When you think of Russia in general, you might automatically think of vodka. But when you think of the most profitable companies in Russia in particular, you’re going to want to think oil and natural gas. Although they didn’t score within the top 50 entries, a number of Russian energy companies made the Forbes’ Global 2000 rankings for 2016. The list ranked based on company size, and we rearranged the largest companies we came across based on profits.
With profits that soared above the $20 billion mark, the Russian oil and gas company of Surgutneftegas easily topped the list of the most profitable companies in Russia. Located in the city of Surgut, the company was created in 1993 through the merging of several state-owned companies that held large gas and oil reserves in Western Siberia.
Located in Moscow and majority-owned by the Russian government, Rosneft is another energy company with notable profits. This integrated oil company raked in $5.8 billion, notably lower than profits earned by Surgutneftegas, but notable all the same.
Gazprom easily takes the top slot as Russia’s largest company, but it ranks third in terms of profits. The Moscow-based natural gas giant recorded $4.9 billion in profits, all from its business of extracting, producing, transporting and selling natural gas.
With only a slightly lower profit than the largest Russian company of Gazprom, LukOil weighed in with profits of $4.8 billion. Also based in Moscow, LukOil divides its business among the four main categories of exploration and production; power generation; petrochemicals; and refining, marketing, and distribution. It’s also participating in projects in six other countries outside of Russia.
The only non-energy company on the list of most profitable companies in Russia is the financial and banking services company of Sberbank. Headquartered in Moscow with operations in several post-Soviet and European countries, Sberbank enjoyed $3.6 billion in profits.
The largest oil pipeline company in the world ranks as one more of the most profitable companies in Russia. That company is the transport monopoly of Transneft. With headquarters in Moscow and profits that hit $2.3 billion, Transneft is a state-owned company operating more than 43,000 miles of pipelines to transport natural gas and crude oil.
As the list indicates, energy companies are profitable companies in Russia. As the list also indicates, Moscow is the prime place to be headquartered to turn that profit. Moscow is the largest city in Europe as well as Russia’s financial, political and economic center, making an ideal home for some of the country’s most successful enterprises.
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Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.