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June 30, 2021updated 26 Oct 2021 10:33am

Exclusive database of multinational oil and gas companies and their subsidiaries

The world’s leading offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies companies operate an average of 130.2 subsidiaries each. We reveal the global hotspots for these operations.

By Patrick Scott and Georges Corbineau

Offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies multinationals are far less likely to establish subsidiaries in Western Europe than the average multinational company according to analysis of GlobalData’s exclusively compiled subsidiary database.

Companies establish subsidiaries for a variety of reasons: they can allow them to expand into profitable new markets, to increase revenue, and to diversify their holdings to better manage risk. As a vital component to a company’s expansion plans, the establishment of a subsidiary can offer insight into investment trends, with our database allowing you to see these investment patterns on a wider, sector level.

GlobalData’s multinational company database – which can be viewed in full on our sister site Investment Monitor – contains information for 2,188 of the world’s top multinational companies (MNCs) by revenue. Of these MNCs, 79 are in the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies industry, representing 3.6% of the companies in our database.

These offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies companies are less likely than average to establish subsidiaries in Western Europe (26.9% vs 36.8%) and are more likely to establish them in North America (33.3% vs 27.8%).

Overall, the 79 offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies MNCs in our database operate 10,287 subsidiaries. This comes to an average of 130.2 subsidiaries per company, compared to an average of 99 for the entire database of 2,188 companies. It should be noted, however, that the number of subsidiaries is by no means evenly distributed within the sector. The most common number of subsidiaries for an MNC in the sector (the mode) is eight, while the median comes in at 65, indicating that the simple average is skewed heavily by the bigger parent companies.

Netherlands-based Royal Dutch Shell Plc has the largest number of subsidiaries among the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies sector MNCs within our database with 1,003. This means it ranks in seventh place across our entire database when measured by the total number of subsidiaries.

Where has Royal Dutch Shell Plc established subsidiaries?

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s subsidiaries are distributed across the world with 49.3% of the total located in Western Europe, the highest for any region. Some 202 of Royal Dutch Shell Plc's subsidiaries are located in the UK, while the Netherlands was the second most popular destination with 174.

After Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Total SE had the second largest number of subsidiaries within the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies industry MNCs in the database with 837, while BP Plc was third with 664 and National Oilwell Varco Inc was fourth with 393.

Where has Total SE established subsidiaries?

Overall, 4,864 of the subsidiaries owned by the offshore oil and gas industry operations and technologies MNCs in the database were located in the same country as the parent company was headquartered. This meant that MNCs in the sector were more likely than average to have a preference for domestic subsidiaries at 47.3%, with the figure for the entire database standing at 45.7%.


GlobalData has compiled a list of top MNCs based on revenue. Any top companies that did not have a subsidiary were removed from the list. The latest company annual reports (2019 and 2020, where available) and websites were analysed for a total of 2,188 companies. For a subsidiary to be included, the parent company had to have a majority ownership/control in the subsidiary. Affiliates, associates, joint operations and joint ventures were included as long as the ownership criteria was met. Subsidiary information was captured at a country level. Country names were standardised. In total, 216,898 subsidiaries were captured.

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