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, Iran, Qatar, China, and Canada. Here's a look at the top producers of natural gas, along with some key facts about each company.
- The United States is the top producing country of natural gas in the world, followed by Russia, Iran, Qatar, China, and Canada.
- The largest oil and gas company in the world by revenues is China's China National Petroleum/PetroChina.
- The top ten natural gas companies in the world are from the U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, China, the U.K., and France.
China National Petroleum/PetroChina
China National Petroleum (CNPC) is China's largest natural gas producer. It reported production of 130.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year in China as of Dec. 31, 2020. 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 (PTR). 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.
In 2020, PetroChina had revenues of $299 billion, making it the second-largest oil and gas company in the world. It has a market cap of $139 billion.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco)
Saudi Aramco is the second-largest natural gas company in the world. As of 2020, the company had 31 million barrels of natural gas reserves. Revenues for 2020 were $205 billion and net income was $41 billion, making it one of the most profitable companies in the world.
The company is also the world's largest oil producer, being the sole provider of natural gas and oil to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia's oil and gas industry made up 50% of its GDP in 2018. The company has a market cap of $1.86 trillion.
London-headquartered BP (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 in 2020.
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.
The company had 2020 revenues of $183.5 billion and has a market capitalization of $82 billion.
ExxonMobil (XOM) produced 8.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2020, the lowest amount in the past seven years and part of a continuing decline.It is the largest oil and gas company in the United States based on revenue.
The company had 2020 revenues of $181.5 billion and has a market capitalization of $228.5 billion.
Royal Dutch Shell
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), also known as Shell Global, reported production of 2.79 trillion standard cubic feet of natural gas in 2020, the largest portion coming from Asia, which accounted for 838 billion standard cubic feet. The company's natural gas operations are spread across the globe.
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.
The company had revenues of $180.5 billion in 2020 with a market capitalization of $153 billion.
Total (TTE), a French oil and gas company, is an integrated oil and gas company with worldwide upstream and downstream operations. It produced 7.25 billion cubic feet of gas per day in 2020. The bulk of Total's hydrocarbon reserves are in Europe and Central Asia, followed by the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2020, Total had revenues of $140.7 billion and has a market cap of $114.4 billion.
Chevron (CVX), an American integrated energy giant, reported daily natural gas production of about 5.7 billion cubic feet per day in 2020, right in line with the company's production levels in recent years. The company operates major natural gas fields across the globe, including sites in Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.
Total global natural gas production in 2020 was approximately 3.85 trillion cubic meters.
Chevron also maintains vast upstream oil operations and downstream activities in petrochemicals, lubricants, additives, and gasoline. Chevron has a market capitalization of about $185.8 billion and 2020 revenues of $94.7 billion.
Rosneft Oil Co.
Rosneft (OJSCY) is a Russian oil company that is controlled by the Russian government. It is involved in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. In 2020, the company produced 62.8 billion cubic meters of natural gas. This was a decline from the previous year, which the company attributes to a decline in petroleum gas production.
The company had 2020 revenues of $78 billion and has a market cap of $71 billion.
Lukoil (LUKOY) is another Russian company on the list. The company extracts and refines oil and natural gas primarily from western Siberia. The company produced 29 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020; 60% of which was from Russia and the remainder from international operations.
Lukoil had revenues of $77.8 billion in 2020 and has a market cap of $56 billion.
Gazprom is controlled by the Russian government, which holds slightly more than 50% of outstanding shares in the company. The company had revenues of $27.6 billion in 2020 and has a market cap of $106 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 over 431 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020. The largest natural gas company by revenues, which is also an oil company, is China's China National Petroleum.
What Are the Top Producing Natural Gas States in the U.S.?
The top five natural gas-producing states in 2019 were Texas (23.9%), Pennsylvania (20.0%), Louisiana (9.3%), Oklahoma (8.5%), and Ohio (7.7%), which all totaled 69.4% of U.S. natural gas production.
What Three Countries Are the Largest Consumers of Natural Gas?
The top three consuming countries of natural gas are the United States (871 billion cubic meters), Russia (484 billion cubic meters), and China (326 billion cubic meters).
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 China and Saudi Arabia, with the U.S. coming in at number four. Though natural gas production in 2020 declined from 2019, it is expected to grow for the foreseeable future to meet global demand.