Reliance Industries world's third largest energy firm: Platts rankings

Reliance Industries (RIL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) have made big leaps in the global energy sector this year, according to the latest S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, which saw Russia’s Gazprom end American giant ExxonMobil’s 12-year reign at No.1. 

Germany-based energy company E.ON SE ranked second.

While RIL improved its position by five places to third, IOC breached the top 10 for the first time and was placed seventh against last year’s fourteenth. Significantly, 10 of the 14 Indian energy companies that made it to the S&P list this year improved their rankings. In 2016, the list included 15 Indian firms.  

S&P Global Platts is the leading independent provider of information and benchmark prices for the commodities and energy markets. The Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings was launched in 2002 to recognise the top financial performers in the sector. Each company’s ranking is calculated using its asset worth, revenues, profits, and return on invested capital.

Revenues of the top 10 companies surged more than 30 per cent to $1.1 trillion from $830.2 billion in the 2016 rankings. These companies posted combined profits of $63.7 billion last year, 14 per cent lower than the $74.3 billion posted the year before. The top 250 profit figures are adjusted for preferred dividends and exclude discontinued operations and extraordinary operations. 

The two dozen biggest movers up included a range of companies from EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) and the Americas, according to the review. The group was heavy with diversified utilities — which provide electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial users — and pipeline companies that carry oil and gas to the markets. Not surprisingly, both sectors rely on each other for supply and demand. Among the biggest losers in the rankings, by sector, were South American exploration companies and Chinese power providers, it said.

“Commodity price volatility, geopolitical shifts and industry consolidation made investors seek out safe havens in 2016 in the form of strong returns on invested capital, long-term fixed fees, regulatory stability, and access to regional and world markets,” Harry Weber, senior natural gas writer of S&P Global Platts, was quoted in the release as saying. “That helps explain why utilities and pipelines were able to differentiate themselves from other sectors, even as some operators struggled to boost revenue and underwent major transformations that included operational and management changes.”

The bigger story this year is India’s Reliance Industries rising to No. 3 from No. 8 last year and France’s Total rising to No. 10 from No. 12 last year along with Indian Oil Corp that showed the strength of pipelines, said S&P Global Platts.

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