ExxonMobil Corp. was bumped to second place by China’s PetroChina Co. Ltd., according to the 2009 ranking by industry consultant PFC Energy, which annually compiles a ranking of the world’s top energy companies.

The PFC Energy 50 ranks leading publicly traded energy companies by market capitalization from nine sectors: international oil companies (IOC); national oil companies (NOC); exploration and production; refining and marketing; gas utilities; oilfield services, drilling and seismic; equipment and engineering; procurement, construction and installation; and alternative energy.

In the ranking, which was issued last week, the combined value of the top 50 energy companies jumped by more than a third (35%) in 2009 to $3.9 trillion. The combined value is still down 26% from the $5.7 trillion reported at the end of 2007, but the gains were favorable when compared with a 71% gain in oil prices and the 20% increase by the S&P 500 over the same period, the consultant said.

“Many long term-trends that were under way before the financial crisis have reasserted themselves,” said PFC Energy CEO J. Robinson West. “W are witnessing the continuing transformation of the industry. Investors see more potential in companies with growing end-user markets and preferential access to resources, and they have soured on the refining business in mature markets.”

In the 2008 rankings, five of the top six positions were held by ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corp., BP plc and Total SA — PetroChina was ranked No. 2.

For 2009, PetroChina claimed the top spot with a market capitalization of $353.1 billion, which is 9% larger than ExxonMobil. Australia’s BHP Billiton is ranked third, while Brazil’s Petroleo Brasilerio, or Petrobras, is ranked fourth. Shell is fifth, BP is sixth, China’s Sinopec Corp. ranks seventh, Chevron is eighth, Total claimed ninth place and Russia’s Gazprom rounds out the top 10. Once again, only two U.S.-based companies made the top 10 list.

Other North American-based companies and their rankings in the 2009 list are ConocoPhillips, 18; Occidental Petroleum Corp., 20; Suncor Energy Inc., 22; Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., 27; Apache Corp., 28; Imperial Oil Ltd., 29; Devon Energy Corp., 31; Anadarko Petroleum Corp., 35; Halliburton, 37; XTO Energy Inc., 38; EOG Resources Inc., 43; EnCana Corp., 45; Husky Energy Inc., 46; and Marathon Oil Corp., 48.

The combined value of the list’s nine traded NOCs rose by two-thirds in 2009, while ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, Total and ConocoPhillips increased their combined value by less than 1%, PFC Energy said. Overall, integrated producers gained only 6% in value last year.

Last year also appeared to be a time to restructure for some companies, the survey found. Russian companies, last year’s worst performers, posted a combined 88% value gain; the value of the Chinese companies grew 52%.

“Also visible are early signs of industry restructuring and consolidation,” noted the PFC survey. “After spinning off its integrated oilsands operations as Cenovus, a smaller EnCana fell from No. 22 to No. 44. The Petro-Canada merger helped Suncor climb from No. 37 to No. 22.”

ExxonMobil’s acquisition of U.S. shale giant XTO was not completed at year’s end, but the combined value of the two companies still would fall short of displacing PetroChina from the No. 1 position, PFC Energy said.

“Consolidation will also affect values in the service sector,” the survey said. It pointed to, among other signs, Baker Hughes Inc.’s (BHI) pending acquisition of BJ Services Co., which would move BHI to third place among oilfield service companies (see related story).

The report is available at www.pfcenergy50.com.

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