Almost 20% of the top 100 companies ranked on the latest Fortune Global 500 list are major oil and natural gas producers, with some familiar U.S.-based names among the leaders.
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Devon Energy Corp. said increased production and higher prices for natural gas liquids (NGLs) helped the company earn $1 billion during 3Q2011 as it continues to look for a joint venture (JV) partner to help develop five of its emerging assets.
Sempra Energy’s two California utilities, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E), were ranked highest for customer satisfaction among the largest U.S. investor-owned energy utilities (IOU) in the first quarter of this year, according to a recently completed survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The utilities announced their top ranking in the University of Michigan survey that measures customer satisfaction across 10 economic sectors, 44 industries and more than 200 companies, along with federal and local government agencies. SoCalGas and SDG&E scored the highest in residential customer satisfaction of the 29 largest IOUs. The ACSI survey used a uniform system to measure customer satisfaction, quality of service, value, reliability and the ability to restore power after outages.
ChevronTexaco Corp., the second largest U.S.-based oil major, on Monday agreed to buy ninth-ranked Unocal Corp. in a cash-and-stock transaction worth about $16.4 billion. ChevronTexaco also agreed to assume $1.6 billion in debt.
The first of the big three majors, third-ranked ConocoPhillips, swung to a profit in the fourth quarter after a year-ago loss, unhindered by the special charges from its mega merger in 2002. Meanwhile, Kerr McGee Corp. and Amerada Hess Corp. also reversed their losses from a year ago on higher commodity prices.
Companywide, production at the top-five ranked independent Devon Energy Corp. will rise, with exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and success in its coalbed methane (CBM) stakes in the Powder River and Raton basins contributing the most, executives revealed in an earnings conference call Thursday. Like its peers, Devon reported record earnings and surpassed Wall Street estimate. After announcing the numbers, the CEO and others laid out their future strategy, which will include continued reserve replacement, key acquisitions and stock repurchases.