The Top Natural Gas Companies in the World

Natural gas is one of the major components of the energy industry. But many of us don't actually realize what it is. Natural gas is a type of fossil fuel that is found beneath the surface of the Earth. In this state, companies can tap into the ground and drill for it. In other cases, it can be produced using wells in a process called fracking. After production, it is processed for sale. Consumers can then use it to heat their homes, cook food, dry their clothes, and fuel their cars.

Most of the world's biggest producers of natural gas are global energy giants with worldwide oil and gas operations spanning the full range of upstream and downstream activities. When production is viewed by country, the U.S. is the top producer of natural gas followed by Russia. Here's a look at the top producers of natural gas, along with some key facts about each company. The comapnies are ranked by how much they produced in 2021.

Key Takeaways

  • Natural gas is a fossil fuel that is found beneath the Earth's surface or it can be produced in a process called fracking.
  • Top producers include the United States, Russia, and China.
  • Gazprom is the largest natural gas producer with more than 18 trillion cubic feet in 2021.
  • China had two companies in the top 10, including China National Petroleum and Sinopec, which ranked in the second and third spots.
  • Other companies in the top 10 included those from the United States, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and France.

1. Gazprom (OGZPY)

Russia's Gazprom is a state-owned energy company with roughly half of the outstanding shares in the hands of the government. It was the largest producer of natural gas in Russia and the world in 2021. It was responsible for producing 515.6 billion cubic meters, which translates to 18.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The company had revenues of $137.71 billion in 2021.

2. China National Petroleum/PetroChina

China National Petroleum is China's largest natural gas producer. It reported production of about 4.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2021. This figure included both domestic and foreign outputs. CNPC also has vast oil and petrochemical production and oil and gas marketing operations.

While CNPC is a state-owned enterprise, much of its operations are organized under a publicly-listed subsidiary company, PetroChina Company. PetroChina shares are listed on the NYSE, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Petrochina is involved in both the oil and natural gas industry with exploring, production, storage, and marketing operations. The company reported revenue of $366 billion in 2021 with a market capitalization of $119.92 billion as of Dec. 19, 2022.

3. Sinopec

Another player from China, Sinopec produced almost 1.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2021. The company reported total revenue of about $383.72 billion for the 2021 fiscal year. The company's stock trades on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges.

Based in Beijing, Sinopec is focused on oil and natural gas exploration and production along with storage and delivery. Along with being one of the largest natural gas producers in the world, Sinopec is also the world's largest refining company and one of the leaders in global chemical production.

Total global natural gas production in 2020 was approximately 142.67 trillion cubic feet.

4. ExxonMobil (XOM)

ExxonMobil produced 8.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2021, which translates to about 3.1 trillion cubic feet for the year. Revenue amounted to $285.64 billion for the full fiscal year while net income came in at $23.04 billion.

XOM trades on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the United States and is based in Irving, Texas. The company was founded in 1882 when it was incorporated in New Jersey. Its upstream activities take place in 39 different countries, while conventional oil and natural gas operations are found in 17 companies.

5. BP (BP)

London-based BP is a global energy giant with vast operations spanning the length of the oil and gas supply chain. The company reported natural gas production of about 7.9 billion cubic feet per day or a total of 2.9 trillion in 2021. The company had 2021 revenues of $164.19 billion. Net income for the year was reported to be $18.08 billion.

BP operates major natural gas production sites around the globe, from the Americas to the Middle East to Southeast Asia. It also has substantial worldwide oil exploration and production operations, in addition to petrochemical, lubricant, and retail gasoline businesses.

6. Chevron (CVX)

Chevron, an American integrated energy giant, reported daily natural gas production of about 7.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2021. That translates to just over 2.8 trillion cubic feet for the entire year. The company operates major natural gas fields across the globe, including sites in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

Chevron also maintains vast upstream oil operations and downstream activities in petrochemicals, lubricants, additives, and gasoline. Chevron reported revenue of $155.6 billion for 2021. It earned $15.6 billion in net income for the entire year.

7. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A)

Royal Dutch Shell, also known as Shell Global, reported production of 2.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2021, the largest portion coming from Asia. The company's natural gas operations are spread across the globe. The company had revenues of $272.66 billion and net income of $20.63 billion in 2021.

In addition to its natural gas operations, Royal Dutch Shell has vast crude oil exploration and production activities, as well as downstream operations including refineries, petrochemical plants, and retail service stations. Royal Dutch Shell is headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the U.K.

Europe is the primary market for Russian natural gas.

8. Total Energies (TTE)

Total Energies is a French oil and gas company. It is an integrated oil and gas company with worldwide upstream and downstream operations. In 2021, the company produced 7.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day or 2.6 trillion cubic feet for the year. The bulk of Total's hydrocarbon reserves is in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. In 2021, Total reported revenues of $205.86 billion.

9. Rosneft Oil Co. (OJSCY)

Rosneft is a Russian oil company that is controlled by the Russian government. It is involved in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. In 2021, the company produced almost 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The company reported revenues of $122.65 billion in 2021. Net income came in at $14.12 billion for the year.

10. Lukoil (LUKOY)

Lukoil is another Russian company on the list. The company extracts and refines oil and natural gas primarily from western Siberia. The company produced 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas during the 2021 fiscal year. Lukoil had revenues of $131.6 billion in 2021.

Top Producers of Natural Gas in 2021
Company  Country  Production (cubic feet)  Revenue 
Gazprom Russia 18.2 trillion $137.71 billion
China National Petroleum (Petro China)  China  4.4 trillion  $366 billion 
Sinopec  China 1.2 trillion  $383.72 billion 
ExxonMobil  U.S. 3.1 trillion $285.64 billion 
BP U.K. 2.9 trillion  $164.19 billion 
Chevron U.S.  2.8 trillion  $155.6 billion 
Royal Dutch Shell Netherlands  2.6 trillion  $272.66 billion 
Total Energies  France  2.6 trillion  $205.86 billion 
Rosneft   Russia 2.3 trillion  $122.65 billion
Lukoil Russia 1.1 trillion $131.6 billion

What Is the Largest Natural Gas Company in the World?

The company that produces the most natural gas in the world is Russia's Gazprom, which produced about 18.2 trillion cubic feet of gas in 2021.

What Are the Top Producing Natural Gas States in the U.S.?

The top five natural gas-producing states in 2019 were Texas (24.6%), Pennsylvania (21.8%), Louisiana (9.9%), West Virginia (7.4%), and Oklahoma (6.7%).

What Three Countries Are the Largest Consumers of Natural Gas?

The top three consuming countries of natural gas are the United States (862 billion cubic meters), Russia (565 billion cubic meters), and China (365 billion cubic meters).

How Is Natural Gas Produced?

Natural gas can be drilled when it's found beneath the Earth's surface or it can be produced using wells in a process called fracking. Once produced, it is processed and sold to consumers, who use it for heating and other purposes.

Which Countries Produce the Most Natural Gas?

The United States is the largest producer of natural gas in the world. This is followed by Russia, which comes in second place for natural gas production.

The Bottom Line

The largest natural gas companies are also some of the largest oil companies as most energy companies are diversified across business sectors. The largest companies are from Russia and China, with the U.S. coming in at number four.

Article Sources
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