Real Alternative Site
Alternative ways to look at the world we live in today.


   Home » Shop » Green Issues » Big Oil Quick Find:
Shop « Articles « Blog    
 Quick Find
Please use the box above to search products and articles
Advanced Search

 Alternative Comedy
 Angels & Fairies
 Arts & Crafts
 Beliefs & Faiths
 Celebrations & Festivals
 Controversial Issues
 Fairy Tales
 Fitness - Body & Mind
 Friends From Twitter
 Global Warming
 Green Issues
 Healthy Eating
 History Of The UK
 Local To RAS
 Music Alternative
 Music Alternative - House Music
 Music Alternative Ambient, Chill
 Music Alternative Dub Step
 Music Alternative Goth
 Music Alternative Legend
 Music Alternative Love Music
 Music Alternative Peace
 Music Alternative Rock
 Music Alternative Soul
 Music Alternative Spiritual - A
 Music Alternative Spiritual - B
 Music Alternative Spiritual - C
 Music Alternative Spiritual - D
 Music Alternative Spiritual - E
 Music Alternative SpiritualFGH
 Music Alternative SpiritualIJKL
 Music Alternative SpiritualMNO
 Music Alternative SpiritualPQRS
 Music Alternative SpiritualTUV
 Music Alternative SpiritualWX
 Music Alternative Synth
 Music Alternative Trance
 Music Alternative Trip Hop
 Music Alternative World Pop
 Native Americans
 Natural Pet Remedies
 Natural Remedies
 Natural World
 Prayer Music Worldwide
 Religions Of The World
 Safety First
 Spiritual Art
 Stars And Star Signs
 The Ancients
 The Celts
 The Peacemakers
 The Universe
 Wicca & Pagan
 World Cultures
 World History

Big Oil

Chart of the major energy companies dubbed  

Chart of the major energy companies dubbed "Big Oil" sorted by latest published revenue

The term supermajor illustrates the six largest, non state-owned energy companies, as seen in popular financial mediums around the world. Trading under various names around the world, they are considered to be:

The supermajors began to appear in the late 1990s, in response to a severe deflation in oil prices. Large petroleum companies began to merge, often in an effort to improve economies of scale, hedge against oil price volatility, and reduce large cash reserves through reinvestment.[2] Exxon and Mobil (1999), BP and Amoco (1998), Total and Petrofina (1999) and subsequently Elf Aquitaine (2000), Chevron and Texaco (2001), and Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum Company (2002) all merged between 1998 and 2002. The result of this trend created some of the largest global corporations as defined by the Forbes Global 2000 ranking, and as of 2007 all within the top 25.

As of December 1, 2006, ExxonMobil ranks first among the supermajors in size (market capitalization), cash flow (12 months), revenue (12 months), and profits.

As a group, the supermajors control about 5% of global oil and gas reserves with largest supermajor, ExxonMobil, ranked 14th. Conversely, 95% of global oil and gas reserved are controlled by state-owned oil companies, primarily located in the middle east.

Supermajors are sometimes collectively referred to as Big Oil, a pejorative term used to describe the individual and collective economic power of the largest oil and gasoline manufacturers, and their perceived influence on politics, particularly in the United States. Big Oil is often associated with the Energy Lobby.

Usually used to represent the industry as a whole in a pejorative or derogatory manner, "Big Oil" has come to encompass the enormous impact crude oil exerts over first-world industrial society. The term is also utilized to discuss the consumer relationship with oil production and petroleum use, as consumers in the United States and Europe tend to respond to petroleum price spikes by purchasing vehicles with greater fuel efficiency during these periods. Historically, consumer interest in fuel efficiency and the oil debate wanes significantly as pump prices stabilize.

Since 2005, the term Big Oil has been used regularly in the media as the United States pump price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline passed $2.00 U.S., then $3.00 U.S. in early autumn. The critical increase in fuel cost has been attributed to the effects of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita, in addition to the increasing costs of crude oil on world markets resulting from the uncertain status of supply, political instability in the Niger River Delta, and the ongoing Iraq War. The phase-out of MTBE for ethanol is another factor during 2006-some parts of the U.S. were selling regular unleaded for $3.27/gallon-especially in West Coast states. Eventually the national average of the U.S. reached over $4.00/a gallon in June 2008 and has continued to rise since then.

A current issue is whether the petroleum industry has engaged in profiteering during a time of catastrophic weather events and political unrest. The oil industry has responded by outlining their extensive costs, market uncertainties, and public education efforts with regard to industry background, supply and demand, and how the system of commodity futures affects pricing. Industry supporters and many fiscal conservatives have supported the industry as an example of free market economics. Industry detractors have focused on specific profit reports and attempted to outline allegations that the oil industry has utilized unrest to achieve unjust enrichment. Nevertheless an investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission has found no illegal market manipulation to raise the price of gasoline in the US.


  1. ^ "ConocoPhillips: The Making Of An Oil Major", Business Week, December 12, 2005. Retrieved on 2006-09-29
  2. ^ "Slick Deal?", NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 1998-12-01. Retrieved on 2007-08-20
  3. ^ Reuters, December 2, 2006.
  4. ^ Forbes Global 2000, 2006.
  5. ^ Will We Rid Ourselves of This Pollution?. Retrieved on 2008-04-22.
  6. ^ FTC: 2006 Investigation of Gasoline Price Manipulation

Bookmark and Share

This article was published on Saturday 05 July, 2008.

Current Reviews: 0
Write Review
 Tell a friend
Tell a friend about this article: