Natural gas companies are a crucial part of Russia's economy. The energy sector is a staple of the investing world, and it comprises about 60% of Russia's GDP as of 2017 and about 36% of its revenue as of 2016. The country has some of the largest multinational oil and gas companies in the world because it also has some of the largest currently known reserves.

Below are five of the largest Russian oil and gas companies that help fuel both Russia's economy and the world's.

1. Gazprom

Gazprom (MCX: GAZP.ME) is the world's largest natural gas company. It is a majority government-owned company focused on geological exploration within Russia, as well as production, transmission, storage, processing, and marketing of natural gas and other hydrocarbons.

Gazprom's mission is to provide Russian customers with an effective and well-balanced gas supply and to implement long-term gas contracts that export natural gas from within Russia to other countries. As of 2020, it owns the largest natural gas reserves in the world.

2. Novatek

Novatek (MCX: NVTK.ME) is Russia's largest independent natural gas producer and is the second-largest natural gas producer in Russia behind Gazprom. The company engages in the exploration, production, and processing of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons.

Novatek had roughly 16,265 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) of proven natural gas reserves as of year-end 2019.

3. Rosneft

Rosneft (MCX: ROSN) is the overall leader of Russia's petroleum industry and is among the world’s top publicly-traded oil and gas companies. The company explores, extracts, and produces petroleum products and petrochemicals, but is also involved in natural gas exploration and production. Rosneft is included in the Russian government’s List of Strategic Enterprises and Organizations.

4. Lukoil

PJSC Lukoil Oil Company (MCX: LKOH) is a Russian company that was originally government-controlled but is now Russia's largest company not controlled by the state and the second-largest company overall, after Gazprom, as of 2020. Its main operations encompass the exploration and production of petroleum products and natural gas.

While it specializes in (and was founded for) exploration and production in western Siberia—where the majority of the company's oil and gas reserves are located—Lukoil is a major player in the energy industry worldwide.

5. Surgutneftegas

Surgutneftegas is a Russian oil and gas company formed by merging several former government-owned companies. Its main interests are petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products, and worldwide exports, though especially to Belarus. It employs over 100,000 people and had sales of $24.7 billion as of 2020, which made it Russia's sixth-largest company.