World’s biggest oil companies—A historical look


You don’t get to be one of the top 10 companies in the world without burning a little midnight oil. And, in this case, the meaning is literal. The top 10 energy conglomerates didn’t do it all alone, however. Many have merged and been acquired through hard work, dedication and solid ground.

Owned by the Chinese, Sinopec led the world in 2014 with $455.06 billion in revenue. With acquisitions over the past 20 years such as New Star Petroleum Company, Addax Petroleum Group and Canada’s Daylight Energy, total assets came in at $226.67 billion.

Also China government owned is China National Petroleum, which came in at No. 2 thanks to a 2005 acquisition of PetroKazakhstan. China National saw $432 billion of revenue last year. 

Rounding out the top five are Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobile and Saudi Aramco. Thanks to worldwide mergers with Mexican Eagle Petroleum, Shell Oil and BG Group, dating way back to 1919, Royal Dutch has made a name for itself within the energy industry. 

One of Exxon Mobil’s biggest mergers came in 1999, which at the time was the largest in history and created the single largest company on the planet. In 2010, with the acquisition of XTO, Exxon Mobile became the largest producer of natural gas in the United States.

Saudi Aramco, with $378 billion revenue last year, has total assets of $30 trillion, which is the largest on our top 10 list.

BP, Total S.A., Kuwait Petroleum Corp., Chevron Corporation and Lukoil boast impressive numbers in the five to 10 slots. BP claims some of the more well-known acquisitions on the list, with Standard Oil, Amoco and ARCO. Petrofina, which merged with Total S.A. (No. 7) in 1999, might be best remembered for the comical ad campaign around its “Pink Air” fuel additive. No. 8, Kuwait Petroleum Corp., was created in 1980 as a merger of different Kuwaiti companies. No. 9’s Chevron Corp. raked in $192.31 billion last year, thanks to acquisitions throughout the years of Gulf Oil, Texaco and Unocal Corporation. 

 In 10th place is Lukoil, thanks to a 2008 acquisition of Akpet, which represented its largest purchase of retail networks. This increased its international retail presence by 18%. 

The mergers and acquisitions behind world’s largest oil companies.


As this history of mergers and acquisitions shows, the oil giants we know today didn’t emerge overnight. From Asia to America, they’ve looked to diversify their operations by investing in green technologies such as solar power, while others strive to purchase companies located across the globe to become the major players they are today.