Image: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil has been toppled from its seat as the world’s top energy company, according to annual rankings by S&P Global Platts.

The company fell to ninth place this year after 12 years as number one, with Russia’s Gazprom snagging the world leadership position.

The ranking is based on financial performance using four key metrics: asset worth, revenues, profits, and return on invested capital. All companies on the list have assets greater than $5.5 billion.

Platts says the latest results show the most profound changing of the guard in the 16-year history of its rankings.

In addition to the shift at the top, Platts says that utilities and pipeline companies are among the biggest gainers this year instead of integrated oil and gas companies, although the latter continues to make a strong showing.

“European utilities and North American pipeline operators got a boost from sticking to what they know best and shying away from more risky enterprises and territories,” S&P Global Platts’ Harry Weber said in a statement.

“Regulated utilities, in particular, have an advantage because their revenues are largely defined and consistent, and are not as susceptible to swings in oil and gas prices.”

Notably, India’s Reliance Industries rose to 3rd place from 8th last year, and France’s Total rose two slots to 10th from 12th; movements that Platts says show the strength of the pipeline sector.

“Both have been making investments in the U.S. that benefit from increasing supplies of natural gas and the new pipeline infrastructure that is being built to carry those resources to the Gulf Coast for regional use and for exports to overseas hubs,” the market intelligence firm said in a statement.

“As for decliners, coal interests were hit especially hard in the latest rankings, as more countries push for increases in renewable energy and cleaner burning fuel. But this is not without exception. China Shenhua Energy rose to 13th place from 25th, as the price of coal in China rose sharply following government output cuts.”

Here’s a look at the Top 10: