Another year, another drop in the rankings for Royal Dutch Shell, which topped this list just two years ago. A 6.7% sales drop marked the third-straight year of declining revenue, as increased supply and weak demand sent the price of crude oil plummeting. Profits also dipped yet again, but the 9% drop was much easier to swallow than the previous year’s 38% decline. After his first year on the job, CEO Ben van Beurden said he doesn’t want to miss out on growth opportunities because of weak demand, but he also signaled that Shell will reduce spending in 2015. However, that spending slowdown did not stop Shell from swooping in to buy rival oil and gas producer BG Group for $70 billion in early 2015.
- Shell is one of the largest companies in the world, with a highly diversified set of businesses.
- Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a fast-growing segment that accounted for the majority of Shell’s income last year.
- Three-straight years of declining revenue and profits have allowed China’s Sinopec to leapfrog Shell in terms of annual sales.
- Oil and gas production dropped 4% between 2013 and 2014.
- The acquisition of BG Group will make Shell the world leader in LNG production.
- Shell pushed forward with new oil and gas projects in Nigeria, Malaysia, and the Gulf of Mexico.
- As with its energy industry brethren, Shell’s value is put at risk by the ongoing volatility in oil prices.
- Shell has pumped billions of dollars into a contentious Alaskan Arctic drilling campaign that has faced major opposition from environmentalists and has prompted concerns over possible spills.