No other industry in the world has as much influence as the petroleum industry. Its products of oil and natural gas are simply the lubricants that keep the world running. Having vast tracts and generous supplies of these items are surefire ways to wealth and comfort. Some of the richest men and countries in the world have gotten to that status because of their access to oil and natural gas.
But which oil and natural gas firms are the biggest? In terms of volume and production per day, these are the top 10 biggest petroleum companies in the world.
10 Kuwait Petroleum Corp. – 3.2 million barrels
The companies that preceded British Petroleum and Chevron first established the Kuwait Petroleum Corp. in 1934. In 1975, however, the rulers of Kuwait decided to nationalize the company and place it in the hands of locals. It has helped establish Kuwait as a major oil-producing nation. Its citizens are now one of the richest in the world. In 1990, the country and the company faced a setback when Iraq invaded and Saddam Hussein’s forces set fire to its oil fields. It has since recovered from the debacle and is now one of the largest petroleum companies in the world. Burgan, its biggest oil field, is still operated by Chevron.
9 Chevron – 3.5 million barrels
Chevron is considered as one of the six super major publicly owned oil and gas companies, along with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Total and ConocoPhillips Company. It is the third largest corporation in the United States and the 16th largest public company in the world. It has a presence in more than 180 countries around the world. In 2010, it bought Atlas Petroleum to give it access to the shales in Marcellus and Utica.
8 Pemex – 3.6 million barrels
Pemex is the oil and gas company of Mexico. It has recently experienced a downturn however as the biggest oil field in the country, called Cantarell has seen plunging production level. From around 2 million barrels per day, it is now only spewing out 600,000 barrels per day. The company has been working double time to replace the shortfall by increasing the production of other fields or even discovering new ones. The company should see some improvements as discussions are being done to bring in foreign investors.
7 Royal Dutch Shell – 3.9 million barrels
Royal Dutch Shell plc is a British and Dutch oil and gas company based in The Hague in Netherlands, though its registered office is in London. It has a presence in over 90 countries, with more than 44,000 service stations around the world. The company is involved throughout the entire process, from the exploration, production and refining to the distribution and marketing. It is also involved in petrochemicals, trading and renewable energy. It is currently drilling for oil in the Chuckchi Sea near Alaska.
6 BP – 4.1 million barrels
BP plc also went by the names of Anglo-Persian Oil Company, Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, British Petroleum and BP Amoco plc. It started going by the name of BP in 2001. After initially concentrating on the Middle East, the company expanded in 1959 and became the first company to discover oil in the North Sea in 1965. It has been involved in some disasters, however, including the Deepwater Horizon explosion in 2010 that led to the largest accidental release of oil into marine waters in the world. it plans to sell its stake in TNK-BP, however, a Russian venture that provides 25 percent of BP’s production.
5 PetroChina – 4.4 million barrels
China has three oil companies that is run by the state. Of these three, PetroChina is the largest. It also has the highest market capitalization compared to the other petroleum giants that are traded in the stock market. Experts believe that PetroChina is bound to grow even more because of the support it gets from the government, as well as the massive amounts of shale estimated to be possessed by China.
4 Exxon Mobil – 5.3 million barrels
Exxon Mobil Corporation came about after the merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999. It is one of the direct descendants of the Standard Oil Company that used to be owned by John D. Rockefeller. It is also affiliated with the Imperial Oil company based in Canada. It is actually the largest of the six super major oil companies and is considered the largest company in the world regardless of industry in terms of revenues. It has 37 oil refineries in 21 countries. It holds the dubious honor of being the most hated company in the planet, partly because of its involvement drilling oil fields in countries run by dictators. It is also still suffering from Exxon’s slow response to cleaning up the massive oil that was spilled by its ship near Alaska in 1989.
3 National Iranian Oil Co. – 6.4 million barrels
The National Iranian Oil Co. is an oil company owned by the government of Iran. It was established in 1948 and is responsible for the exploration, extraction, transportation and exportation of the country’s crude oil. It also sells natural gas and liquefied natural gas. It was established to replace the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company that had the original concession to drill for oil in Iran. The industry was nationalized by the government in 1951, allowing the NIOC to gain full control.
2 Gazprom – 9.7 million barrels
Gazprom is an oil company based in Russia. It is the largest producer of natural gas in the world. It has a practical monopoly on gas deliveries in Europe, allowing the country to project itself as a power player in the region. The government largely controls the company.
1 Saudi Aramco – 12.5 million barrels
Saudi Aramco is an oil company based in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest oil company in the world. Its biggest field, Ghawar, can produce five million barrels per day on its own. The company is known to generate revenues of more than a billion dollars every day.