PetroChina, the oil company largely owned by the Chinese government, has overtaken ExxonMobil of the US to regain its position as the world's largest listed energy group by market capitalisation.
It took less a year for the Chinese group to reclaim the top slot it lost during the financial crisis of 2008 when oil prices collapsed and investors fled to the perceived safety of international oil companies such as ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco of the US and Royal Dutch Shell and BP, both based in Europe.
这家中国企业重回榜首仅花了不到一年的时间，在2008年金融危机期间，随着油价暴跌，投资者纷纷选择看似安全的国际石油公司避险（如美国的埃克森美孚和雪佛龙德士古(Chevron Texaco)、欧洲的荷兰皇家壳牌(Royal Dutch Shell)和英国石油(BP)），中石油曾一度失去领先地位。
Other national oil companies also largely made up the distance they had lost to their larger international peers.
Brazil's Petrobras is the fourth-largest oil company and Russia's Rosneft stands at number 13. Both saw their market capitalisation more than double in 2009, according to data compiled by PFC Energy, the Washington-based industry consultancy. The annual ranking of the world's 50 largest energy groups will be published today.
The study finds that national oil companies gained an average 66 per cent in market value in 2009.
In comparison, the six biggest international oil companies grew in market capitalisation less than 1 per cent.
The combined market value of the 50 largest energy groups jumped 35 per cent to $3,900bn as oil prices made an even more dramatic recovery, climbing back from the lows of about $30 a barrel they hit at the start of 2009 to $80 by the end of the year.
The findings underscore the momentum of a nascent but increasingly marked shift away from the western international oil companies that have dominated the sector and towards their state-owned counterparts in China, Brazil and Russia.
PetroChina first took the top ranking in 2007 but lost it the following year.
Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, said the findings showed a fundamental shift towards growing energy markets, such as China, and the regions that can supply them, such as Russia and Brazil.
PFC Energy董事长罗宾•韦斯特(Robin West)表示，研究发现表明，能源行业开始发生根本性转变，中国这样不断增长的能源市场以及俄罗斯和巴西这样的能源供应国日益重要。
“For investors the shift is measured in trillions of dollars,” he said. “This is a big deal.
“There is a lot of money involved here. An asset class is changing. These new companies are becoming global blue chip companies.”
But Mr West warned that some of the national oil companies were not held to the same standards as their western counterparts and were still viewed as more speculative vehicles whose value rises and falls with the oil price.
National oil companies often appeal to investors because they have a number of important advantages over international oil companies.
They either own or control much higher oil and gas reserves, as is the case with Petrobras and Rosneft, or they have access to a huge consumer market and benefit from the deep pockets and ambitions of their governments, as is the case with PetroChina.