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Saudi Aramco Strikes Oil Entering Ranking as World’s Second Most Valuable Oil & Gas Brand

  • Shell retains title of world’s most valuable oil & gas brand, brand value up 12% to US$47.5 billion
  • Saudi Aramco is new entrant in ranking taking second position, brand value US$46.8 billion
  • Total falls flat, only brand in top 10 to lose brand value
  • ADNOC fastest-growing brand in top 10, up 29%
  • PETRONAS is sector’s strongest, Brand Strength Index (BSI) score 86.3 out of 100

View the full Brand Finance Oil & Gas 50 2020 report here

London - Davos, 22nd January 2020

Shell has retained its title of the world’s most valuable oil and gas brand for the fifth consecutive year, recording a 12% increase in brand value to US$47.5 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy.

Despite sustained lower oil and gas prices, the Anglo-Dutch titan continues to achieve a significant price and volume premium thanks to its strong brand. Shell recently shared a new strategy to enable the brand to thrive through the transition to a lower-carbon energy system, placing focus on new energy investments that will shape the portfolio and help drive growth over the next few years.

Recently undertaking the largest IPO in history, Saudi Aramco has caused a stir, entering the ranking for the first time as the second most valuable oil and gas brand in the world. With a brand value of US$46.8 billion, the oil giant is now only a fraction behind long-standing leader Shell. The brand is also the highest new entrant in the newly released Brand Finance Global 500, in 24th position, and has claimed the title of the most valuable brand in the Middle East.  

The IPO has proven to be successful for the brand as Saudi Aramco raised US$25.6 billion. Even after navigating through recent attacks on two of its oil processing sites, it is now the world’s most valuable listed company, comfortably ahead of tech titans Apple and Microsoft. Saudi Aramco is focused on leveraging its strength in upstream, while growing its downstream operations through acquisitions, both in Saudi Arabia and key global markets. The brand must now focus on developing international perceptions of the brand in order to open it up further for partnerships and investment.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“Some might argue that the end is nigh for Big Oil, but many sectors will be difficult to decarbonise and will likely need oil and gas for decades to come. The challenge at hand for the industry is to make the production and use of oil and gas as efficient as possible throughout this transition, while actively preparing for the future by investing in renewables.”

Total lagging while ADNOC thrives

All brands in the top 10 have recorded solid brand value growth, apart from France’s Total (down 8% to US$23.2 billion). As one of the six supermajor oil brands in the world, Total has traditionally performed well in the ranking, however following a year of heightened market volatility, the brand’s profits have dented considerably. The brand has sold a significant amount of assets, an attempt to protect against low oil prices and concentrate on areas of the business that can withstand oil price fluctuation.  

In contrast, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has entered the top 10 after recording the fastest brand value growth in the top 20, up 29% to US$11.4 billion. The brand is also the first UAE brand to achieve a brand valuation of more than US$10 billion, a testament to the success of the Group’s ongoing transformation strategy. Since 1971, ADNOC has created thousands of jobs, driven the growth of a diverse knowledge-based economy, and played a key role in Abu Dhabi’s global emergence. ADNOC continues to look for new and innovative ways to maximise the value of its resources, pioneering those approaches and technologies that will ensure it is able to meet the demands of an ever-changing energy market, and continue to have a positive impact on the Abu Dhabi economy for generations to come.

PETRONAS sector’s strongest

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value. According to these criteria, PETRONAS (up 14% to US$15.2 billion) has claimed the title of the world’s strongest oil and gas brand, with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 86.3 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

The Malaysian Government-owned brand has flourished as sales volumes for petroleum products have increased and the ringgit has weakened against the US dollar, all while ensuring there is sufficient provision for inevitable market volatility. This year, the brand has focused on streamlining and improving its operational and technical functions, striving towards digital transformation and innovation to be future-ready.   

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:

“PETRONAS, along with all the oil & gas giants, are facing persistent market volatility, which brands needs to be ready to tackle. PETRONAS has clearly set its intentions to strive towards new and alternative oil and gas solutions - while maintaining it cautious optimism - in a bid to protect the brand in the future.” 

View the full Brand Finance Oil & Gas 50 2020 report here


Note to Editors

Every year, Brand Finance values 5,000 of the world’s biggest brands. The 50 most valuable Oil & Gas brands are included in the Brand Finance Oil & Gas 50 2020 ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, charts, and more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Oil & Gas 50 2020 report.  

Data compiled for Brand Finance’s rankings and reports are provided for the benefit of the media and are not to be used for any commercial or technical purpose without written permission from Brand Finance.

Media Contacts

Sehr Sarwar
Communications Director, Brand Finance
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M: +44 (0)7966 963 669

Florina Cormack-Loyd
Communications Manager, Brand Finance
T: +44 (0)2073 899 400
M: +44 (0)7939 118 932

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About Brand Finance          

Brand Finance is the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, with offices in over 20 countries. Brand Finance bridges the gap between marketing and finance by quantifying the financial value of brands.

Brand Finance helped craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668, and the recently approved standard on Brand Evaluation – ISO 20671.

Brand Finance is a chartered accountancy firm regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), and also the first brand valuation consultancy to join the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

Brand Finance’s brand value rankings have been certified by the Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) through the Marketing Metric Audit Protocol (MMAP), the formal process for validating the relationship between marketing measurement and financial performance.


Definition of Brand
Brand Finance helped to craft the internationally recognised standard on Brand Valuation – ISO 10668. It defines a brand as a marketing-related intangible asset including, but not limited to, names, terms, signs, symbols, logos, and designs, intended to identify goods, services or entities, creating distinctive images and associations in the minds of stakeholders, thereby generating economic benefits.

Brand Strength
Brand strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. In order to determine the strength of a brand, we look at Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and the impact of those on Business Performance.

Each brand is assigned a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the score, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA+ in a format similar to a credit rating.

Brand Valuation Approach
Brand Finance calculates the values of the brands in its league tables using the Royalty Relief approach – a brand valuation method compliant with the industry standards set in ISO 10668. It involves estimating the likely future revenues that are attributable to a brand by calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for its use, to arrive at a ‘brand value’ understood as a net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market.

The steps in this process are as follows:

  1. Calculate brand strength using a balanced scorecard of metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity and Business Performance. Brand strength is expressed as a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score on a scale of 0 to 100.
  2. Determine royalty range for each industry, reflecting the importance of brand to purchasing decisions. In luxury, the maximum percentage is high, in extractive industry, where goods are often commoditised, it is lower. This is done by reviewing comparable licensing agreements sourced from Brand Finance’s extensive database.
  3. Calculate royalty rate. The BSI score is applied to the royalty range to arrive at a royalty rate. For example, if the royalty range in a sector is 0-5% and a brand has a BSI score of 80 out of 100, then an appropriate royalty rate for the use of this brand in the given sector will be 4%.
  4. Determine brand-specific revenues by estimating a proportion of parent company revenues attributable to a brand.
  5. Determine forecast revenues using a function of historic revenues, equity analyst forecasts, and economic growth rates.
  6. Apply the royalty rate to the forecast revenues to derive brand revenues.
  7. Brand revenues are discounted post-tax to a net present value which equals the brand value.


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