S&P Global Platts: Russia's Gazprom topples US' ExxonMobil for 1st place

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Moscow-headquartered Gazprom is majority-owned by the government of Russian Federation, though it is technically a private company described as a "Public Joint Stock Company" or PJSC under the country's corporate structure framework.

Among other big movers were Germany's E.ON, which climbed 112 places to 2nd place from 114th, and British Gas' owner Centrica up to 15th from 156th.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation was placed 11th this year, gaining nine positions since last year.

Japan's JXTG Holdings landed just outside the top 25, at 26th, an advance of more than 100 ranks while Brazil's Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras, known as Eletrobras, made the lead 50, at 47th, up from 193rd. In the coveted top 10, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) tied, both with four representations each, while the Americas has only two of the elite spots, S&P Global Platts said. All companies on the list have assets of more than $5.5 billion.

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The Top 250 rankings are based on financial performance over the past year. S&P Global Platts noted that utilities performed well during a period of volatile oil prices.

Only two US companies were in the Top 10 list of the biggest financial performers, and Exxon's move from No. 1 to No. 9 was the first time in 12 years it wasn't ranked at the top. Coal interests were hit especially hard in the latest rankings, as more countries push for increases in renewable energy and cleaner burning fuel. China's Shenhua Energy rose to 13th place from 25th, as the price of coal in China rose sharply following government output cuts. Gazprom supplies about 20 percent of European natural gas needs and some European companies have invested in its planned expansion of the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea, even though some European governments oppose it because of anti-trust concerns.

Overall, the 10 largest energy companies combined to earn $63.7 billion in profits, down 14% compared to the 2016 rankings.

Coal India, the world's largest coal producer, was the only Indian firm to have slipped in the ranking - 45 in 2017, down from 38 in past year.