Chinese oil giant PetroChina came in the fourth place in a ranking of world's top 250 energy companies unveiled on Wednesday evening, making it the first Asian firm to join the top five ranks.
The 2011 Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings was compiled by energy information provider Platts based on the performance of the companies last year in terms of asset worth, revenues, profits and return on invested capital.
The assets of PetroChina has increased almost fivefold to 255 billion U.S. dollars in 2010 from 52 billion dollars ten years ago, when the company was ranked the 12th among world energy firms. Its revenues increased 7.5 times over the same period.
In the 2011 rankings, ExxonMobil and Chevron held the first and second place, respectively. Gazprom of Russia took the third place. Total SA of France finished in the fifth place.
Petrobras, which used to a top five, was now the 12th, while stricken BP was now at the 118th place, affected by the scandal in the Gulf of Mexico.
Larry Neal, president of Platts, said the rankings tell a decade-long growth story led in large part by Asia-Pacific companies.
"Not only is the pace of Asia's energy consumption outstripping other regions, but Asian companies are increasingly moving beyond their domestic roots to become critical global energy players," he said.
Among the world's top 250, there were 70 from the Asia Pacific region.
Primary energy consumption in Asia Pacific grew by 5.6 percent per annum over the last decade. The growth rate even surge to over 10 percent for China last year.
Sinopec, the other Chinese oil giant and leading refiner, came in the 8th place this year.
"Electricity producers consume an increasing share of Asian energy output -- about 40 percent now compared with 25 percent in 1990 -- so the march up the ranks by power companies and their fuel suppliers was to be expected," said Vandana Hari, editorial director of Platts Asia.
"But what is particularly impressive is that so many are independent, home-grown firms in a business once dominated by state-run entities," she said.
Japan has 18 of the top 250 energy firms, while China and India each has 13.
Platts is part of the United States-based McGraw-Hill Companies. The Platts Top 250 Global Energy Company Rankings are based on data compiled by S&P Capital IQ, which is a part of The McGraw- Hill Companies, too. The report covers publicly listed companies with assets of more than 3.5 billion dollars.