Prospecting the academic grounds on global energies patterns

IOCs and NOCs


The majors: Taking account of production, reserves, refining capacities, and sales of refined products, the present hierarchy in the sector of very large international companies involved in all stages in production, processing, marketing and petrochemicals is marked by distinct echelons:

  • ExxonMobil is the world’s most important group, followed by RDShell and BP
  • Total comes second
  • The next group includes Chevron (the former Standard Oil of California), Texaco, and Italy’s ENI

Historically known as the Seven Sisters a term coined by Enrico Mattei the IOCs compete today with the New Seven Sisters, a group of National Oil Companies (the majority outside OPEC).

The respective weights for oil and gas are given below (data from 2005)



The reader interested in understanding the statics and dynamics of economic, geographic and financial power of those competitors should read this recent post and visit this website which proposes a very clear presentation of the players in this market. (EIA’s Energy “Who are the major players supplying the world oil market?”)


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