PIW Ranks Saudi Aramco as Largest Oil Co in World's Top 50

Petroleum Intelligence Weekly (PIW) has released its annual list of the rankings of the world's 50 largest oil companies, and in what has become a 21-year streak, Saudi Aramco is No. 1.

That hold on the top spot seems unlikely to loosen, as mega-projects in a 2-million-barrel-per-day crude-oil-capacity expansion program are at or near completion. On top of that, expansion continues in the refining, gas and petrochemical sectors.

That diversity is seen by PIW as a common factor among the top companies. "The main trend in the latest survey is that despite a tumultuous 2008 that saw dramatic swings in oil and gas prices and in company profits, PIW's Top 50 rankings were steady with the previous year as these large, diversified firms adopted similar responses to the crisis," the magazine said.

The top 10 are: Saudi Aramco, NIOC, ExxonMobil, PDVSA, CNPC, BP, Royal Dutch Shell , ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Total.

PIW saw other common characteristics among the top performers. "As a group," it said, "the top 50 companies saw the contribution of natural gas to their production and reserves portfolios rise -- a trend that is expected to continue as the more environmentally palatable fuels make further gains in the power generation and transportation sectors. Private and state firms alike have upped their natural gas positions across the globe."