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Shell Overtakes Exxon Mobil, Tops Forbes Global 2000 List

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Per Forbes Global 2000’s list of the biggest and most powerful public companies, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A - Free Report) has climbed to the top spot pushing aside last year's leader Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM - Free Report) .

Shell holds rank 11 among all companies on the list, while it was positioned at rank 20 in 2017. The improvement in rank is mainly attributable to higher sales due to rising commodity prices. Exxon Mobil was placed at rank 13, unchanged from the previous year.

The third-biggest oil and gas company on the list was Chevron Corporation (CVX - Free Report) with a rank of 21, up significantly from rank 359 in the previous year. In 2017, Chevron had reported a net loss of $431 million due to lower commodity prices along with other factors that pushed it way down in the ranking table.

The fourth, fifth and sixth ranked oil and gas companies on the list are France's TOTAL S.A. (TOT - Free Report) , China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SNP - Free Report) , known as Sinopec and PetroChina Company Limited (PTR - Free Report) . Sinopec currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Total and PetroChina have a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Other energy companies to complete the top 10 list were BP plc (BP - Free Report) , Gazprom, Rosneft from Russia and India's Reliance Industries Ltd.

The Forbes Global 2000 is based on a combined score of equally weighted measures of revenue, profits, assets and market value.

During the list's 12-month measurement period, the top 25 oil and gas companies on the Forbes Global 2000 made $144.6 billion on sales of $2.9 trillion, significantly up from $73 billion in earnings on sales of $2.2 trillion in 2017 and $81 billion in earnings on sales of $2.6 trillion in 2016.

Over the past year, the results of the oil and gas companies gained significantly owing to higher oil prices. Per the U.S. Energy Information Administration, West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) crude averaged $51 per barrel in 2017, up $7 per barrel from the preceding year.

In 2018, WTI oil prices surpassed $72 per barrel before but again dropped to about $65. The drop in oil prices came after oil ministers from Russia and Saudi Arabia hinted at production increase later this year in response to President Donald Trump's disapproval about rising prices.

Some analysts are of the opinion that the Brent oil prices are expected to touch $80 per barrel from the recent price of $75. This will mainly be aided by a fall in production in Venezuela as well as the impact of the clarification of Iranian sanctions on supply. The upcoming Aramco IPO of Saudi Arabia will also favor higher prices.

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