The BRIC House Rules

Goldman Sachs is touting a new report today proclaiming that BRIC countries (Goldman’s nickname for the new powerhouses of Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are now home to more of the top 20 global energy companies by market capitalization than the United States. Predictably, the most notable feature of this shift is the rise of state-owned firms. AP:

At the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, 55 percent of the 20 largest companies in the energy industry by market capitalization were American, and 45 percent were European, according to the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. study. But in 2007, 35 percent of the 20 largest energy companies are from BRIC countries, about 35 percent are European, and about 30 percent are American, the study said. … Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. is still the No. 1 energy company by market capitalization today, as it was in 1991, Ling said. But he said it is now followed by the likes of PetroChina Co., a unit of state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.; OAO Gazprom, the Russian state-controlled gas monopoly; Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, Brazil’s government-run oil company; Sinopec, also known as China Petroleum & Chemical Co.; Russian oil producers OAO Rosneft and OAO Lukoil; China National Offshore Oil Corp.; and Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s state-owned oil company. “So you have major state energy companies that have entered the market capitalization ranks,” he said. “I think it’s a combination of the U.S. energy industry falling dramatically behind the rest of the world for a number of reasons.”