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World's 10 largest publicly traded oil companies

by Arabian Oil & Gas Staff on Apr 19, 2009

Shell CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, steps down with his company top of the pile in the oil and gas world.
Shell CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, steps down with his company top of the pile in the oil and gas world.
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The Forbes Global 2000 is a list released by Forbes, the American business magazine, that rates and then ranks the world’s top 2000 publicly traded global companies. The companies are judged under four different criteria – sales, profit, assets and market value.

Obviously in the oil and gas industry the following companies are relative minnows compared to huge state-owned energy giants like Saudi Aramco, National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and Qatar Petroleum. To give you an idea, the six largest international oil companies are responsible for around 3% of the world’s total output. ExxonMobil’s oil reserves account for less than 1% of the world’s total.


However it gives you a good idea of the financial might of the Saudi Aramcos of this world when despite the relative small scale of the IOCs oil production, four oil and gas companies are in the actual Forbes top ten (with an honourable mention going to Total at number 11).

  1. Royal Dutch Shell
  2. ExxonMobil
  3. BP
  4. Chevron
  5. Total
  6. Gazsprom
  7. PetroChina
  8. ENI
  9. Petrobras-Petróleo Brasil
  10. Sinopec-China Petroleum

Click on name to read description
All figures in US$ (billions)

Numbers in brackets indicate where the company placed on the Forbes Global 2000 list.

1. (2) Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands) 
Sales: 458.36 Profits: 26.28 Assets: 278.44 Market value: 135.10

The Anglo-Dutch company came second in the overall list behind General Electric of the United States and heads the oil and gas companies. The Netherlands-based outfit started life back in 1833 as a shell trading company in London, but has come a long way since then. This year will see a change at the top as the current CEO, Jeroen van der Veer, is due to retire in June. With a reputation for handling transitional periods with a clinical smoothness, it should be business as usual for the company and despite the current climate, business is still very good for Shell. With operations in over 140 countries and covering almost every single aspect of the hydrocarbons industry, the energy giant is a worthy winner.

Fact: When collecting shells by the Caspian Sea, Marcus Samuel, the son of the company’s founder, had the idea to start importing lamp oil from the area back to the UK. To do this he needed a ship so he commissioned the world’s first specially built oil tanker – the Murex. The word is Latin for a type of snail shell.

Company website


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Readers' Comments

Puneet Sharma (Feb 2, 2010)

Oilfield Equipment
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shailendra (Jan 24, 2010) India

petroleum engineering
thank u

Barry R (Jan 11, 2010) USA

How in the world you could exclude ConocoPhillips is beyond me. ConocoPhillips should be somewhere either before or right after Total on this list depending on how you rank them. As far as I can tell the only reason they were so far down on Forbe's list is for the hit to earnings that they took on a $36B dollar write down last year. Either way, the discussion of the 10 largest oil companies could never be complete without considering them.

N.Balasubramaniam (Apr 23, 2009)

World's 10 largest publicly traded oil companies
Good information on Top oil industries . Please continue to publish & also for Gas producers

David Byers (Apr 21, 2009)

A good industry to be in
This goes to prove that oil is the driving force for mankind. Where would we be without it?


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