‘Big’ Oil is an understatement. According to Wikipedia, 11 of the world’s top 20 corporations (measured by revenue) are either oil producers, or trade oil. In fact, seven of the top ten corporations of the world are oil industry related. Forget Apple (No. 44,) Microsoft (No. 111,) or Google (not in top 185) because they are not even in the same league as oil corporations.
The Wikipedia study pulled together the financial data from multiple sources, including financial reports of major corporations. Oil companies have 60% of the revenue of the top 20, which means the average revenue per corporation of oil companies exceeds the average revenues of the nine non-oil related corporations.
The ‘Big Five’¹ oil companies are also made over $200 billion in profits during 2011, and as consumer pump prices remained high despite consumer demand that is at 1997 levels. Interestingly, oil companies, according to the Wikipedia study, employ only 25% of the total employed by the top 20 corporations.
¹NOTE: Big Five Oil Companies are: Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips