Who Owns Big Oil? The Answer Might Surprise You.


WhoOwnsBigOil.org is a project of Energy Tomorrow, intended to debunk common misperceptions about oil and natural gas company ownership using data and information from independent and respected sources.

About the Studies

Who Owns America's Oil & Natural Gas Companies?

This study was authored by Robert J. Shapiro and Nam D. Pham of the economic advisory firm, Sonecon in October 2011. Sonecon’s findings prove that, contrary to popular belief, the oil and natural gas industry isn’t owned by a small group of insiders. Less than 3 percent of industry shares are owned by corporate management and the rest is owned by regular Americans, many investing in their retirements.

The Financial Contribution of Oil & Natural Gas Investments to Major Public Pension Plans in Seventeen States, Fiscal Years 2005 – 2009

Published by Sonecon in June 2011, this study finds that state pension fund investments in oil and natural gas companies are providing strong returns for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public pension retirees. On average, oil and natural gas stocks comprise 4.6 percent of state pension fund assets, yet provide 15.7 percent of the returns—a ratio of 3.4 to 1.

About Energy Tomorrow

Energy Tomorrow is an educational program of the American Petroleum Institute (API). API is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America's oil and natural gas industry—an industry which supports nearly 9.2 million American jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy. Our nearly 500 members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies.

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