Chinese companies move up in Platts Top 250 rankings

Two Chinese companies, CNOOC Ltd. and PetroChina Co. Ltd., moved into the top five slots of the latest Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings. It was the first time for two Chinese companies to figure that high since the rankings began in 2002.

Platts outlined its lengthy report entitled “A Game-Changer Year” during an annual dinner in Singapore attended by some 300 energy executives. The rankings of several integrated oil and gas majors weakened, including BP PLC.

The Platts Top 250 rankings reflected financial performance of publicly traded energy companies having assets greater than $5 billion. The ranking were based on a combination of asset value, revenue, profit, and return on invested capital (ROIC) for fiscal 2014.

Chinese companies have rivaled Western majors for years, with PetroChina having appeared in the top 10 for 11 years, and CNOOC hovering in the 12-13 slots for the last several years. ExxonMobil Corp. kept the top spot as it has for 11 consecutive years.

Bo Bai, managing director of Warburg Pincus, said in a keynote address that he remains “cautiously optimistic” regarding future oil and gas investments in China, India, and southeast Asia.

“As the region opens up its blocks, and reforms its fiscal regimes to enhance risk-adjusted returns, investment dollars will pour in, allowing countries in the region to benefit from more exploration, reserves, and production,” Bai said.

Antero makes rankings

Integrated oil majors made up only half of the latest Top 10, which included two refining and marketing companies–Phillips 66 was 6th and Valero Energy Corp. was 8th. Phillips 66 climbed from its previous ranking of 13, and Valero moved up from a ranking of 19.

Noticeably missing from the top 10 were BP, Total SA, and Russia’s giant OAO Gazprom. Total, once a Top 10 fixture, tumbled to 26th place with lower earnings and returns. Meanwhile, BP fell from the second slot to 29, which Platts attributed to weaker profits and poor 2% ROIC.

Gazprom placed 4th overall last year but dropped 39 places to 43rd in the most recent rankings, buffeted by the ruble’s collapse, its impact on long-term credit, and other factors, Platts said.

Unconventional oil retained center stage, with 89 US and 14 Canada companies making it into the latest Top 250. Tight oil and shale producers dominated the worlds’ fastest growing energy company rosters along with midstream and refining companies.

Many US shale companies are highly leveraged and appear set to experience a collapse in top-tier growth rates, Platts noted.

Exploration and production companies made up the biggest group of the world’s top 50 fastest-growing companies. Fastest-growth ratings were based on a 3-year compounded growth rate for revenues.

“Companies with advantaged, oil-rich shale acreage have been able to outperform the sector’s average growth by operating at lower costs than the shale industry average,” said Robert Perkins, a coauthor of a Platts analysis of the Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings.

Antero Resources Corp. of Denver ranked first in the Top 50 fastest growing companies. Antero holds about 400,000 acres in the Marcellus shale. It was the first time for Antero Resources to make the list.

Contact Paula Dittrick at

*Paula Dittrick is editor of OGJ’s Unconventional Oil & Gas Report.

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