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 UK has just designated the Persian Gulf as a level 3 risk for its ships – the highest level possible threat for British vessel traffic – as the confrontation between Iran with the US and its allies escalated. The strategically-important bit of water - and in particular the narrow Strait of Hormuz – is boiling over, and it seems as if full-blown military confrontation is inevitable.
The risk assessment comes as the British warship HMS Montrose had to escort the BP oil tanker British Heritage out of the Persian Gulf into the Indian Ocean from being blocked by Iranian vessels. The risk is particularly acute as Iran is spoiling for a fight after the Royal Marines seized the Iranian crude supertanker Grace-1 in Gibraltar on suspicions that it was violating sanctions by sending crude to war-torn Syria. Tensions over the Gibraltar seizure kept the British Heritage tanker in ‘safe’ Saudi Arabian waters for almost a week after making a U-turn from the Basrah oil terminal in Iraq on fears of Iranian reprisals, until the HMW Montrose came to its rescue. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps have warned of further ‘reciprocation’ even as it denied the British Heritage incident ever occurred.
This is just the latest in a series of events around Iran that is rattling the oil world. Since the waivers on exports of Iranian crude by the USA expired in early May, there were four sabotage attacks on oil tankers in the region and two additional attacks in June, all near the major bunkering hub of Fujairah. Increased US military presence resulted in Iran downing an American drone, which almost led to a full-blown conflict were it not for a last-minute U-turn by President Donald Trump. Reports suggest that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps have moved military equipment to its southern coast surrounding the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which is 39km at its narrowest. Up to a third of all seaborne petroleum trade passes through this chokepoint and while Iran would most likely overrun by US-led forces eventually if war breaks out, it could cause a major amount of damage in a little amount of time.
The risk has already driven up oil prices. While a risk premium has already been applied to current oil prices, some analysts are suggesting that further major spikes in crude oil prices could be incoming if Iran manages to close the Strait of Hormuz for an extended period of time. While international crude oil stocks will buffer any short-term impediment, if the Strait is closed for more than two weeks, crude oil prices could jump above US$100/b. If the Strait is closed for an extended period of time – and if the world has run down on its spare crude capacity – then prices could jump as high as US$325/b, according to a study conducted by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in Riyadh. This hasn’t happened yet, but the impact is already being felt beyond crude prices: insurance premiums for ships sailing to and fro the Persian Gulf rose tenfold in June, while the insurance-advice group Joint War Committee has designated the waters as a ‘Listed Area’, the highest risk classification on the scale. VLCC rates for trips in the Persian Gulf have also slipped, with traders cagey about sending ships into the potential conflict zone.
This will continue, as there is no end-game in sight for the Iranian issue. With the USA vague on what its eventual goals are and Iran in an aggressive mood at perceived injustice, the situation could explode in war or stay on steady heat for a longer while. Either way, this will have a major impact on the global crude markets. The boiling point has not been reached yet, but the waters of the Strait of Hormuz are certainly simmering.
The Strait of Hormuz:
Headline crude prices for the week beginning 8 July 2019 – Brent: US$64/b; WTI: US$57/b
Headlines of the week
Utility-scale battery storage units (units of one megawatt (MW) or greater power capacity) are a newer electric power resource, and their use has been growing in recent years. Operating utility-scale battery storage power capacity has more than quadrupled from the end of 2014 (214 MW) through March 2019 (899 MW). Assuming currently planned additions are completed and no current operating capacity is retired, utility-scale battery storage power capacity could exceed 2,500 MW by 2023.
EIA's Annual Electric Generator Report (Form EIA-860) collects data on the status of existing utility-scale battery storage units in the United States, along with proposed utility-scale battery storage projects scheduled for initial commercial operation within the next five years. The monthly version of this survey, the Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (Form EIA-860M), collects the updated status of any projects scheduled to come online within the next 12 months.
Growth in utility-scale battery installations is the result of supportive state-level energy storage policies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 841 that directs power system operators to allow utility-scale battery systems to engage in their wholesale energy, capacity, and ancillary services markets. In addition, pairing utility-scale battery storage with intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar, has become increasingly competitive compared with traditional generation options.
The two largest operating utility-scale battery storage sites in the United States as of March 2019 provide 40 MW of power capacity each: the Golden Valley Electric Association’s battery energy storage system in Alaska and the Vista Energy storage system in California. In the United States, 16 operating battery storage sites have an installed power capacity of 20 MW or greater. Of the 899 MW of installed operating battery storage reported by states as of March 2019, California, Illinois, and Texas account for a little less than half of that storage capacity.
In the first quarter of 2019, 60 MW of utility-scale battery storage power capacity came online, and an additional 108 MW of installed capacity will likely become operational by the end of the year. Of these planned 2019 installations, the largest is the Top Gun Energy Storage facility in California with 30 MW of installed capacity.
As of March 2019, the total utility-scale battery storage power capacity planned to come online through 2023 is 1,623 MW. If these planned facilities come online as scheduled, total U.S. utility-scale battery storage power capacity would nearly triple by the end of 2023. Additional capacity beyond what has already been reported may also be added as future operational dates approach.
Of all planned battery storage projects reported on Form EIA-860M, the largest two sites account for 725 MW and are planned to start commercial operation in 2021. The largest of these planned sites is the Manatee Solar Energy Center in Parrish, Florida. With a capacity of 409 MW, this project will be the largest solar-powered battery system in the world and will store energy from a nearby Florida Power and Light solar plant in Manatee County.
The second-largest planned utility-scale battery storage facility is the Helix Ravenswood facility located in Queens, New York. The site is planned to be developed in three stages and will have a total capacity of 316 MW.