The longest running oil and gas companies

12 June 2019 (Last Updated June 12th, 2019 09:46)

Majority of the world’s oldest oil and gas companies were in unrelated businesses before establishing themselves in the oil and gas industry. Offshore-technology lists the longest running oil and gas companies based on the year of establishment.

The longest running oil and gas companies
Whessoe was founded in 1790 by William Kitching and Sons in Darlington, UK. Image courtesy of Whessoe.

Top 10 oil and gas companies: Ranking the longest running in the industry

10. ITOCHU Corporation – 1858 till date

9. Uztel S.A. – 1856 till date

8. Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH – 1856 till date

7. WGL Holdings Inc – 1848 till date

6. Naturgy Energy Group SA – 1843 till date

5. Aker Solutions ASA – 1841 till date

4. Connecticut Natural Gas Corp – 1840 till date

3. Philadelphia Gas Works – 1836 till date

2. Maurel & Prom – 1831 till date

1. Whessoe – 1790 till date

ITOCHU Corporation

oldest oil and gas companies
Itochu Corporation was originally established as a linen trading business.

Since its establishment in 1858 by Chubei Itoh as a linen trading business, ITOCHU has evolved to become one of the leading Japanese businesses with 110 offices in more than 63 countries worldwide.

ITOCHU entered the energy business by becoming the largest private shareholder of the Sakhalin oil and gas development in Russia in 1996. The company’s energy business currently has a number of projects in Qatar, Oman, Singapore and the US.

ITOCHU is involved in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textiles, energy, metals, machinery, food, chemicals, information technology, finance, real estate and general products. It was listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 1952 and entered the steel industry in 1977 with the acquisition of Ataka & Co.

Uztel S.A.

oldest oil and gas companies
Uztel is Romania’s leading manufacturer of oilfield equipment. Image courtesy of Ed Schipul.

UZTEL is one of the leading oilfield equipment manufacturers and after-sales service providers in the Romanian oil and gas industry. Established in 1856, the company holds more than 100 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and was the first to build an oil refinery in the world.

Standard Oil, a company based in the US, organised the workshops of the company under Romanian American Company in 1904, which later became UZTEL in 1950. UZTEL became a shareholding company in 1991 and was privatised in 2004.

UZTEL offers integrated solutions using in-house technologies and designs in consort with international standards ISO 9001, API specifications, and European standards. Major sub-divisions of the company are engineering, research and development, laboratory and testing, foundry, metallic fabrication, machining, assembling, testing, repairing, servicing, and storage.

Stadtwerke Bielefeld GmbH

oldest oil and gas companies
Stadtwerke Bielefeld’s administrative building is situated in Bielefeld, Germany. Image courtesy of Stadtwerke Bielefeld.

Stadtwerke Bielefeld is an electricity, gas, water and district heating services provider based in Germany. Established in 1856 as a natural gas dealer, the company expanded its business to include other utility services such as water in 1890, besides electricity and district heating during 1900-1955.

The company has more than 1,240 employees and a turnover of €600m ($666m). Additional services offered by the company and its subsidiaries include transportation, telecommunications and waste disposal. The company is currently focusing on sectors such as climate protection, renewable energy and green electricity.

Apart from serving domestic household consumers, the company also offers extensive energy services for industrial and commercial needs through its customised solutions and consultancy services.

WGL Holdings Inc

oldest oil and gas companies
Washington Gas’s corporate headquarters is located nearby Southwest Waterfront in Washington, D.C., US. Image courtesy of Washington Gas.

Established in 1848 as the Washington Gas Light Company, WGL Holdings is a public utility holding company in Washington, D.C., US. The company has been providing safe and reliable supply of natural gas to its customers for more than 160 years.

WGL Holdings was established as the parent company of Washington Gas Light Company and its subsidiaries in 2000. It serves more than a million customers living in the districts of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, in addition to commercial organisations and government bodies.

WGL Holdings delivers clean and efficient energy solutions using renewable wind energy, distributes clean natural gas to consumers, and undertakes federal government contracts for the installation of energy-efficient systems in the region.

Naturgy Energy Group SA

oldest oil and gas companies
Naturgy (formerly Gas Natural Fenosa) is the first company to provide public lighting in Barcelona. Image courtesy of Zarateman.

Established in 1843 as Sociedad Catalana para el Alumbrado por Gas, Naturgy is known for being the first company to provide public lighting in Barcelona and has since emerged as an integrated gas and electricity business in Spain and Latin America. The company gradually entered thermal and hydropower generation by 1911 and renamed itself to Catalana de Gas y Electricidad, S.A. in 1912.

In 2014, the company gained ownership of Chile’s leading energy company Compañía General de Electricidad, emerging as the country’s leading electricity and gas distributor. Over the years, the country has marked its presence in more than 30 nations across five continents.

On the occasion of its 175th anniversary in 2018, the company rebranded itself as Naturgy. It is currently the main supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic basins region.

Aker Solutions ASA

oldest oil and gas companies
Aker Solutions is headquartered in Oksenøyveien 8, Fornebu, Norway. Image courtesy of Aker Solutions.

The origin of Aker Solutions dates back to 1841 when it was founded as a modest mechanical workshop named Akers Mekaniske Verksted. The company shifted its focus to the oil and gas industry when it discovered the Ekofisk field in 1969 in the North Sea. Ekofisk was Norway’s first and the world’s biggest oil field at that time.

Aker revolutionised the offshore gas industry in 2015 by delivering the world’s first subsea gas compression system for Norway’s Asgard field. Following the takeover of the shipbuilding firm Kvaerner in 2002, the companies merged to form Aker Kvaerner.

The merged company diversified its interests to the shipbuilding and the paper and pulp industries. In April 2008, the company renamed itself further to Aker Solutions. It divested its process and construction businesses in 2011 and separated its engineering, procurement, and construction businesses to a new company named Kværner ASA.

Connecticut Natural Gas

oldest oil and gas companies
Connecticut Natural Gas is a subsidiary of AVANGRID. Image courtesy of A/Z Corp.

Established in 1840, Connecticut Natural Gas is a subsidiary of AVANGRID. The subsidiary operates 3,476km of natural gas distribution pipeline network in greater Hartford-New Britain area and Greenwich, Connecticut, US. The pipeline network caters to the needs of approximately 177,000 consumers residing in 26 communities located in the counties of Fairfield, Hartford, Middlesex, and Tolland.

AVANGRID’s energy business is divided into Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks serves approximately 3.25 million consumers in the UK and the US while Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 6.6GW of wind power harvesting capacity in the US.

Other subsidiaries of AVANGRID include Southern Connecticut Gas Company, Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Berkshire Gas Company, the United Illuminating Company, the Central Maine Power Company, and the Maine Natural Gas Corporation.

Philadelphia Gas Works

oldest oil and gas companies
Philadelphia Gas Works was established in Philadelphia as a street lighting company in 1836. Image courtesy of Taylor Bennett.

Philadelphia Gas Works was founded in 1836 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, as a street lighting company and is currently a municipal-owned gas utility in the US. The company operates and maintains 9,656km of gas pipeline network delivering more than 78 billion cubic feet (bcf) a year of gas to 500,000 residential, commercial, and industrial consumers.

The company also provides parts and labour repair services apart from natural gas transportation. In 2010, the company was awarded American Public Gas Association’s prestigious Marketing and Sales Award for its diversity.

Philadelphia Gas Works has been focussing on providing innovative clean energy solutions, as well as partner with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to plant more trees.

Maurel & Prom

oldest oil and gas companies
Maurel & Prom was taken over by Pertamina Group in 2016. Image courtesy of Guilhem Vellut.

Maurel & Prom was formed in 1831 as an operator of shipping lines between France and West Africa. It entered the Colombian and Venezuelan market by acquiring Hocol during 2004-2005 and gradually expanded its operations to Tanzania, Gabon, Congo, and Peru by 2006.

The company boasts of a portfolio of high-potential assets situated in Latin America and Africa. It also holds a major stake in Nigeria’s leading oil production and exploration company, SEPLAT, since 2010.

Maurel & Prom was taken over by the Pertamina Group in 2017. The company has more than 500 employees and produces 22,934 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

Whessoe

oldest oil and gas companies
Whessoe was founded in 1790 by William Kitching and Sons in Darlington, UK. Image courtesy of Whessoe.

Established in 1790 by William Kitching and Sons in Darlington, UK, Whessoe is a multi-disciplinary contractor that has been delivering solutions for more than 200 years in the energy, hydrocarbons, and petrochemical industries. Its major focus areas include process plants, oil rigs, nuclear reactors, and hydroelectric power plants.

The company played a major role in the foundry and engineering works for the railway, gasworks and steel construction industries until 1890 when the newly formed Whessoe Foundry Company started focusing on the booming oil and gas industry. The company achieved notable milestones such as designing and building the world’s first commercial LNG import terminal in 1959.

The company was acquired and merged with Noell to form Noell Whessoe in 1995 and renamed to Skanska Whessoe by the purchaser Kvaerner Construction in 2000. Al-Rushaid Group acquired Whessoe in 2004 and expanded the company’s operations in the Middle East, Europe, and India. Samsung C&T Corporation acquired Whessoe in 2013, expanding its global presence.