The Platts Top 250 ranking of the world’s leading energy companies for 2009, released today, holds few surprises in the top 10 – ExxonMobil at number one, inevitably – but does have a lot of intriguing detail.
It is still the big international oil groups that dominate. Chevron edging out Royal Dutch Shell for second place (giving the US a one-two at the top of the chart) and BP nudging ahead of Total for fourth place, symbolising its recovery under Tony Hayward, are the most notable shifts at the top since the 2008 ranking.
Oxfam, which has been pushing climate change up its agenda recently with a series of hard-hitting posters recently, is now trying a lighter-hearted approach.
Click on its Climate Challenge site for a quiz with Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries), Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty, Extras), Mackenzie Crook (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Office, no relation) and David Tennant (Dr Who).
With polls showing many people in the US and Europe still sceptical about the science behind man-made global warming, and the need for their governments to make concessions to reach a climate deal, there is a lot of persuading that still needs to be done.
Crude oil prices rallied with Nymex December West Texas Intermediate up $1 to $77.35 a barrel while ICE January Brent added 99 cents to $77.30 a barrel.
Olivier Jakob, head of Swiss-based oil consultancy Petromatrix, said global markets were seeing a continuation of risk appetite but this was largely sponsored by continued pressure on the dollar.
“As long as the dollar bashing continues, there will be some support coming to commodities and to oil, but the risk concentration on the (short) dollar trade is increasing by the day as fundamentals do not provide enough support,” said Mr Jakob.
Q. The future of the planet depends on making correct energy decisions. We, the people, rely on governments to make these decisions. Unfortunately, governments are composed of politicians who, often, only act when the public demand action. Hence, it is surely imperative that the IEA raise public awareness and understanding of the energy challenges facing all of us. If the IEA is serious about pushing for new energy policies then why do they charge the public for downloading the World Energy Outlook? I would like to read it but can’t afford €120 per year. – Chris Bleakley
A. Dear Chris Bleakley, the IEA would be delighted to offer all of its publications and other work for free, but we depend on these revenues to supplement our budget. We are a small international organisation funded by our member country governments from public funds which as you will know are currently under severe pressure. Every year, the demand for our work increases, often outpacing the growth in our budget. Publication sales are an important revenue stream for us. At the same time, we strive to ensure that the key messages from our work are accessible and began, several years ago, making the executive summary of all of our books (including the World Energy Outlook) available for free on our website. The Executive Summary of this year’s Outlook is already available in 9 languages on our website. We also offer discounts on all publications to educational establishments, other non-profit organisations and developing countries. In addition, we are offering an increasing amount of information for free on our web site.
Obama rules out Copenhagen treaty
Summit will not produce a binding agreement to tackle global warming (FT)
Repsol weighs Brazil options
Spanish oil firm seeks financing to develop discoveries (WSJ)
EU warned of green energy threat
Investment rate must increase sharply, says report (FT)
Global recovery ‘carries new risk of price surge’
Conditions are ripe for a fresh surge in food prices, says UN (FT)
Exxon shares poised to shine
Shares in the world’s largest oil group could rise over 20% next year (Barron’s)