Oil Companies

The importance of oil has not stopped growing since its first industrial applications in the mid-nineteenth century, and its demand is increasing rapidly. Oil accounts for a large percentage of the world’s energy consumption, ranging from 32% for Europe and Asia, and 53% for the Middle East. The world consumes 30 billion barrels of oil per year, with developed nations being the largest consumers. America alone consumed a total of 6.87 billion barrels (18.65 million barrels per day) in 2012. This represents approximately 20% of total world petroleum consumption. So who are the key producers of oil in the world?

The largest oil producing company in the world is Saudi Aramco. The company was initially founded in 1933 by Standard Oil of California (SoCal) as California-Arabian Standard Oil Co. Saudi Aramco employs more than 57,000 workers worldwide from 77 countries and has its headquarters in Dhahran in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco’s national oil and gas company is viewed as the most valuable company in the world with an estimated value of $10 trillion and generates over $1billion every day in revenues. In 2012 Saudi Aramco produced 4.62 billion barrels of crude oil (12.5 million barrels per day) with oil reserves of about 260 billion barrels.

Another national oil company is Russia’s Gazprom, which is the second largest oil and gas company by production volume in the world. The company was established in 1989 with it’s headquarter in the Cheryomushki district, Moscow and employees 393,000 people . Although Gazprom is a private company, the majority of it is owned by the Russian government. Gazprom produced 3.54 billion barrels of oil in 2012 (9.7 million barrels per day) making a profit of more than $40 million.

The National Iranian Oil Company is the third largest oil producing company in the world with its headquarters being in Tehran. The company that was to become BP, AICO (Anglo-Iranian Oil Company), initially owned rights to all Persian oil resources. But they were forced out when the Iranian oil industry was nationalized resulting in the formation of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) formed in 1951. The NIOC remains a major oil and gas producer despite international sanctions targeting oil revenues in an effort to stop Iran’s nuclear program. The NIOC produces more than 6.4 million barrels of crude oil per day from its 137 billion barrels of in-place reserves, producing 2.34 billion barrels in 2012.

The next company ExxonMobil is the fourth largest producing oil company in the world, and largest non-government owned oil and gas company. It was established in New Jersey in 1882 by John D. Rockefeller, who originally started Standard Oil Company which would eventually become ExxonMobil. Exxon is headquartered in Irving, Texas and currently employs nearly 80,000 people worldwide. The company was formed in 1999 following the merger of Exxon and Mobil in a $73.7 billion deal, the biggest merger in US corporate history. The company produces approximately 3 percent of the world's oil with 1.93 billion barrels (5.3 million per day) produced in 2012.

China’s biggest oil producer, PetroChina rounds out the top 5 largest oil producing companies in the world. PetroChina Company Limited is headquartered in Dongcheng District Beijing and is the largest of China’s three state controlled oil producers. PetroChina was established as a jointed stick company with limited liabilities under the Company Law of the People's Republic of China (the PRC) on November 5, 1999, as part of the restructuring of CNPC. PetroChina is also the most profitable company in Asia and the biggest employer in the top five largest oil companies in the world with over half a million employees. PetroChina daily output of oil in 2012 was 4.4 million barrels a day, totaling 1.66 billion barrels for the entire year.

Although there are thousands of oil companies in the world that produce a fair amount of oil Saudi Aramco, Gazprom, NIOC, ExxonMobil, and PetroChina are currently the leaders in the oil industry. So as long as there are no alternative or renewable energy sources that can replace oil in the present, oil will remain the primary fuel for most economies for a long time and , these companies will continue to supply the world with billions and billions of barrels of oil for a long time into the future.