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The Top Ten Biggest State Oil Companies In the World in 2016

20 Jul Posted by in Statistics, Work | Comments

worlds-largest-state-oil-companiesOil is big business and no one is bigger that the state run enterprises.  They usually have massive oil and gas reserves to drill often without any competition which leads to terrible management, nepotism, awful investments…  Pay particular attention to Rosneft Yukos, number 11 on our top 1o list, for intrigue worthy of a James Bond film.

Below are the top ten state run (or quasi run) oil companies in 2016 according to Forbes, Wood Mackenzie and Wikipedia:

  1. Saudi Aramco – 12.5 million barrels per day – Aramco is likely the biggest company in the world (yes, larger than Apple and Walmart) but because they are state owned and they do not release their sales or staffing statistics, we are left with logical guess’ as to their volume and profitability.
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  2. Gazprom – 9.7 million barrels per day – The Russian government controls this giant and has a monopoly on gas in much of Europe including Ukraine.
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  3. National Iranian Oil Co. – 6.4 million barrels per day – This is a difficult number to validate because they have been under western sanctions for so long that their production numbers have dropped.
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  4. PetroChina – 4.4 million barrels per day – The Chinese run all large industries in China and oil is not an exception.  In fact they have three large state controlled oil companies.
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  5. Pemex – 3.6 million barrels per day – Pemex is a notoriously inefficient producer of oil and gas reserves in Mexico.  So much so that after decades of state control, even the Mexican government could no longer tolerate the nepotism, incompetence and general waste and in 2014 announced it was deregulating its industry.
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  6. Kuwait Petroleum Corp – 3.2 million barrels per day – Famous for having its oil fields set on fire by a retreating Saddam Hussein during the first “Gulf War”, Kuwait took control of Chevron and BP’s assets in their country in 1975 and called it KPC.
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  7. Abu Dhabi National Oil Co – 2.9 million barrels per day – Located on the Strait of Hormuz allowed Abu Dhabi to easily export hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in recent decades.  Iran is once again threatening to close / control this strategic shipping lane and this has lead to ADNO to build pipelines to get its crude to market.
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  8. Sonatrach – 2.7 million barrels per day – Algeria’s national oil company is monster by any measure but compared to its countries population it really shines.  Most of Sonatrach’s business does not relate to ‘liquids (oil) but to natural gas which has not been hugely profitable in the last decade.
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  9. Total SA – 2.7 million barrels per day – Today Total is 1% owned by the French Government but in 1999 it had controlling interest (30%).  From 1924 to 1985 Total were creatively named French Petroleum Company.  This company operates in 130 countries and retails its products under Total, Fina and Elf brands but most surprisingly is heavily invested in coal, nuclear and even solar and biomass.
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  10. Petrobras – 2.6 million barrels per day – This is Brazils state owned oil company and in 2016 became embroiled in a series of Brazilian government scandals which shut down most (if not all) of Brazils privatization efforts of the oil sector.
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    Why do we have 11 companies in this top ten list of state controlled oil companies?  Total (#9) is no longer state controlled even though it recently was so we thought it best to add in a replacement.  Also Rosneft Yukos story is just so fascinating you really should read about it.
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  11. Rosneft – 2.6 million barrels per day – The Kremlin also runs this giant.  Second to Gazprom but still very important on the world market.  Because the Russian federal government gets 70% of its revenues from oil, they need several companies to keep the cash flowing.  They have a very unflattering history as they are the result of the theft of a massive private oil company Yukos.  This resulted in a successful USD$50 billion dollar judgement in 2014.  Watch these two videos for a brief on their incredible history.

 

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