Saudi Aramco named World number one oil company

DHAHRAN, Dec 18 (NNN-SPA) — For the 20th year in a row, Saudi Aramco has been named the No. 1 oil company in the world by Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW).

The rankings are based on six operational criteria — oil reserves and production, natural gas reserves and output, refinery capacity and product sales volumes, according to a press release issued by Saudi Aramco Wednesday.

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The omission of financial criteria allows the more equitable comparison of private sector and state-owned oil companies.

Saudi Aramco has held on to the top spot amid general strengthening of national oil companies (NOCs) that has seen China’s CNPC surpass BP and Shell.

Russia’s Rosneft made the biggest jump, from 24th to 16th on the table. In addition, three new, majority state-owned companies have appeared in the top 50 — Uzbekistan’s Uzbekneftegas, China’s CNOOC and Kazmunaigas of Kazakhstan. That brings the total number of NOCs in the top 50 to 27.

In contrast, private-sector firms generally lost ground, especially in the top tiers. Exxon Mobil was the exception, holding on to its No. 3 position.

Comparing results across the past decade shows that as a group, the top private oil companies now account for a smaller global share of the six ranking criteria than they did before the mega-mergers that created them.

Private firms still hold six of the top 10 spots just as they did in 2007. However, Saudi Aramco, Iran’s NIOC, Venezuela’s PDV and CNCP of China hold four of the five top rankings.

PIW’s annual ranking is the result of a perennial benchmark survey recognised industry-wide as the leading source of comparative performance assessments on all the world’s oil companies. Operational data from more than 130 companies is used.

PIW’s system of ranking tends to favour NOCs with large oil and gas reserves, and to favour integrated concerns over companies that specialize in one industry sector.