Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Industry Profile

Companies in this industry develop and operate fields to extract crude petroleum and natural gas. Major companies include Apache Corporation, ConocoPhillips, and ExxonMobil (all based in the US), as well as BP (the UK), LUKOIL and TATNEFT (both based in Russia), National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC; Iran), PETROBRAS (Brazil), Saudi Aramco (Saudi Arabia), and Shell (the Netherlands).

The global oil and gas exploration and production industry produces about 95 million barrels of oil per day and produced about 4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas in 2020 alone. The largest oil-producing countries are the US, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. The largest natural gas producers are Russia, Iran, and Qatar.

The US oil and gas exploration and production industry consists of about 6,500 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $230 billion. Changes in world prices for oil and gas can cause revenue to fluctuate significantly from year to year.


Companies with greater access to capital, which enhances their ability to secure drilling rights, purchase or lease equipment, and acquire smaller companies, enjoy competitive advantages. Efficiency in locating new, productive wells as well as continuing extraction from existing wells are the keys to profitability. Demand comes from oil and gas refiners and transporters, which are driven by consumer and industrial demand for petroleum products including gasoline, heating oil, lubricants, chemicals, and natural gas.

Oil and ...

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