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Top 20 global oil companies: Big oil still thriving despite lack of green credentials

By  Yoke Wong

Edited by Georgy Istigechev

16:47, 28 October 2022

Wildflowers growing near oil pumpjacks in California
Supply constraints following sanctions on Russia have supported the oil market, leading to rising profits for producers worldwide – Photo: Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images

With oil prices rising over the past month and multinational energy producers Exxon (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) reporting bumper profits for Q3 2022, oil company stocks are garnering more investment interest.

Brent crude has gained close to 10% over the past month and is currently trading at around $94, according to data from Investing.com. Another major oil benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), has gained 10.4% since late September.

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Are you interested to learn more about what’s going on in the global oil markets and how they affect oil companies’ stocks?

Read on for more information on the top 20 global oil companies and the recent earnings reports of the world’s top five largest oil companies. 

Global oil markets in 2022: An overview

Despite growing recession fears over the past few months, recent strong sales of petroleum products and crude oil exports in the United States have signalled improving demand.

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US exported a record amount of petroleum products in the first half of this year. In the first six months, the country shipped an average of nearly 6 million barrels per day of petroleum products, the highest volume for the same period since records began in 1973. The export volume was also 11%, or 596,000 b/d higher than the first half of 2021.

In mid-October, the US sold 15 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery in December, the US Department of Energy (DOE) announced on 18 October. This sale was the final tranche of the 180 million barrels sale of crude oil from the SPR and is part of the US effort to ensure adequate global supply following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 28 February.

The front-month West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) has been rising over the past month and settled at $88.61 a barrel on 27 October, up 11.5% from 30 September 2022. 

The WTI November contract hit a month high on 7 October at $92.64 a barrel before falling below the $90 level. 

With supply constraints supporting oil prices, major oil companies around the world are reporting record levels of profits and distributing bumper dividends to shareholders. Oil and natural gas are extracted at the same time during production; hence most oil producers also supply gas. 

Sanctions on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine on 24 February have reduced global oil supply, which expedited the EU’s plan to diversify its supply sources. In response to the disruption of Russian gas supplies to Europe, European buyers are seeking alternative sources of supply. This has increased demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports into Europe, which has benefited US producers and pushed the revenues of US-based gas businesses higher. 

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What are the world’s top 20 oil companies?

Financial data provider CompaniesMarketCap has compiled a list of the top 20 global oil companies by market capitalisation, as of 28 October. The world’s largest oil companies are based around the globe – from the Middle East and the Americas to Europe and Asia. 

The top 20 global oil companies by market capitalisation are as follows:

  1. Saudi Aramco (SAR) – $2.030 trillion

  2. Exxon Mobil (XOM) – $448.22 billion

  3. Chevron (CVX) – $348.22 billion

  4. Shell (RDSa) – $199.42 billion 

  5. ConocoPhillips (COP) – $161.21 billion

  6. TotalEnergies (TTEF) – $139.07 billion

  7. PetroChina (0857) – $122.22 billion

  8. Equinor (EQNR) – $112.48 billion

  9. BP (BP) – $102.01 billion

  10. Petrobras (PBR) – $89.28 billion

  11. Gazprom – $85.50 billion

  12. Enbridge (ENB) – $79.06 billion

  13. EOG Resources (EOG) – $78.74 billion

  14. Schlumberger (SLB) – $73.28 billion

  15. Southern Company (SO) – $70.92 billion

  16. Duke Energy (DUK) – $70.09 billion

  17. Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) – $69.32 billion

  18. Sinopec (0338) – $67.59 billion

  19. Occidental Petroleum (OXY) – $66.94 billion

  20. CNOOC (2883) – $62.09 billion 

Oil market leaders: Top-5 biggest oil companies and their latest results

Let’s take a closer look at the five largest oil companies in the world and their latest results.

Saudi Aramco (SAR)

State-owned Saudi Aramco is the world’s largest oil company by market capitalisation. The company’s net income surged to $48.4bn in the second quarter this year, the highest quarterly earnings for Aramco, and nearly doubled from the $25.5bn in Q2 last year. Net income for the first half of the year spiked to $87.9bn – up 86% from the same period in 2021. 

“The increase in both periods was primarily driven by higher crude oil prices and volumes sold, as well as strong refining margins during the second quarter and higher downstream margins in the first half of 2022,” Aramco said in its Q2 results on 14 August. 

Saudi Aramco went public on Saudi Arabia’s stock exchange Tadawul in 2019, and the company’s share price closed at 34.70 Saudi Riyal ($8.00) on 27 October – up 0.7% compared with a year ago.

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

American multinational oil and gas producer Exxon Mobil’s Q3 2022 earnings nearly tripled year-on-year to $19.66bn, and earnings per common share spiked to $4.68, nearly tripling from $1.57 in Q3 2021. 

High gas demand and prices from Europe have pushed Exxon Mobil’s gas segment revenue higher, which offset the impact of falling oil prices. 

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed company said in its Q3 results report that “gas realizations increased 22% on European supply concerns and efforts to build inventory ahead of winter, more than offsetting the impact of decreasing crude realizations, which were down 12% on modest supply increases.”

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Exxon Mobil’s share price on the NYSE surged past $100 in early October and was at $107.55 on 27 October – 67% higher than a year earlier. 

Chevron (CVX)

American oil and natural gas producer Chevron’s Q3 earnings jumped to $11.2bn, up 83.6% from the same quarter last year. 

The NYSE-listed company operates oil and gas production facilities in the US, Australia, Kazakhstan, and Africa, but has been growing its domestic supply in the US by 10% over the past year.

As a result of its domestic ramp-up, Chevron’s Permian Basin output increased to over 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in the third quarter, up 12% year-on-year (YoY). 

Chevron’s share prices on the NYSE rose over the past month and closed at $177.90 on 27 October – up 57% compared with the same time last year. 

Shell (RDSa)

Out of the top 20 global oil companies, Shell, the Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas supermajor, is among the largest energy producers in Europe. 

The producer operates oil and gas production facilities in the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Africa, Europe and Asia.

On 27 October, Shell reported record earnings in Q3 at $9.5bn – surpassed only by the $11.5bn in the previous quarter. 

Following the release of its quarterly results, the LSE-listed company’s stock price jumped to £24.485 on 28 October – up 8% compared to a month ago. Shell’s stock price was also 43% higher than at the same time last year. 

ConocoPhillips (COP)

Texas-headquartered multinational producer ConocoPhillips (COP) operates facilities in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Alaska and Canada. 

The company’s Q2 earnings more than doubled to $5.1bn YoY. In response to the growing LNG demand, ConocoPhillips announced in August that it will be expanding its global LNG portfolio through participation in QatarEnergy’s North Field East LNG project. 

The company also signed a non-binding agreement with Sempra Infrastructure to participate in large-scale LNG projects, an LNG offtake of approximately 5 million tonnes per annum and related carbon capture activities. 

ConocoPhillips will release its Q3 results on 3 November. 

The NYSE-listed company share price closed at $128.28 on 28 October, up 72% from the same time last year. 

Oil market outlook

Despite weak economic growth capping demand, supply tightness is expected to support the oil market until the end of this year.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity Strategy at Danish bank Saxo, weighed in on the oil market outlook on 28 October:

“Strength this week has been driven by a continued developing tightness in the fuel product market, US exports of crude and fuels setting a weekly record, the weaker dollar as well as strong buying from China as refineries there plan to boost fuel exports through the end of the year.”

Daniel Hynes, senior commodity strategist at ANZ, agreed with Hansen’s sentiment in a market overview on 27 October, saying: “While domestic demand in China remains curtailed by weak economic activity, demand for crude oil is expected to rise as its refiners eye tightness in global markets. China is encouraging refiners to ship more fuel by year-end by providing additional export quotas for diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. This should see import demand rise further.”

The bottom line

While a summary of the situation on the global oil markets, as well as the biggest companies producing and selling the commodity, can inform your perspective on the sector, it should not be used as a substitute for your own research.

Remember to always perform your own due diligence based on technical and fundamental analysis, a wide range of news and commentary from respected sources, as well as reports from market analysts. Do not forget that past performance does not guarantee future results. And never invest more money than you can afford to lose.

FAQs

Who are the top 10 oil producers in the world?

According to financial data provider CompaniesMarketCap, the top 10 oil producers in the world by market capitalisation (as of 28 October 2022) are: Saudi Aramco ($2.030trn), Exxon Mobil ($448.22bn), Chevron ($348.22bn), Shell ($199.42bn), ConocoPhillips ($161.21bn), TotalEnergies ($139.07bn), PetroChina ($122.22bn), Equinor ($112.48bn), BP ($102.01bn) and Petrobras ($89.28bn).

What is the largest oil company in the world?

Saudi Aramco, boasting a market capitalisation of $2.030trn, as of 28 October 2022, is the largest oil company in the world.

What country exports the most oil?

According to data cited by the Observatory for Economic Complexity (OEC), the top exporters of Crude Petroleum  in 2020 were Saudi Arabia ($95.7B), Russia ($74.4B), the United States ($52.3B), Canada ($47.2B) and Iraq ($45.2B).

According to an observation by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in February 2022, “Russia is the world’s largest exporter of oil to global markets and the second largest crude oil exporter behind Saudi Arabia.”

Markets in this article

Oil - Brent
Brent Oil
84.580 USD
-0.522 -0.610%
CVX
Chevron
155.75 USD
0.43 +0.280%
XOM
Exxon Mobil Corp (Extended Hours)
114.10 USD
0.2 +0.180%
Oil - Crude
Crude Oil
81.336 USD
-0.699 -0.850%
CNQ
Canadian Natural Resource
36.15 USD
-0.48 -1.310%

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