Skip to main content

Who owns big oil?

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Below are highlights from a speech given by Kyle Isakower, American Petroleum Institute, Vice President, Regulatory and Economic Policy on the Sonecon report, ‘Who Owns Big Oil.’

‘As the oil and natural gas industry reports its earnings next week, we are releasing a new API commissioned study from the consulting firm Sonecon. The study tells us who owns America’s oil and natural gas companies, and thus who benefits from company earnings. The principal takeaway from this study is this: When oil and natural gas companies do well, so do millions of their owners all across America. It concludes that a large proportion of the benefits of oil and gas company stock ownership goes to middle class Americans.

‘Every quarter we talk to reporters and others about our industry’s earnings, how they’re in line (or lower) than other manufacturers, how they’re large as a total dollar figure because these are large multinational companies that compete on a global stage with foreign nationally owned oil and natural gas companies, and how these earnings present good news for millions of Americans. They’re good new for America because Americans are the true owners of our oil and natural gas companies.’

The findings

‘The study finds that in 2014, public and private pension and retirement plans, including 401(k)s and IRAs, hold 46.8% of all the shares of US oil and natural gas companies. Individual investors own 18.7%, and asset management companies including mutual funds hold 24.7% of shares. Institutional investors like banks, insurance companies, foundations and endowments hold 6.9% of shares. Together, these groups hold 97% of oil and gas industry stock. By comparison, the officers and board members of US oil and gas companies own less than 3% of total shares.

‘A previous study by Sonecon found strong returns for teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public pension retirees. According to the study, oil and natural gas stocks comprised an average of 4.6% of state pension fund assets, yet owned 15.7% of the returns, a ration of 3.4 to 1. For college and university endowments, a 2012 Sonecon study found that 2.1% of endowments in fiscal year 2010 – 2011 were oil and gas stock, which generated 5.7% of all endowment gains.

‘The US oil and natural gas industry is a major part of our nation’s economy. It supports 9.8 million jobs and pays more taxes than any other industry and at higher effective rates. As this new Sonecon study shows, it also benefits millions on Americans who are its true owners. And in large part, the owners of America’s oil and natural gas companies are retirees or middle class Americans saving for retirement.’

Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):