Exxon Loses Top Energy Spot To Russian Natural Gas Producer

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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A government-run Russian natural gas producer has supplanted ExxonMobil as the top energy company in the world.

Gazprom is now the world’s top energy company, according to the 2017 S&P Global Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings, which ranks the financial standings of firms on their asset worth, revenues, and profits.

“Regulated utilities, in particular, have an advantage because their revenues are largely defined and consistent, and are not as susceptible to swings in oil and gas prices,” Harry Weber, senior natural gas writer for S&P Global Platts, the analytical group that compiled the rankings, told reporters Sunday.

Gazprom has monopolized Europe’s market for natural gas, while its competitors slowly drift away. The Russian gas giant’s ability to capture the market comes as the U.S. and other Western nations level sanctions on the company over Russia’s involvement in Crimea.

The U.S. natural gas industry has seen significant gains as well, requiring a dramatic uptick in pipeline construction.

“These trends are expected to continue into the next decade as billions of dollars of new investment pour into pipeline projects in the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” S&P wrote in its report.

America’s status as a net exporter is expected to expand well beyond 2017 because of a growing amount of exports to Mexico and a decline in imports from Canada, according to an EIA report earlier this year. The U.S. became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2009 after the country surpassed Russia.

Mexico, meanwhile, is updating its pipeline infrastructure to make way for future imports from the U.S. Its appetite for natural gas has grown rapidly, as Mexico’s energy industry expects to increase its natural gas use for electric power generation by about 50 percent over the next five years.

Much of the EIA’s report is based on the expectation that the country will continue constructing energy pipelines that crisscross from the U.S. to Canada. Pipelines are being built in the U.S. to shuttle gas from the Marcellus and Utica supply regions in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia into areas on the Gulf Coast and eastern Canada.

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