In this article we are going to list the 15 largest oil companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest oil companies in the world. The oil industry is among the biggest industries in the world, which is why you will also find oil companies to be among the largest companies in the world. The current world cannot be imagined without oil, due to the fact that it is one of the most essential commodities in the world, and is an intrinsic raw material in the creation and generation of energy as well as refined into petroleum and is used to power most car engines in the world.
The oil and gas industry is broken down into three streams, namely upstream, middle stream and downstream. The upstream industry consists of companies which are involved in the exploration as well as extraction of oil, which includes drilling for oil as well. If you want to learn more about the drilling process and the drilling industry, consider taking a look at the 15 largest offshore drilling companies in the world. Meanwhile, the midstream industry consists of companies which aren’t involved in either the extraction or drilling of oil and gas; rather, they’re more interested in the transportation and storage. The fact that transportation and storage of oil and gas is another industry in and of itself speaks to the strength of the oil and gas sector. Then we are finally left with the downstream industry, which involves the refining as well as marking of the finished products. The upstream and downstream companies in this sector tend to be the biggest companies, without which the industry could not operate. However, we also have companies which are involved in the entire cycle of oil and gas exploration, production, storage, refinement and selling, which means these companies basically control the entire supply chain of the industry.
The oil and gas drilling factor is said to be worth more than $3.3 trillion alone, though this has taken a serious hit in the midst of a pandemic. When Covid-19 hit, most industries in the world were affected; however, the shock faced by the oil industry is none like it has ever faced before. While the industry has been notoriously over the decades, the impact of Covid-19 destabilized the entire industry and economy like never before, resulting in the crumbling of oil prices. So why did the pandemic have such a strong effect on the oil industry? Well, there are multiple reasons behind the hit, which include a major decline in the demand of oil, as transportation across the world came to a halt and so fuel consumption declined significantly. This came during the war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, which was started by the latter when the former refused to lower production in order to maintain oil prices. Saud Arabia lowered the price of oil which resulted in a price war which saw the price of oil fall on a quarterly level by 65%. This, combined with the drop in demand due to the pandemic, actually saw oil futures become negative for the first time in history. Generally, lower prices see a rise in consumption as people are more induced to purchase it, but due to the pandemic, this stimulant was not present. Many people have dubbed it ‘the great compression’ of the oil and gas industry.
Of course, it’s not all bad news and dark clouds. Most countries have started to recover from the pandemic, with lockdowns ending partially or fully across most of the world during the summer and fall. Oil demand had fallen by 25% globally back in April, at the height of lockdowns, but the industry has rallied and beaten expectations to reduce the losses to just 8%. Of course, now that a second wave has hit most of the world amid winter, and lockdowns are once again being enforced in several nations, we will only truly find out the proper impact by next year.
Like I mentioned earlier, the biggest companies in the oil industry are also among the biggest companies in the world, regardless of revenue. This includes Saudi Aramco, which had the biggest IPO in history, and is the second biggest company in the world by market cap right now. Furthermore, it is also the most profitable company in the entire world in 2020 and yet, it still does not top our list. We have considered not just revenue, but assets, profits and number of employees in assessing the largest oil companies in the world, with all of the data coming from Fortune. So let’s take a look at the current oil giants, starting with number 15:
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 72,820
Total profit of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): -18,039
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 101,602
Total employees of the company in 2019: 125,735
We kick off our list with the largest Mexican oil company in Pemex, which is one of the oldest companies in our list, having been established 82 years ago in 1938. It is one of Latin America’s largest companies and is owned by the government of Mexico.