
It focuses on the exploration, development, production, refining, and marketing of oil and natural gas, as well as related chemicals. Its operations are divided into four business segments: upstream, integrated gas, new energies and downstream.
The downstream business, which includes the supply of fuel and lubricants to various industries, was termed as the biggest contributor to the company's revenue in the recent times.
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5. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation
Kuwait Petroleum Corporation is Kuwait's national oil company, which is headquartered in Kuwait City.
The business activities of the company are focused on petroleum exploration, production, petrochemicals, refining, marketing, and transportation. It produces 7% of the world's total crude oil.
6. BP Plc
Headquartered in London, UK, BP Plc provides customers with energy products and services related to natural gas, oil, petrochemicals, and power. It has operations in 70 countries and comprises of business segments that include: upstream, downstream, Rosneft and other businesses.
It started 7 major projects in the upstream segment last year.
7. Total SA
Total is a France-based organization that operates in more than 130 countries. The business segment of the company comprises of Exploration & Production, Gas, Renewables & Power, Refining & Petrochemicals, and Marketing & Services. It is the second biggest refining company in Western Europe and has equity stakes in 18 refineries. The company is witnessing an upward swing in its revenue numbers past couple of years.
The PJSC Lukoil Oil Company is a Russian multinational energy corporation based in Moscow. It specializes in extraction, production, transport, and sale of natural gas, petroleum, and petroleum products.
The company name is the combination of the acronym LUK, which is initials of the oil-producing cities of Langepas, Uray, and Kogalym. It is the second largest company in Russia after Gazprom. It is referred to as the largest non-state enterprise in the nation in terms of revenue and is considered as one of the largest global producers of crude oil in the international market.
Eni S.p.A. is an Italian multinational oil and gas company which has its base in Rome. It is regarded as one of the global supermajors. It has operations in 79 countries.
The name "ENI" was initially the acronym of "Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi” which translates into National Hydrocarbons Authority.
10. Valero Energy
Valero Energy Corporation is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, United States. The company owns and operates 16 refineries throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
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The LG XBOOM Go PL2 is the smallest and least expensive offering in LG's latest speaker trio including larger PL7 and PL5 models. All three models share the same design language and all have Meridian-tuned audio.
LG XBOOM PL2 is portable, small and light enough to be transported easily and offers 10 hours of battery life so it can run almost for a full day without being plugged in.
+ IPX5 water resistant
+ Easy to setup and use
+ Meridian tuned sound
- No integrated voice assistant
- No EQ adjustments
The LG XBOOM PL2 has IPX5 splash proof rating, which means it can withstand being sprayed with water but should not be submerged. We ran it under a faucet for a few seconds and the speaker kept working as it should.
The PL2 is based on version 5.0 of the Bluetooth standard and the range is quite similar to that of other speakers in the same price range. It can remain connected to more than 25 feet indoors from the audio source.
Two acquisitions in the energy sector were announced in the last week that illustrate the growing divergence in approaching the future of oil and gas between Europe and the USA. In France, Total announced that it had bought Fonroche Biogaz, the market leader in the production of renewable gas in France. In North America, ConocoPhillips completed its acquisition of Concho Resources, deepening the upstream major’s foothold into the lucrative Permian Basin and its shale riches. One is heading towards renewables, and the other is doubling down on conventional oil and gas.
What does this say about the direction of the energy industry?
Total’s move is unsurprising. Like almost all of its European peers operating in the oil and gas sector, Total has announced ambitious targets to become carbon-neutral by 2050. It is an ambition supported by the European population and pushed for by European governments, so in that sense, Total is following the wishes of its investors and stakeholders – just like BP, Shell, Repsol, Eni and others are doing. Fonroche Biogaz is therefore a canny acquisition. The company designs, builds and operates anaerobic digestion units that convert organic waste such as farming manure into biomethane to serve a gas feedstock for power generation. Fonroche Biogaz already has close to 500 GWh of installed capacity through seven power generation units with four in the pipeline. This feeds into Total’s recent moves to expand its renewable power generation capacity, with the stated intention of increasing the group’s biomethane capacity to 1.5 terawatts per hour (TWh) by 2025. Through this, Total vaults into a leading position within the renewable gas market in Europe, which is already active through affiliates such as Méthanergy, PitPoint and Clean Energy.
In parallel to this move, Total also announced that it has decided not to renew its membership in the American Petroleum Institute for 2021. Citing that it is only ‘partially aligned’ with the API on climate change issues in the past, Total has now decided that those positions have now ‘diverged’ particularly on rolling back methane emission regulations, carbon pricing and decarbonising transport. The French supermajor is not alone in its stance. BP, which has ditched the supermajor moniker in favour of turning itself into a clean energy giant, has also expressed reservations over the API’s stance over climate issues, and may very well choose to resign from the trade group as well. Other European upstream players might follow suit.
However, the core of the API will remain American energy firms. And the stance among these companies remains pro-oil and gas, despite shareholder pressure to bring climate issues and clean energy to the forefront. While the likes of ExxonMobil and Chevron have balanced significant investments into prolific shale patches in North America with public overtures to embrace renewables, no major US firm has made a public commitment to a carbon-neutral future as their European counterparts have. And so ConocoPhillips acquisition of Concho Resources, which boosts its value to some US$60 billion is not an outlier, but a preview of the ongoing consolidation happening in US shale as the free-for-all days give way to big boy acquisitions following the price-upheaval there since 2019.
That could change. In fact, it will change. The incoming Biden administration marks a significant break from the Trump administration’s embrace of oil and gas. Instead of opening of protected federal lands to exploration, especially in Alaska and sensitive coastal areas and loosening environmental regulations, the US will now pivot to putting climate change at the top of the agenda. Although political realities may water it down, the progressive faction of the Democrats are pushing for a Green New Deal embracing sustainability as the future for the US. Biden has already hinted that he may cancel the controversial and long-running Keystone XL pipeline via executive order on his first day in the office. His nominees for key positions including the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and Council on Environmental Quality suggest that there will be a major push on low-carbon and renewable initiatives, at least for the next 4 years. A pledge to reach net zero fossil fuel emissions from the power sector by 2035 has been mooted. More will come.
The landscape is changing. But the two approaches still apply, the aggressive acceleration adopted by European majors, and the slower movement favoured by US firms. Political changes in the USA might hasten the change, but it is unlikely that convergence will happen anytime soon. There is room in the world for both approaches for now, but the future seems inevitable. It just depends on how energy companies want to get there.
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In its January Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects global demand for petroleum liquids will be greater than global supply in 2021, especially during the first quarter, leading to inventory draws. As a result, EIA expects the price of Brent crude oil to increase from its December 2020 average of $50 per barrel (b) to an average of $56/b in the first quarter of 2021. The Brent price is then expected to average between $51/b and $54/b on a quarterly basis through 2022.
EIA expects that growth in crude oil production from members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and partner countries (OPEC+) will be limited because of a multilateral agreement to limit production. Saudi Arabia announced that it would voluntarily cut production by an additional 1.0 million b/d during February and March. Even with this cut, EIA expects OPEC to produce more oil than it did last year, forecasting that crude oil production from OPEC will average 27.2 million b/d in 2021, up from an estimated 25.6 million b/d in 2020.
EIA forecasts that U.S. crude oil production in the Lower 48 states—excluding the Gulf of Mexico—will decline in the first quarter of 2021 before increasing through the end of 2022. In 2021, EIA expects crude oil production in this region will average 8.9 million b/d and total U.S. crude oil production will average 11.1 million b/d, which is less than 2020 production.
EIA expects that responses to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases will continue to limit global oil demand in the first half of 2021. Based on global macroeconomic forecasts from Oxford Economics, however, EIA forecasts that global gross domestic product will grow by 5.4% in 2021 and by 4.3% in 2022, leading to energy consumption growth. EIA forecasts that global consumption of liquid fuels will average 97.8 million barrels per day (b/d) in 2021 and 101.1 million b/d in 2022, only slightly less than the 2019 average of 101.2 million b/d.
EIA expects global inventory draws will contribute to forecast rising crude oil prices in the first quarter of 2021. Despite rising forecast crude oil prices in early 2021, EIA expects upward price pressure will be limited through the forecast period because of high global oil inventory, surplus crude oil production capacity, and stock draws decreasing after the first quarter of 2021. EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $53/b in both 2021 and 2022.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO)
You can find more information on EIA’s expectations for changes in global petroleum liquids production, consumption, and crude oil prices in EIA’s latest This Week in Petroleum article and its January STEO.