China’s Sinopec Group ranks first on the list of the world’s leading oil and gas companies of 2018 with revenues of more than US$420 billion, ahead of Shell and Saudi Aramco. According to company filings, U.S. oil and gas company Exxon Mobil ranked sixth that year, with a total 2018 revenue of some US$279 billion.
Three-digit billions in sales per year are not uncommon in the oil and gas industry. However, revenues are highly dependent on the development of crude oil prices on the world market. Sinopec, for example, has therefore integrated both the energy and chemicals businesses into its operations.
Saudi Arabian oil company Saudi Aramco is a newcomer to the list. In April 2019, the company placed bonds worth around twelve billion US dollars on the stock exchange for the first time. The oil company, which continues to be primarily state-controlled, published financial figures for the first time. Previously, Saudi Aramco’s accounts had remained mostly secret since the company was nationalized in the 1970s.