SINGAPORE, November 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite unprecedented price volatility, global recession, swings in demand, and the greening of the world's energy priorities, major oil companies maintained their stronghold as the world's top-performing energy businesses, according to the 2009 Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings(TM) announced here Monday.

Houston-based ExxonMobil Corporation retained the number one spot in the Platts Top 250 for the fifth consecutive year in the roster's eight. In second and third place were Chevron Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell plc, followed by BP plc and Total SA in fourth and fifth, respectively. Altogether, integrated oil and gas companies (IOGs) carved out the 13 top spots in the 2009 Platts rankings, and took 30 of the top 50 places.

Besides showing the continued leadership of the international oil companies, the rankings highlight the rising importance of emerging market entities and stronger performances by utilities, said Platts President Larry Neal. Clearly, the ups and downs of the rankings reflect the opportunities and challenges of the various sectors - exploration and production companies benefited from new finds, utilities enjoyed green-related investments, and storage companies got a boost from the slow demand that bit into refiners' margins.

Latin American IOGs played a more prominent role in the 2009 rankings with Petrobras leaping to sixth from 12th place and Colombia's Ecopetrol joining the list for the first time in 30th place. Also new to the rankings was Brazilian storage and gas company Ultrapar Participacoes SA, which moved in the 202nd spot, giving Latin American companies 14 spots on the global list.

Russia's Rosneft Oil Company and Gazprom Oao again made the top 10 list, coming in seventh and eighth, respectively. Gazprom also ranked number two in terms of profitability, second only to ExxonMobil. With LUKOIL Oil Company at number 12 and TNK-BP Holdings jumping to 13th place from 23rd, four Russian companies now rank among the 15 top-performing energy companies in the world.

Ahead of many long-entrenched names on the roster, Petrochina Co. Ltd. again took ninth place worldwide and maintained its leadership position in Asia. Second, third, fourth and fifth-place among Asia's top performing energy companies went to CNOOC Ltd., China Petroleum Chemical Corp., Reliance Industries Ltd., and Oil Natural Gas Corp. Ltd. Immediately behind them - giving Asia a total of eight places among the global top 50 - were Indian Oil Corp Ltd., China Shenhua Energy Co. Ltd., and Thailand's PTT Plc.

Germany's RWE AG, which moved into 14th place from 20th, displaced France's EDF Energy as the only utility among the top 15 global energy leaders. While the total number of utilities on the Top 250 remained consistent year to year, utilities comprised 15 of 32 newcomers to the 2009 Platts Top 250 rankings. Of those, seven were electric utilities and the rest were gas, diversified and independent utilities. The other newcomers to the rankings came primarily from the exploration and production and storage and transportation sectors.

Geographically, Platts' newcomers span the globe, coming from Spain, Switzerland, the U.S. and U.K., Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Indonesia and Romania, as well as Colombia and Brazil.

The Platts Top 250 rankings are based on a combination of assets, revenues, profits and return on invested capital using data from Capital IQ, a database compiled and maintained by Standard Poor's, which, like Platts, is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies. To be ranked, companies must have assets greater than US$2 billion and must be publicly listed.

Platts also unveiled its third annual list of the world's 50 fastest-growing energy companies. Topping the list was ONEOK Partners LP of Oklahoma, a storage and transfer company, which ranked 129 in the overall Top 250 and whose 125 percent compound growth rate (CGR) far eclipsed that of other firms. Nester Energy LP of Texas took the number two spot in the global fastest-growing, sporting a three-year CGR of 94 percent. The Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. and Ultrapar Participacoes SA came in as third and fourth fastest-growing, with CGRs of 85 percent and 82 percent respectively. In fifth place was Hong Kong's China Resources Power Holdings, an independent power producer, with a 65 percent growth rate.

Platts' 2009 performance rankings were unveiled at the company's fourth annual Asia Leadership Awards and Recognition Dinner, held this year at Singapore's Shangri-la Hotel in partnership with Singapore International Energy Week. The gala event, attended by some 300 industry executives from across Asia, also celebrated the accomplishments of the top Asian energy companies.

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SOURCE: Platts

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